Two years out from having my little baby, I've come a long way. I have learned to watch her but not too carefully, I only rarely check on her breathing at night. I can have a conversations about pregnancy, listen to birth stories and simply smile (most of the time). And when I hear the medical helicopters go over our house (we live close to a hospital), I don't still have a racing heart.
That is a long way from the broken and upset mess of a person I felt some 19 months ago. For so long I didn't think the pieces would ever fit together again. I thought that the pain would just continue to eat away at me. I would never be hopeful again.
With time, though things got easier and better.
Unfortunately there are have been a few hang ups. One of the biggest being, what I feel has been more a secret. Though like most secrets I think more people realize it than I know. That I am more transparent and not such a mystery.
The secret is that of all the factors involved, the only one I have ever believed is that I was to blame for her premature birth. That I caused this and could have prevented it.
Logically, I know this is absolutely stupid. I would never let a friend believe this. No medical professional has ever told me this. For that matter no person has ever made it seem like this was a possibility.
All the same, even when I've been comforted, in my mind I have always felt that it was my fault. It was my body, my pregnancy and my mistakes that lead us to the road of the NICU. This is a belief that I have held onto and held onto. Whenever my daughter has had a challenge, whenever somebody talks of her as a miracle, a lit bit of me cringes because I feel the guilt of it all.
Everybody has their way of dealing with things. I know other mothers that are still very angry. Some of these mothers are angry at their doctors, some are angry at a specific procedure. I like to keep it simple and just blame myself.
Recently though, I have realized this is exhausting. I can't keep this secret going. Because you combine this guilt with my type A perfectionism and you get something all together crazy. My guilt doesn't leave me sitting around feeling sorry for myself, it makes me try even hardier to do everything for my daughter and everybody else. I realized that I can't just keep trying in hope that I will never have another horrible situation happen, and that no matter what I do now the past is still the past.
Pain has happened. Pain will happen again. Things will happen that I can't control, that I can't predict. Some of them may be my fault. Some of them may not. No matter how much I beat myself up, life is still going to happen.
Did I make some mistakes? Yes. Did I learn anything? Only about a million life changes things. Is it working for me to constantly feel guilty about this? No. Time to move in a different direction? You got it sister!
Dealing with quilt about that milk that is split,
you can get quite a complex quite sturdily built.
If you learned what you should and don't need any more,
there is help in these whispers that can greatly restore.