The last few weeks I've been contacted by so many people. People wishing us luck, giving us prayers and blessings, or simply just sharing their stories to let us know that we aren't alone. It's been absolutely amazing to know that people care and are cheering on Blake to get better, grow and thrive.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that with all these heartwarming messages of support I've been told that I'm 'strong', and 'inspiring' which to be completely honest confuses me because I definitely do not feel like either of those things. I'm simply doing what any mother would do in my case. Obviously no one asks to be in this scary situation and trust me, I am more than flattered to have such amazing words said about me but I just don't understand how people see me as strong because I certainly do not feel that way.
When they confirmed that my water was ruptured, I cried. I didn't just cry, I sobbed hysterically. I thought that since my water broke I had to go ahead and deliver. I had no idea that they could keep me pregnant awhile longer. I was scared for my baby's life. I was a mess. That first day in the hospital I cried about 100 times. But I noticed the more I cried, the more my belly would contract. So as much as I wanted to just let it all out, I dried up my tears and tried to keep myself calm.
I purposely asked that Ashton not be taken to see me because I got so emotional about seeing him. I missed him and it tore me up to even speak about him let alone see him in person. I only saw him a few times because I knew my body couldn't handle the emotions. The last time he was brought in to see me, I couldn't hold it in anymore. I cried like crazy once again when he left. But I knew I couldn't let myself get out of hand so I again, tried to suck it up.
That first week in the hospital was miserable. All I wanted to do was cry and let my emotions out. That's how I cope. And I couldn't. I physically couldn't because I didn't want to start up my contractions again.
Even after Blake was born. I cried only when I saw him. It was so hard to see him behind the plastic where I couldnt touch him or comfort him. Connected to wires, tubes and machines. Not knowing whether or not he was strong enough to make it. It was all too surreal. Knowing that my body couldn't take care of him anymore and I had to trust and let these strangers do it for me killed me. You never have privacy in the hospital. So I still couldn't cry. Every now and then I would slip a few tears but as soon as I did, a nurse or family memeber would come in my room and I'd just have to say "I'm okay" when in reality, I just wanted to curl up in a ball and ball my eyes out until I ran out of tears.
This is why I feel confused when I am being called strong. I'm an emotional wreck. I may not show it and make it obvious, but behind closed doors is when I can finally break down and actually process the day. Process the reality of our situation. I never thought this could happen to us and our family. I was never taught how to cope with something like this but I don't think anyone is.
Handling life with a child in the NICU is challenging to say the least. Its constant guilt. Guilt that I only spend a few hours a day with Blake. Guilt that I don't spend more time with Ashton. Guilt when I'm happy or enjoying something. Guilt that I can't do more. I constantly feel guilty because my poor baby is sitting in the hospital by himself while I try to carry on with the rest of our day to day activities. I know that I can't put my life on hold because Blake isn't under our roof but its just hard to accept that I can't do more.
Each day gets a little easier. Each day is another milestone for Blake and one less day until he is home with his family. Now that its been a little more than 2 weeks I am finally getting into this new routine. It's still difficult but we manage. I know that there's not much I can do in this situation except to carry on through it and to keep praying for precious little baby. He truly is a miracle. He's definitely taught me more about life than I ever knew before.
If anyone in this whole ordeal is strong, its my little Blake. He has beat the odds thrown his way and proved the doctors wrong from the beginning. And if I am indeed strong, then its all because of him. He keeps me going. My family is the most important thing I have and even though Blake has only been here for a little more than 2 weeks, he has shown me what life is really about. He's shown me that the little things I used to obsess and stress over really aren't that big of a deal. He's shown me that there are thousands of things that I take for granted and need to be thankful for. He's shown me that life is precious. He's a fighter and I'm only strong because he's strong. He has the will to be here and progress. And if my little 1 pound 8 ounce baby can fight and push through this, then I know I can too.