For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you.
When I was pregnant we toured the NICU, we wanted to have as much knowledge as we could to prepare for her stay; but the truth is – there was no amount of planning or knowledge that could have prepared us for this. Seeing our babies little body hooked up to IV lines, Oxygen tubes and monitors; watching nurses come and go to check her weight, vitals and heart; it’s the most helpless emotion a mother could ever imagine.
As my recovery from my C-Section began, I found myself rushing the process to have as many visits with McKenzie as possible; they said I needed to walk – so I walked. They said I needed to go off IV’s – so I went off IV’s. I found strength I never knew I had and if it wasn’t for Nikki standing by my side and supporting my every move, I don’t know how I would have or could have ever gone through these last few days.
As new moms, we assumed there would be an adjustment period; regardless of how badly we waited for this, we would both still need to adjust ourselves to becoming moms. When we imagined getting to know our baby, we didn’t exactly picture an infant tangled up in tubes, wires and machines that constantly beeped. Overwhelming love, fear, anger, detachment, and helplessness are just some of the emotions that flooded my heart; I thought I would get through this without a problem, I figured it would only be a few days; but those few days turned into almost two weeks and eventually Nikki had to return to work leaving McKenzie and I in Orlando. I sat by her crib almost all day for three days straight, I wasn’t learning how to care for a newborn like most moms a week after giving birth – I was watching as nurses and doctors entered and left the room throughout the day and night, I watched as she cried, unable to do anything but wait for a nurse to come. I learned so much from the nurses, but so badly wanted to care for my baby on my own.
The truth is, there are millions of families that go through this (and much worse) – this was our first and McKenzie began teaching us the lessons of parenthood immediately. We learned a lot those two weeks, mostly we learned to deal with life first and ourselves second. We learned that it doesn’t matter how badly we are hurting or how numb we’ve become, all that mattered at that moment was McKenzie- WE learned the act of selflessness and that will help when we return in a few months for her heart surgery.