Much to my continued surprise, I seem to still be recovering from the NICU experience. A part of me feels like I should be over it by now as the twins were just there as feeders and growers with no major issues. They were not fighting for their survival. This part of me makes the other part of me feel like a drama queen for still feeling sadness and stress about the time they spent in the NICU.
My uber fertile best friend's oldest son had minor surgery recently. As she was talking to me about her angst at leaving her boy in the hands of others, she told me she just couldn't imagine what I went through leaving the twins every night in the care of the NICU nurses and doctors. That's when I realized that it doesn't matter how healthy my babies were in comparison to others in the NICU - that's not the part that I'm still struggling to process. No matter why your babies are there, you still have to walk out the door and leave them in the care of others. A truly difficult thing to do when you've just brought them into this world.
My family has been giving me a hard time about the fact that I respond quickly when the babies cry and that I don't let them cry it out. Aside from the fact that the babies are way to young for crying it out and it's not really my style, I still get so upset thinking about all the times they must've cried and I wasn't there to comfort them or they weren't comforted at all if their nurse was caring for another baby at the time. It's hard for me to believe that they have no memory of their time in the NICU and that it has not affected them on an emotional level. I guess my quick response to their crying is my effort to somehow make it up to them.
I'm having a hard time falling to sleep after Catherine's 3AM feeding. The other night I just kept reliving the NICU days. There's so much I would've done differently if only I'd hadn't been recovering from childbirth and had the energy. I still feel like I should've been there around the clock as if my constant presence would've translated into an earlier discharge date.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this post except to say that the NICU experience is still a painful on for me and I don't know what to do about it.