Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: In the bat cave with Irishmommy
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leelee, leelee, leeleee, I am so sorry I didn't see your post sooner!!!
But you got great advice, so I don't feel so guilty.
I am bit by bit working on a booklet for ap parents of special needs children. Your post just lit a fire under me to get cracking.
All I can say is that you WILL NOT REGRET--repeat--WILL NOT REGRET the ap approach with your son.
It will heal you BOTH, in ways you won't always see for months and years.
You must take refuge in the peace you have when holding your son. It is such solace when you are surrounded by an unsupportive environment. And there is precious little that is less ap than a hospital.
I often think that babies who spend such long periods of time after birth in ICU need to return to a womb like environment and re establish themselves with the world. I know that ds just wanted to escape it all into the sling. He wanted to hunker down and shut it all out. It was a long time before he did little more than sit in his perch in the sling and observe the outside world. He had good reason once he was out of ICU to proceed with great caution. He did not want to take life by the horns like a regular baby, and throw himself joyfully into overcoming challenges. He lived in the sling for almost a year, and it bonded him very well all the while letting him feel he was safe and able to just retreat until he was ready to try this whole life business again.
When he did finally emerge it was with a ferocity that you would NOT BELIEVE. He didn't talk, he talked non stop. He didn't explore, he dissected anything that interested him. If he hated it he threw it down, if he loved it he wouldn't let it go. He had this tremendous personality that just exploded onto the scene.
Now he is 7 and going on 30 *LOL*. He is very attached, and very advanced verbally and I think, pretty darn smart!
You are a great mom, and you are doing the best possible thing you can, which is to keep your baby securely attached during this period.
The biggest emotional risk of prolonged ICU with babies is the lack of normal bonding. Bonding problems can persist long after the physical reason for the hospitalization has been resolved. They are complicated, and so difficult to resolve, and yet so preventable with the right support for the family.
Do everything you can to feel connected and bonded with your baby, and you are on the surest path to healing you both emotionally. You will never look back and say 'I wish I had held him less'. You will be so deeply, truly proud of yourself for following your heart.
Please pm me ANYTIME.
Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray