My little Isabella was born March 8th and was 30 weeks gest on most of her but her abdomen area was 28 wk due to a lack of blood flow through the placenta. I live two hours away from the NICU that she is in. I was in the hospital for almost a month before they decided it was time to take her. This left my 14 yr old son home with his grandmother as his stepfather stayed mostly with me. When I was discharged, I felt like I was having to choose between my children and as I knew Isabella was in good hands, I decided to go home and get my home and family back in order. Due to financial probs from daddy staying at my side, I am only able to drive to see her every Wednesday and I go back up there from Fri-Sun staying with hubby's mom(she lives 30 min away). Should be good enough right?? I find myself crying almost every hour or so on the days that I am not with her, She is all I can think about and I find I can hardly function at home. My son is happy that I am here for him and all. I find myself getting snappy and resenting him for me not being able to be with her 24-7. My hubby suggested that I get some medication for depression but as I am breastfeeding, I am not sure that's what I want to do. Any advice or words of wisdom on this matter??
Torn between my NICU baby and my child at home.
Oh, hon, that's a really crappy position to be in. My best advice is to try to be gentle with yourself. Of course you're worried sick about your new baby, and of course you're having a hard time being away from her. There's a sort of a grieving process for having a premature baby-- even one who's going to be just fine-- it was never Plan A, you know? What's best for you, and what's best for both of your children, will probably keep changing with time; maybe just try to figure out the best way to spend each day, day by day? You don't have to have a plan for the weekend, or for the next week.... So much can change, so fast, that trying to make hard and fast plans might only stress you out. Fourteen is also old enough to understand what's happening so you can talk to your son about what's going on and why you're away from him sometimes. Part of becoming an older sibling always means renegotiating your relationship with your mom, even when it's a full term baby and no hospitalization. Kids are resilient beyond what we expect from them. Maybe you can ask you son for his ideas on how to deal with the situation? He might have ideas for how to feel connected with you even when you're away, or for how to help you out while you're away from the hospital, that sort of thing. Talking with him like that could help him feel more involved, and he might come up with good ideas you haven't thought of. It won't always be this hard. And congratulations on the birth of your daughter! I hope she's home and thriving in your arms, with your family all together, very soon.