When Monkey was first born he was quickly taken to the NICU to be stabilized. When I was finally able to see him a few hours later he was in an isolette with IV drip and CPAP. I was told I was not allowed to even touch him because it would be too much stimulation and he would stop breathing.
This was not in my plan. For the last 34 weeks, and if I can really be honest for a large part of my life I had pictured how today would go. The script was as follows: around 40 weeks go to hospital, have unmedicated vaginal delivery, then skin to skin. How were we supposed to bond and form attachment when we can’t do skin to skin? Even the signs all over the NICU walls promoted it, and I wasn’t allowed because it could harm my baby.
So I sat, in a rocking chair and watching him. I watched his little chest rise and fall, watched the numbers on the monitors suddenly change from good to bad to ok, watched the nurses provide basic care. And there I stayed until it was insisted that I get some rest late that night.
I was admitted to a room with another mother who’s baby was not on the NICU so I spent my first night as a mother alone, with another mother who got to hold her little while I feared for the life of mine.
Early the next morning we learned that Monkey was still not stabilizing and would need several more interventions to breath independently. So still without having held him we agreed for him to have intrusive procedures that came with potential success and a lot of risk.
And so we waited, and we prayed that everything would be a success; and we we’re fortunate enough that it was.
And then finally, 28 hours and 10 minutes after Monkey’s grand entrance into the world I could hold him. His breathing stabilized, his heart rate steadied, and his temperature regulated. Because there are few better things in this world than a mothers touch.
Mommy Moment is a weekly post that covers my thoughts, feelings and experiences as a mom. Come by every Monday to read about what it’s like to be a once career focused mom of a premature baby, who sometimes solo parents, loves cloth diapering and often bites of more than she can chew.