Thursday, March 8, 2012

Washing Away the Funk

If you are wondering if I've been in a funk lately, your assumptions would be true. Monday's issue with Elise de-satting and no nurses around and Tuesday's step backwards from the CPAP to the vent left me feeling quite blue all day Wednesday. Even though my blog posts have been pretty positive in the past, I have certainly been blue at different times throughout this whole process. However, I can often shake my funk by at least the end of the day, if not within a couple of hours. This last funk lasted 3 long days.

To be brutally honest, I scared myself with this last funk. When I woke up this morning (Thursday), I was not excited about going to the NICU. I just wanted to pull the covers over my head and sleep the day away. Usually I can't wait to get up to see Elise, but today was different. I started to make the weather my excuse as to why I needed to stay home (very rainy and gray today). I started to worry I might get in a car accident on the way up there or I might get bad news delivered while I was driving (what happened on Tuesday). Negative thoughts were filling my mind the second I woke up. I guess my funk wasn't washed away with some sleep. 

Something finally got me out of bed and into the shower. My steps were heavy and my heart seemed low in my chest. I still didn't want to get ready, but I finally did. On the way up to Indianapolis I drove through horrible rain storms (the kind of storms that make you want to pull off the interstate, but you know that wouldn't be your safest move). However, I finally made it to the NICU in one piece, emotionally and physically. 

Have you ever hated how you feel inside, you try to shake it, but you just can't? Anything you try to do seems to land you only deeper into your funk? That was me from Monday until today. All day yesterday I tried to shake my negative feelings. Don't get me wrong, I'm not Positive Patty all the time, but feeling negative is a hell of a lot harder for me than feeling positive. I love having good ol' cries if it makes me feel better, but to cry and cry all day long? That hurts. Again, all of this scared me, and I started to believe something more was wrong...or getting ready to go wrong.  

Many of you might be thinking about PPD (Postpartum Depression). I would be lying if I said it had not crossed my mind this week. Grant and I have had discussions about it, especially since February 8th came as such a whirlwind to both of us. Mommies of healthy 8 lb. babies that go home right away sometimes get PPD, so it would not be uncommon for me to have it at some point after all the trauma my mind and body has been through. I told Grant from the beginning, "Don't ever hesitate to get me help." Fortunately for me, I think my awareness of my different moods and being able to bring myself out of my "funks" leaves me to believe I am not at the PPD stage.  When, and if I do, I will not be bashful to ask for help and neither will G. I want to be healthy for my husband, my daughter, and most importantly, myself.  

Once I got through the horrible rainstorms and to the NICU, I immediately pulled up a chair to Elise's isolette and started talking away. Gretchen, one of Elise's primary nurses, told me that Elise was being a little sassy and raising her heart rate at times. She told me to reach my hands inside the isolette and try to comfort her. Maybe this would lower her heart rate. Just 2 days ago I was desperate to feel needed by Elise. As I reached my hands into the isolette, I kept one eye on Elise and one eye on the monitor. Sure enough, her heart rate went from the high 180s (too high for her) down to 145-150 (perfect for her). This was EXACTLY what she needed AND exactly what I needed. Funk ---> GONE. 

I felt very needed today. I got to lower her heart rate 3 times when she was getting agitated! Yes, I changed the diaper and took the temperature, but reaching in and getting to soothe my daughter... soothed me in turn. 

And guess what? Time does fly...even in the NICU! Miss Elise Diane is ONE MONTH old today! Here's to a much smoother time in the NICU than the first month. We love her teeny weeny 1 lb. 14 oz body to a gazillion pieces! 

Thank you Nurse Karrie for making me feel special tonight! I really do love you even though my face doesn't show it! IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO! :)
G & J & E


  1. Jess.... I cannot say this enough.... You are both amazing parents , and with each struggle ( or stride) you will continue to grow... I cant say that i know exactly what you are going through because i am not a preemie mom, but my hope is that with any post i make, or anyone else's that you gain a little strength :) cause lord knows you need it.... Ive found myself hopping on facebook several times a day not for a facebook fix but to see if you guys have added anything :) i think about you guys several times a day ( at the least) and each time im doing something little for my kids that i may have taken for granted before.... I find now that im kinda hanging on to those little moments.... so thank you for helping me put my life back in perspective, :) I sooo long for the day you get to take your little lady home and start learning regular ole mom skills( they will be a piece of cake to you - you ARE A WARRIOR!!!!) our family is praying for you every day - if you need anything you can call me :) im fairly close to indy and would be willing to give you the shirt off my back if you needed it .... 317-656-0878... all my love!!!!!

  2. oh and by the way :) she looks beautiful in this picture :) <3 <3 <3 it!!!

  3. What is really crazy is that unless you have seen a 1-2 lb can hardly conceptualize how small she actually is. She is tiny and oh, so cute!

    From someone who has sat in the hosptial for 1/3 of my year....I can tell you that you will look back at this and wonder how the heck she was ever that small.

    That drove me nuts when people would say "I had a NICU baby" and I would ask how long they were there and they would say a week. I am sorry, it is SO not the same. The worries that come along with a micro preemie are very unique, and it is hard to feel helpless on top of it.

    I had terrible PPD. I am not sure how anyone escapes having a micro-preemie without some form of it.

  4. I used to serve the Riley NICU as a chaplain, and I can definitely testify to the fact that mamas are essential to their baby's care. I know they know your voice from the womb, and there's just something to your presence as well. A fellow chaplain told me that she even saw a baby's agitation pass when mama was patched through via Skype (because mama was still recovering at an outside hospital).

  5. It is so awesome that a mama's touch can make such a huge difference! You are needed! You are Elise's mama!