Dear Henry, the story behind the picture
In a world where selfies are the cool thing, and looking as pretty as possible is the goal... I broke all of the rules.
I had a rough day, a week or so ago, and I let everyone see the outcome. It all started on a Saturday...
Here is the shortish version of the story. It was my first day back at work and it was the longest I had been away from Henry since he was born. So naturally I spent the day going through the motions and just willing it to end. After work Matt and I had a quick brunch at Nook, then we went home to shower and change, then straight to Henry. My parents were already there sitting with Henry, and he had a nurse we had never met before. She started his cares 30 minutes early so we missed the temperature, which wasn't a big deal. After introductions I let her know that Matt was planning to Kangaroo (hold/skin to skin) Henry and she said that wasn't a good idea. She said she wasn't comfortable moving Henry, and I asked her if there was someone here that was comfortable. Then she went on to say... there are some nurses who are comfortable moving him at his size, but since he is intubated and the chance of his extubating is high, during the transfer, at this point it was dangerous to move him. She mentioned one of Henry's nurses and I took it personally, there was no way that his nurse, someone who I trust 100% with his life, put Henry in danger. She was using word vomit because she was uncomfortable, and when she finally got another nurse, she agreed with the new nurse. She said the same things about how not everyone was going to be comfortable, so instead of letting 2 nurses, who have already said they weren't comfortable with my baby, move him, we chose to just wait until tomorrow. Thats when I broke down... People did try to comfort me, but it was all ready too far gone, I wanted to leave. So we left. I cried all the way home and I wasn't able to compose myself.
I didn't spend the day with Henry and I wouldn't be spending the night with him either. I wasn't able to hold my own child. I can't just pick him up and squeeze him. We were separated by a clear box and I couldn't get in. I'm helpless. Can you imagine that feeling?
I don't like to cry bedside, I try my hardest to keep positive and focus on his amazing progress. I want to be strong for Henry, for Matt and for me. So when the flood gates come down, there isn't anything I can do to bring my self together quickly.
Matt tried to comfort me, and while it worked on and off for the first hour, after that I just wanted to be somewhere else so I could wallow in this shitty day. Alone.
Sometimes this life is just too much, somedays you just have to let it all out, and composure is just not an option. At some point during days like this one, I lock myself in the bathroom and I just let go.
Behind this door I am free. Free to sob. Free to feel sorry for myself. I stand with my hands gripping the sink and I just stare at my reflection I see sadness and strength, I see a mother and a wife, fighting to stay strong. Then I wonder... what would you think if you saw me now? Would you still leave that "you're so strong comment"? Would you see past my streaked makeup? Would you judge me? Would you pity me? Then I wonder.... why not show you me at a weak point? Are we all so vain that we can only put our best and happiest face forward so we all think everyone else is perfect and so are we?
So through my blurry teared vision I thought I would share, with all of you, with my friends, family and strangers.
I grabbed my phone, and snapped 1 picture. It wasn't even my angle. With 3 words...
real life. #NICU