Saturday, August 6, 2011

Prompt-driven writing (A NICU Experience)

Posted by Leslie at 12:34 AM
I wrote this for a prompt-driven writing contest on livejournal. The prompt was "concentration & focus" .. so being as my life is pretty consumed with all things NICU, I drew from that. It definitely felt therapeutic. & now I go sleep. I have a CPR/Car seat safety class to attend before visiting with Milo.

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A NICU Experience: Lessons learned in concentration & focus.

Beeps. So many beeps. Sometimes I find it hard to tune them out. There are so many of them. They echo around me. My head whips up quickly to the monitor overhead. Heart rate: 154. Respiration: 62. Oxygen saturation: 97. I feel the wave of relief come over me. I let go of the breath I was holding inside. I look down at my tiny preemie son in my arms. He is sleeping as the feeding tube give him nutrients into is belly through his nose. It is the only tube running into his tiny body.

Concentrate on him. Focus on the baby.

I consider myself lucky for that. No breathing apparatus, no IVs. Just a small baby trying to grow up in a world he wasn't really ready for. For now he is well, resting in his neurotic mother's arms. I no longer know the meaning of the word "relax". I grasp onto every moment as if it's the last. So desperate to take it all in until I cannot take in anymore. Yet, I am lucky. For a brief time I have let myself hold onto the idea of bringing home my baby. Unlike his big brother who left a gaping hole in my heart when he died shortly after he entered the world. So hard to breathe when you say goodbye so soon after you say hello. Now I hold a miracle in my arms, a rainbow after the storm.

I concentrate. I focus.

I focus on the small things. The good days. The coos & diaper changes. The moments where I become his mother before handing him back to a nurse. He is mine for a short while. It all feels normal in those brief moments. Except for the beeps. So many beeps.

I concentrate. On the future. I focus. On making it happen.

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