I remember back to my mental health rotation in which we had to attend–in our scant off hours–a support group. While I have no idea what group we sat in on (nor would I tell you if I did), I remember that they had a motto: “Feelings aren’t facts.” It’s something that’s stuck with me and until my daughter was born, I’m not certain I could tell you if that were true or not.

I’m a fairly rational person, despite how it may appear on my one-dimensional blog here, and I used to think that after I finally came to terms with how I was feeling (having a mentally ill parent has given me a unique gift in which I am able to distance myself from my feelings and examine them to check for rationality), I was probably feeling something real. Only time this wasn’t true was when I was pregnant. Then I was certifiable, although less so with each pregnancy.

I had several nagging suspicions that proved to be wrong while I was pregnant, but if you’d asked me and I’d answered you honestly, I would have sworn up and down that I was Onto Something. In no particular order, I was convinced that I was going to go into labor early, not have to be induced, and have a c-section. All obviously not true. Once in labor, I was convinced that Amelia would not come out breathing on her own. She came out bellowing like her mother does.

These feelings obviously weren’t facts.

And yet I sit here, my 3 week old daughter sleeping blissfully on my knees (she refuses to sleep without being held which makes for some interesting sleeping arrangements) and I’m convinced that she is going to die. I’m convinced that she is only here on loan to me and will return to her maker on Thursday next. I know it’s not rational, the surgery carries only a 2-3% chance of problems–all bad, of course–and she’s the model of health. It’s not likely that there will be any long-term complications.

And yet. And yet.

I cannot break this feeling of doom and foreboding. I cannot imagine a life past next Thursday one way or another. I cannot believe that I am lucky enough to have this baby AND KEEP HER.

It’s an awful feeling. I have no idea how to combat it or change my mind or approach this with anything resembling a positive attitude. I can’t seem to stop crying or panicking and I’m pretty sure I’m going to drive my family members bonkers (if not myself) by the time Thursday rolls around. Any suggestions are appreciated (save for those telling me I’m an idiot. Because A) tell me something I don’t know and B) now is not the time to beat on me) for how the hell to get on with this. I have 8 more days of this agony before The Big One.

Today she is three weeks old and I wish I were celebrating instead of weeping.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

73 Responses to Feelings And Facts

  • Miss Grace says:

    Sending you hugs and love my darling.

  • Maria says:

    I want so badly for this to be nothing but an unpleasant memory as you go on through the rest of your life with your beautiful girl. I’m not a pray-y type but I am praying for you. Love.

  • Anjali says:

    You are feeling real, passionate love. All of it is rational and reasonable.

    After my miscarriages, when we finally had a healthy pregnancy, I spent the first 6 months of Siri’s life convinced she was going die of something. I felt this with my earlier two children as well — but not NEARLY to the same extent. I really, truly, thought it would happen.

    I’m holding you tight, Becky. Really, really tight.

  • stacey k says:

    yes correct—feeling are not facts…
    my suggestions focus on the facts….
    “the surgery carries only a 2-3% chance of problems” that’s a VERY small percentage.
    that means there is 97-98% change of NO PROBLEMS.
    in looking at your blogs and researching the medical sites….amelia has the BEST possible scenerio. Just fluid–no brain matter.
    “she’s the model of health. It’s not likely that there will be any long-term complications”
    she’s eating good….functioning as a normal newborn would
    these are all facts…..

    one day at a time….you will get through this…

  • heather says:

    I don’t know, Becky. I do know, that I would be feeling the same way and it sucks that this joy of having her is tempered with the fear of losing her. I hope with all hope that next Thursday gets here soon (because this waiting can’t help…), and that she’s beautifully, completely, and perfectly yours with no more nagging fears and worries. Thinking of you as always. Be strong (but if you can’t, let us do it for you, okay?).

  • heather... says:

    I’m right there with you. With Mads back in the hospital I could hardly sleep because the same thoughts consumed me.

  • It’s totally normal for you to feel that the worst possible thing can happen…that’s how your mind prepares yourself in case the worse thing does happen. I’ve never been in any situation like yours, but I know how painful it can be when you are waiting to find out whether or not something will go wrong, and the outcome can either be totally fine, or can potentially be so bad that you can’t even imagine what you will come after. :/

    I don’t really know what to say that can comfort you, but you are definitely in my thoughts. My wish for you is that a few weeks from now you will be reading this post again and crying with happiness because everything turned out all right.

    Also remember you just had a baby, so you might have postpartum depression making everything just that much worse.

    ((((((Becky)))))))

  • baseballmom says:

    God, girl…I remember that feeling from when T had to have hernia surgery at 7 weeks. I felt like each time I was holding him I’d better enjoy it, because it might be the last time. Now, of course, I look back and go, “WTF?” because it’s over, and I can’t wait for the day when you can do that too! Right there with ya, babe.

  • Paula says:

    Oh, Becky, you are so not an idiot. Far from it. How could you not worry about your baby? Try to be gentle with yourself. Remember your hormones are nuts, you are probably sleep-deprived and you have two other kids. There are lots of folks out here pulling for you and Amelia. Also, is there anything we can do? Can we take up a collection for housecleaning or meal prep or a laundry service?

  • lola says:

    If my feelings were facts, it would be one fucked up world! Waiting sucks the worst, I know. I don’t have any advice beyond my usual drugs and alcohol prescriptions, but I have to say that I like those odds, and I believe deep down that Amelia will be fine.

  • AKLadyJ says:

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I’ve been reading avidly since you experienced the same serial miscarriages I did and anxiously awaited news of Amelia’s birth. My son’s birth was also traumatic in that he was 2.5 months early and had surgery at 4 days old weighing three pounds, with NO indications through the pregnancy anything was wrong. I have experienced the world turning on its head and I know how hard it is.

    That said, my only suggestion is to try and focus on the After, no matter how much you believe there won’t be one. Amelia IS going to need you in the NICU/PICU, and it will be grueling as any hospital stay with little ones is, and if you’re in pieces it’s going to be that much harder to be there for her. The statistics (which, as others have pointed out, are heavily favorable), will not change no matter how much you worry.

    I know, it’s all just words and you will feel what you feel, but you do have some control over how you cope with what you feel so dig deep for that strength that comes across so clearly in your posts. Sending so many positive thoughts your way.

  • Sadly, I have no thoughts to share, though I wish I did. You can only do what you are inclined to do as a mother. But I do believe that next Thursday, when this is all said and done, the cause for celebration will be grand.

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Your fear is NOT a foreshadowing of the truth. Every mother would be scared out of her mind in your situation. Please try to remember that. It feels so useless to try and say anything that will help you in this situation but of course we all want to. We all want to SO badly.
    Oh honey. On honey. Focus on how healthy your daughter IS.
    Get through this next eight days. I wish I had words to help. I don’t.

  • tash says:

    Feelings aren’t facts, but they are, in your case, validated and right and serious and humbling, and they should not be tossed aside blindly in exchange for “rationality.” (And I’m a science based person.) Those feelings express your deepest anxieties, your ability to tell the universe to go hose itself, and are an attempt at surrender. Which in the end is all anyone can do.

    I try and remind myself these days that nightmares and bad daydreams and ominous thoughts are simply that: thoughts. Contained in my head. They don’t predict or warn — I’m not that talented. And then I try and think about something else.

    Like vodka. I’m thinking of you so, so much. Let me know if you need a phone number for next week.

  • birdpress says:

    I know nothing about post-partum depression, but isn’t a “feeling of impending doom” usually indicated in any kind of depression? So maybe your feelings aren’t exactly accurate because they are skewed by hormones.

    I know there is nothing that anyone can say that will truly make you feel better until this is all over with, so hopefully you can just hang on, just keep breathing, and time will tell. ((hugs))

  • Tricia L. says:

    Long-time lurker, first-time poster. You and your precious child are in my prayers.

    Sometimes when I’m feeling the weight of the world, it helps me to breathe. Not the short, quick breaths. The long, in-through-your-nose-and-out-through-your-mouth breaths. Close your eyes, take a huge breath, and let it out slowly. (easy for me to say, I know). ;)

    **HUGS**

  • Kristine says:

    I wish there were words that would help you through this. I have no clue what those words would be…but I am praying for you.

  • Marie says:

    I wish I could give you a big hug. I just know your sweet baby girl is going to be ok. I hope you get some peace this week and rest as I am sure you guys need it.

    Big hugs!!!!!!

  • Chris says:

    I have never been in your position, therefore I wouldn’t dare be so presumptuous (SP???) as to offer you advice. All I know is that I can’t wait to check out your blog a year from now when Amelia is a chubby, happy, healthy, getting-into-everything 13-month-old and you’re back to writing about such average mommy topics as how your 3 kids are in the midst of a stomach virus and you spent last night running from room to room changing clothes and sheets and mopping up puke and the horror of these first few weeks are a distant memory.

    As for waiting for Thursday…..take loads of pictures, inhale her sweet baby smells, touch her impossibly soft hair, curl her itty-bitty fingers around yours, breastfeed her in silence so you can listen to the way she eagerly gulps the milk, laugh over her wrinkly, dimply little bottom. In other words, do what any other mother does…fall in love with her.

    Is there a chance you can afford to hire someone for the next 3 weeks to help you? The best advice I can offer is to temporarily FORGET about the laundry, the dishes, the dirty bathrooms, the unmade beds, and the meals. Ask around among friends and family. Maybe they can recommend someone who can come even for 3 hours a day to “mother” all of you. Seems well worth the money to me.

  • Cari says:

    In tears for you here. I can actually FEEL your panic and desperate sadness oozing through my computer screen. We are still praying hard for Amelia here. Know that you do DESERVE this baby, and she is blessed to have a mommy who cares and worries for her as deeply as you do. I’m looking forward to a day in the (hopefully near) future where the biggest mommy concern you’ll be blogging about is how to get spit up out of your favorite dry-clean-only top. Good luck!

  • Princess Jo says:

    Oh. Sweetie. I wish I could be of more help.

    I am certain that it will be all ok: it’s just the moment that is the hardest…

    Jo

  • Life in Eden says:

    New lurker, new commenter.

    The unknown is frightening. When my preemie twins were in the NICU, I was numb. If I’d allowed myself to think much, I would have been much as you are now. The occasions that I did think, I was terrified. After 4 years of infertility, I didn’t think I was really going to get to keep them.

    You may not be able to believe it — but for the next 8 days I will. I will believe that all will go smoothly and your little girl will soon be perfect.

  • rebekah says:

    All such good advice. And your head is your head. You can’t make it believe until it’s over. I really REALLy understand how very familiar and compelling this feeling of stymied is. Which is to say…it’s the shit.

    Lots of people love you and are rooting for you and Amelia and the rest of the Vodka family. And until it’s over, well, suck in the good moments as much as you can. I’ll be thinking about you all with all the woo-woo, universe-hugging peace-vibey-crap possible.

  • Yup, I am also full of thoughts that I am going to lose my kid. He was born early & was in NICU for 3 weeks, but was totally fine. I never had to worry about him going through surgery. It is too much for a mother to have to think about & I am sending you as many positive vibes as I can muster.

  • Holli says:

    You are in an impossible situation. The only thing you can do is worry. Until after the surgery, when Amelia comes out just fine. Big hugs.

  • Kendra says:

    I wish so much that there was something I could actually do. But I am here in spirit, pulling for you and your sweet darling. If I were you, I know I would spend the next week or so fretting and chewing my fingernails down to little stubs. But I would also write, write, write. That’s always been my only way of sorting out my feelings and getting a handle on what they are. If I can see them in front of me, they have form and substance rather than being fleeting and all too often terrifying.

    Do what you can to get through these next days. And if you choose to write about your feelings, I’ll be reading.

  • Danielle says:

    You’re NOT an idiot and it is true feelings are NOT facts, but that doesn’t mean all those thoughts are still bouncing around in your head. Hold her and cry, hold The Daver and cry, do what you need to do to make it until next Thursday. As much as I hate to cry, it does make me feel better. I’m sure that advice sucks, but it’s all I’ve got. I am praying for you and your beautiful daughter. I’m sending you so many hugs and postive calming vibes.
    HUGS!

  • jerseygirl89 says:

    I wish there was something I could do besides offer lame advice and cyberhugs and positive thoughts.

    I’m a big fan of denial – alcohol, chocolate, shopping, french fries, reorganizing every closet in the house, for example – so you could try that.

  • Emily R says:

    being a parent is terrifying

  • mandy says:

    I am sorry, I know you are scared out of your mind! I would be too. I can only say, we all love you and are holding you tight in prayer.

  • michelle says:

    I feel for you, and I can’t even begin to imagine… I am in tears just reading and writing here. Love her every minute. Try yoga or some shit like that. Take picture, try serious sedatives (you, not her) and this time next year when she is getting into EVERYTHING and making you insane for some typical 1 year old insanity, go back and reread all these posts.

    You are not an idiot, Becky. You are a hormonal post partum mom going through hell. That’s a fact, baby, roll with it.

  • SciFi Dad says:

    I have nothing to offer but support and an unwavering belief that everything will turn out OK.

  • Jenn says:

    I wish I could say all the right things but I’m not very good at that kind of thing. Though I will say that I feel certain that you will have a happy ending. There will be lots and lots of life after next Thursday and Amelia will have lots and lots of chances to drive you properly crazy.
    Keep on hugging her. You guys are constantly in my thoughts. xoxo

  • Rachel says:

    I felt the same way when my 2-day old baby was taken into emergency surgery. They couldn’t even give me odds, because they wouldn’t know what was going on until they opened him up.
    He’s going to be 10 months old next week. He is a survivor, and your little Amelia is too. And so am I , and so are you.
    These helpless looking little babies have wills of solid iron to get them through these things. Afterward, they use those iron wills to make us nuts. Look forward to that, it WILL happen.

  • Katy says:

    I’m a first-time reader who found you from Heeere, Storkey Storkey! What you are feeling is totally normal. My daughter had five surgeries before she turned one, but the first was far and away the scariest of the bunch. It was an emergency situation, she had only been out of the NICU for around three weeks. A NP from our pediatrician’s office called to tell me that she and my husband were at the hospital and that she was coming to drive me over. I really thought she was going to die. (she didn’t.) Even after she came home I worried.

    My husband and I often had conversations that year about wanting to slap people who told us how great she looked (how can an emaciated baby look good?!) or that we just shouldn’t worry because she would be fine. I think we were so angry because it felt like people were denying our feelings, or looking to us to reassure THEM that everything would be okay.

    It’s normal to worry / fear the worst, and I will also say (and risk the flames) that it’s normal to not instantly bond. It took us a good six months to really have that bond that everyone talks about. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my daughter, because I absolutely did. Life was so very tenuous then that I was subconsiously protecting myself. It is very difficult to fully and truly give yourself over to someone when you know they might very well be ripped away from you…. I’m not suggesting that you don’t have a bond with your daughter. I bring up my experience because this is a subject that no one likes to talk about that I think is very common for women with critically ill newborns.

    I will second (third?) a PP who suggested getting some household help if you can swing it. I don’t think I cooked a real meal for an entire year after my daughter was born. I know I didn’t do much cleaning, lol. We were in survival mode. Give yourself permission to let things go.

    Be kind to yourself. I will be thinking of you and sending positive vibes your way for the surgery.

  • giggleblue says:

    i find myself getting prematurely upset about things quite frequently, thinking about the worst that could happen – a focus on a 2% or 3% rather than the more favorable 98% or 97%. it’s helped me often times to take a step back – enjoy the current moment and delay worrying until you have to worry.

    granted, easier said that done and i’m half ass successful at it most time, but please do cherish the RIGHT NOW. regardless of what happens, you want to be able to look back and say, “i enjoyed those moments”. you can’t get 3 week Amelia back – she’s just going to grow and get bigger from here and before you know it, you are going to be arguing about makeup or something similarly crazy and teen hormone induced.

    so enjoy what you can, carpe diem and all that good stuff – you are in my thoughts.

  • Eva says:

    The worst feeling. Very unfair.

  • Melanie says:

    as someone who has dealt with anxiety and been diagnosed at one point with Generalized anxiety disorder, I would suggest talking to someone, a trusted doctor, your ob/gyn…..these feelings of doom, no matter if they are rational or not, can be just all consuming. This is no way to exist… and that really is all you are doing, perhaps even a small dose of meds, temporarily might help you get through this time (I could be talking out of my ass, I dont know what they do when the thoughts are more rational, mine were typically not)

    it sucks that you have to go through this, it really does, when allie was in the throws of silent reflux someone directed to me to a website all about reflux, there i promptly read about a baby who stopped breathing because of silent reflux…… I got chills, I nearly threw up, I didnt sleep for NIGHTS, truth was that child was rare (and docs saved him), yes I did have to take a big ol suction thing with me everywhere I went “just in case” but that was a rare deal…yet it almost paralyzed with with fear. I gave myself the talking to that sometimes works against my anxiety and it worked, that time, but I know all too well that when it doesnt, i will go seek help.

  • Jen Anderson says:

    Allison of Day Late and a Dollar Short (http://creditcardhell.blogspot.com/) had a similar experience–her son had an operation to remove a brain tumor. I suspect that she could offer some comfort. The details of everything are in her archives for August 2007.

    All I can suggest is that you give a read and e-mail her if you feel comfortable doing so.

    Also? I completely understand about feeling like she’s on loan. My husband and I are planning on starting a family soon. Since I had a brother who died of crib death at less than 2 months old, I suspect that I won’t really believe that the kid is here to stay until they make it to 2 months.

    You’re in my thoughts.

  • Meg says:

    You are not an idiot and the panic and fear are normal.
    I’ll be thinking of you and your girl and I hope you find some moments of peace and calm over the next few days. Just keep breathing.

  • Jenn says:

    You’ve gotten good advice here. I suspect hormones and intense fear of the unknown are culprits here. If it were me, I’d take that little girl to bed for the next 8 days, nurse and snuggle and sleep.

    Much love. And I can bring you a xanax if you want.

  • Red says:

    Oh, don’t you just wish for a remote control with a ‘fast forward’ button for life… although if you did that you would miss out on all the wonderful things that you will experience in the next 8 days.

    Cuddle that little darling nice and tight and try to block out all thoughts with the lovely smell of new baby.

  • kalakly says:

    They’re your feelings and they are REAL. That’s all that matters. And boy, I’m sure befriending all us db moms has done wonders for your ability to imagine shitty worse case scenarios….sighs.

    I wish it was 9 days from now and you were holding her and exhaling. Until then, I’ll be right here, next to you, feeling like everything absolutely will be ok.

    xxoo

  • ewe_are_here says:

    The unknown can be frightening, and it leaves us with our feelings as our primary focus. Unfortunately in situations like this, it means overwhelming fear and tears. We might ‘know’ the odds, but it doesn’t do anything to how we feel about it.

    All I can say is hang in there and don’t beat yourself up about being so sad and scared about what your wee one is facing. You’re entitled to be scared… and hopefully, in ten days you’ll be holding your healthy, cured daughter and making plans to go home together.

  • SCY says:

    It is 150% understandable that you’re scared Becks, I mean it’s your daughter going in for a thing on her brain. It’s bloody scary! But I’m sure that she is in the best hands.

    Thinking of you.

    xxx

  • kim says:

    I’m jealous. A sleeping baby in my lap, it’s been a LONG time. :)

    Not sure how to make the feelings go away, I’m the same way as you are with my son, worry, worry, and then worry some more. If nothing is wrong, I have to imagine something to worry about, it’s just my thing.

    Home cooked food really could help a bit, TALK to The Daver or someone else who you trust and that can give you a hug, just don’t hold it all in. She came out of you screaming like her MOM, she’ll come out of the recovery doing just the same, Becky, screaming just like her Mom, you two are tough cookies.

    I am thinking of and praying for all of you.

    ((hugs))

  • Tracy says:

    I’ve had several experiences where I awaited an outcome, and felt that the mere act of hoping for the best would guarantee that my worst fears would come to pass. Looking back on those things, I don’t think that my disposition had any bearing on the outcome, but somehow I needed that process. I cannot imagine being put in that situation right after giving birth. I wish I knew how to help you give yourself permission to believe that the best is bound to happen.

    You are appreciating and loving her daily, and those are among the best things that most of us can hope for on any day. Try to be kind to yourself in these days before the surgery, if only to help yourself appreciate and love her more.

  • kbrients says:

    Of course you are feeling this way. I cannot say I would be feeling any different.

    You are always on my mind latley… and I am not only praying for her, but for you too…

  • honeywine says:

    Breathe. I would be nothing but a breathing robot going through the motions, and I can’t believe most people would be anything more.

  • Badass Geek says:

    I want to call you and tell you dirty jokes until you smile.

    Chin up, beautiful.

  • Sara says:

    I have been there. I really have. You will get through it, and your beautiful daughter is in great hands, and you’re all going to to be fine.

    That being said…

    I know that there is nothing anyone can say to make you not freak out right now. It’s a mom thing.

    <3

  • CLC says:

    Those sound like normal feelings for a Mom in love! Thinking of you and hoping that you will look back Friday next and ask yourself what you were worried about!

  • Just as irritating and just as true as “feelings are not facts”: change the things you can, accept the things you can’t change, and know the difference. You can’t change what is going to happen on Thursday, you can change whether you dwell on it. Stay in the moment with your precious girl! Treat every moment like it’s your last with her – - and do it for the next 50 years!

    Or not. I don’t envy you. Hang in there!

  • swirl girl says:

    This is when you have to , have to , HAVE TO allow your rational mind to take over the emotion. Amelia needs you to be strong.
    {{hugs}}

  • Betts says:

    Mothering comes with a license for doom and foreboding. I look at my daughter and feel the love, and I start worrying about her being kidnapped or contracting a virus that kills within hours. It’s not like I live in fear all the time, but those things sneak in. I imagine it would be worse if she was facing surgery like your daughter, no matter how statisically small the risk. I hope it makes you feel a little better to know that you’re normal… at least in my world.

  • Sue says:

    I’ve been told my own feelings of foreboding are a way of asserting some sort of control over a situation in which I have no control. Do with that what you will. It never stopped me from feeling the way I did though. When you love someone so much…

    You know about statistics and you know about loss. There is nothing I can say to reassure you, except that I am choosing to believe that Amelia (with that gorgeous name) will survive and thrive. And so will you.

    And I will sit here and hold your hand and cry with you if you want some company. I’ve been told I give good hugs. I have a big box of tissues, too.

  • Betty M says:

    Thinking of you. I am another with dreadful forebodings. i doubt anything will stop them. Hoping with you that it all turns out fine in the end.

  • S says:

    Just found your blog recently and have been checking constantly, hoping for good news. Hopefully the prayers of strangers like me can bring you some comfort. I would tell you to be strong for your daughter, but obviously you have been strong to even get to this point. Please be as kind to yourself as you can be – your body is still going through all its post-partum changes and on top of the stress, that is a lot for anyone to handle. Sending good vibes…..

  • Madame Yu See says:

    Someone used to tell me that ‘worrying is a useless emotion.’ Nonetheless, it’s almost impossible to not worry. Throw in sleep deprivation and a few pregnancy hormores, and here you are. I hope things go well next week.

  • Leslie says:

    I had the same (irrational?) thoughts when my daughter was admitted to the NICU the day after she was born. She was healthy– just had some trouble regulating her temperature and they wanted to be extra cautious and test her for various possible causes. I was convinced that she was too good to be true. Eight months later, she’s alive and well as I know your daughter will be too.

    You’re in my thoughts.

  • Meghan says:

    Short of the fact that I’ve been there before and have no idea how to tell you that you have not lost your marbles. I wish I could give you a hug. I am crying as I type this to you and despite the fact I don’t know you from a hole in the wall and our daughter’s have vastly different medicals issues, nothing detracts from the fact that this is way beyond your control and I feel your pain, so acutely I can almost taste it. I wish I could say all will be well but you’ve heard it all these last 3 weeks over and over. Monotonously. Hold her close to you. I’m holding you all in my prayers and can’t wait until this is all a bad nightmare over.

  • Rach says:

    I’m praying for you, your family, and your precious little Amelia. I hope that God will bring you some comfort in the coming days and weeks. Hang in there :)

  • Cathy says:

    I’m here from Stacie’s blog (Here Storkey Storkey).

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this. My son has hydrocephalus, and that surgery was so utterly terrifying. (He’s had another since, which was less so, but still, terrifying.)

    I was reading back through your posts and I feel you on the getting passed off to another doctor and being told it’s not “real” brain surgery. We went through a lot of that. It’s “just a shunt”. Yeah.

    I hope that the surgery is uneventful and everything goes smoothly. I hope the time passes quickly for you, so you can get past it and to the life beyond next Thursday.

  • Coco says:

    Ah. Babe.

    That feeling is, I think, kind of “normal” (for lack of any kind of decent term) to parents who have experienced pregnancy loss and other related trauma.

    My situation is not comparable to yours, but as a first mom who also experienced miscarriage and a threatened miscarriage with Bean, I was also convinced the Universe would punish me after he was finally born. Minor things sent me into shocky panic; circumcision, ear tube surgery, even when he was well I worried incessantly – “Is he still breathing? Will he die in the night without my even knowing?”

    My point is not to try and say your concerns aren’t real at ALL. It is to say that they are your feelings, and you can’t help them; you love this child so much, and so much has happened, and you feel sure that somehow, something BAD is going to happen. Because there’s no way you could get “that lucky” and not be in the 2%.

    I’m here. I hear you.

    I think you will be exactly that lucky, and that wee Amelia is a fighter and a survivor. But I still know that feeling, and I hold your hand through the Internet.

  • stacie says:

    I have so much to say, but I’m having trouble finding the right words. I know the feelings you describe far too well. I so wish I could reach through the computer to give you a hug. I continue to send you strength for the upcoming week. Please be kind to yourself and try to take it one day at a time. You’ll be in my thoughts…

  • I can’t even imagine going through this, and I wish I knew what to say/do that could make you feel even a little bit better or more confident. Thinking of you and Amelia often.

  • amy says:

    Just want you to know that you and your family have a small army from South Louisiana praying for you. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t worry. I hope the days ahead are somehow peaceful for you.
    Happy 3 wk birthday baby Amelia:)

  • andria says:

    I wish there were something I could do to help you feel better.

    I can just share with you that I felt something similar with my first born. I had a difficult pregnancy, one I didn’t think would make it, he was born eight weeks early, and spent some time in the NICU, too long to me, but only 3 weeks. After we got him home I would not put him down. I could not put him down. I was convinced that the minute I turned my back on him he would die. I kept myself awake for three solid days, no sleep whatsoever because if I slept, then he’d die because I wasn’t watching. To get anywhere, we had to pass a funeral home and I always imagined us all going in there to view my dead baby. Yes, it was morose. But a few months later I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, due apparently to the early birth, hormones etc., was medicated and therapied and got better.

    I can just pray and hope that your girl is fine and you’ll be fine soon.

  • Hi Becky –
    I think your daughter’s situation is very similar to my son’s. Both with very scary diagnoses, but with the best possible scenario given the diagnoses. Our doctors kept saying, “If you HAVE to have pediatric open heart surgery, THIS is the kind you want to have.” In my son’s situation, the mortality rate was 5 to 7 percent.

    But it didn’t matter that his condition was a straightforward case of the disease (tetralogy of fallot) with no complications. And not until he was out of the picu did I even consider that the other side of that mortality rate, was a 93 to 95 percent survival rate.

    Having gone through what you’re dealing with just last month, I totally understand the fear – the panic – that you’re experiencing. I felt the same thing. I took my son’s diagnosis (we found out the day after he was born) as a death sentence and even after I had time to sit with it and educate myself, I still had this feeling of dread. I wrote very similar posts to yours about how I thought that I was only going to be a mother to Owen for a few months. I even thought, when we first got the diagnosis, “Don’t get attached!” Of course, that wasn’t an option, but I still felt exactly the way you do – that Owen was mine for a short time and that he wasn’t going to survive the surgery.

    You asked for suggestions on how to deal. The best I can do is suggest not being alone too much (but only surrounding yourself with people you can tell to shut the eff up when they say something stupid or annoy you). It took a mini panic attack one evening for me to text my sister and tell her to get to my house early the next morning because I couldn’t be left alone with my morbid thoughts any longer. It actually helped to just put it out there, “Hi. I think my kid’s gonna die.” I’m not sure the people around me appreciated it, but it helped a hell of a lot to dump some of it on them. In fact, now that I think about it, I got a fair bit of comfort from ruining loved ones’ days.

    The other thing, you’ve got under control: pharmaceuticals.

    You’re almost there, hon. Almost there.

  • Fancy says:

    I still truly believe sometimes that when I go to wake my son, he won’t be breathing. I’ve held that fear for 14 years, and it has lessened to some degree, but has never really gone away. I’m not the one to tell you that you are being irrational, and I will hope and pray that Thursday comes and goes with nary a thing happening that would even make you raise an eyebrow.

  • Amanda says:

    OMG, I so know this feeling. I’m sorry. It sucks. Bad. It’s one of the main reasons I finally had to talk to my doctor and get meds for PPD. I was already so terrified that Brooklyn would die, and then when her breathing problems started….OMG. I just knew I was going to lose her. Terrifying. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Stefanie says:

    oh Beck, you break my heart. I agree with some other that remember you are feeling a bit post partumy and that exacerbates your fears but obviously, having your new baby need surgery isn’t ideal. You and Amelia will be just fine. And so soon it will be all done and you can continue on like it never happened. And she won’t remember a thing. Sadly, you will. Bring chocolate and magazines. Lots of magazines.

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