I’ll never forget the time that Kory spent in the NICU (Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit) He spent two whole weeks in the hospital after being born and it was hard.
When I was pregnant with Kory, I never considered that this would happen. That my baby would be born premature and I would have to watch him fight for 14 days before we could finally bring him home with us. After Kory was born, I spent the night at the hospital. My bump was gone, my stomach had deflated, I was on a ward filled with other mums who had their babies with them, all I could hear was babies cry and their mums nurture them yet I wasn’t even in the same room as my baby.
I’d never felt so alone.
After 2 nights in the hospital, I was discharged but Kory had to stay. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was having to leave Kory every night and go home to an empty moses basket. Smelling his clothes he’d worn that day that I’d brought home to wash, breathing in his scent and crying myself to sleep.
Every day I got up first thing in the morning and made my way to the hospital. I would spend every minute in the NICU just looking at Kory in his incubator until I had to come home later that night. I didn’t care what I looked like, I only had one goal in mind – get to Kory. It didn’t matter about my physical state, that I was in pain or waddled when I walked. I spent every waking minute watching my baby. It was so hard seeing my newborn baby so small with all these wires and tubes.
I spent that much time sat with Kory in the NICU that I became familiar with the doctors, nurses, the shift changeovers, the noises and lights (I can still remember what they sounded like now.) The nurses would tell me when Kory needed to be fed, when his bum needed changing and how he was through the night when I couldn’t be there. I felt like a spare part, I felt like I couldn’t be a proper mum to Kory and that they are probably doing a better job of taking care of him than I could.
Everything I did was timed around Kory, even eating. I didn’t want to eat anything because when I did eat it meant being away from my baby. I didn’t want to miss anything, a single feed or nappy change. When I was away from him I would just scroll through photos I’d taken of him on my phone. These are still hard to look at, even now that he’s 2 years old and perfectly healthy and at home with us.
It just brings it all back.
Feelings of anger, guilt, upset, anxiety and even jealousy consume you.
It was the worst experience of my life but I also have a lot to be thankful for. If it wasn’t for the staff on the NICU, who knows where my little boy would be now.