At The End Of My Rope

No matter how frustrated we get, God has not asked us to do the impossible.
~ George Grace

I may have reached my lowest point along our journey to date. I’m frustrated, I’m running out of patience, and I’m done with it all. Done with being told something different with every doctor and every RT who pokes their head in the room. Done with the nursing staff telling me how to handle or not handle my baby. Done with having no option but to sit back and let Nyana figure it out on her own, and being forced to play along with the hospital’s rules while we work on finding the finish line. I’m done with answering the question, “Will she be home soon?” and I’m done watching other babies born after Nyana go home weeks and months before her. I’m done explaining to people why my baby has tubes attached to her and what I did or didn’t do to cause her to come early. I’m done watching her fight to breathe, and I’m done putting on this fake smile and pretending I’m strong enough to enjoy this little adventure we’re on. I’m especially done listening to asinine comments from strangers who have no idea what we’re going through but who think that things like, “it’ll all be worth it in the end” and “stay strong, you’ve made it this far already” are comforting. And I’m done waiting to finally, fully, take on the role of Mum.

In one week we’ll hit the four month mark here in the NICU. Four months. When she was born way back in September, the general target that doctors told us to aim for was “her due date, plus or minus two weeks”. When she was intubated and we were given a clear picture of just how bad her lungs really were, my goal shifted to “extubated by Christmas; home by Valentine’s Day”. All the doctors and RTs smiled and nodded and gave us extra assurances that Valentine’s Day was far enough out that it was a reasonable target to aim for and that we’d certainly given ourselves enough “just in case” room that we wouldn’t disappoint ourselves. Valentine’s Day, after all, is a full two months past our due date of December 17th, and nearly five months after her birth. Surely we’d be home by then.

And now, here I am two weeks into January, face to face with the realization that we won’t hit that target. The date that I had been promised was absolutely, positively, no questions asked realistic to bring our babygirl home, will come and go and see us still here in the hospital. Sure, we’re comfortable here in our room with a view, but our apartment with cats and a stroller and a seawall just down the hill would be much more comfortable.

Believe me, I know that all of this will be worth it in the end. I know that she’s teaching us a wonderful lesson about patience and about valuing life and about being thankful for the simple things. I know Don and I are stronger than we ever imagined and that we’ll both be better for having endured this long road. I don’t care about any of that right now. I don’t care that we have an awesome story to tell in fifteen years, or that just by keeping this blog we may be helping out another family in another time going through the same thing we are now. I really don’t give two shits about any of that right now. I just want my baby home with us. I just want the family I dreamt about when we found out we were pregnant.

I also know that these words aren’t what you want to be reading and that many of you are mentally crafing your “it’ll all be OK” comments, despite my not wanting to hear them. I know you want to hear about big steps forward, and about how Don and I are weathering the storm with our heads held high even in the face of huge steps backwards. But I can’t give you that, not today. I need to be honest to myself, and be honest to Nyana, because really, she’s who this blog is for. Sure, I could tell you we moved backwards to CPAP today, so bottle feeding is off for at least two more weeks, but that’s OK because every step back is followed by a big step forward. I could tell you that and it would be true, but I’d be lying to myself because at this very moment, I’m not OK with it. Tomorrow, I probably will be OK with it, because I have to be OK with it to keep my sanity. Tonight I will dust myself off and I’ll have a good cry, and tomorrow I’ll be back to wearing my smile and plowing ahead, comfortably aware that we’re on Nyana’s time and that, also, is OK. But right now? Right now, I need to be allowed to be frustrated, and angry, and done.

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About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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10 Responses to At The End Of My Rope

  1. Tasha says:

    This calls for wine. And lots of it.

  2. tara says:

    You are allowed. Let yourself feel every bit of frustration, anger and annoyance. Let it drive you forward. 🙂

  3. Lynn Duncan says:

    You are just being genuine and honest about how you feel. I don’t think anyone could ask more of you, or WANT more of you.

    Platitudes can be true and will be true at times but some days, that simply won’t fly and hopefully no one will fly them at you.

    This is your blog where you can install a punching bag and go at it if that is what you need.

    Wine, however, doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

  4. Juju says:

    Definitely wine. Or beer. Heh, remember when I suggested you tell people you were trying to lose weight as the reason you gave up beer?

  5. Jackie (jmm) says:

    Just sending great big hugs.

  6. Mary Ward says:

    I’m not going to say it’s okay because it totally sucks. I cannot even imagine the frustration and pain that you have had to deal with.

  7. Olivia ♡ says:

    I second (forth?) the wine idea.

  8. Jenny says:

    This, right here, is exactly what I want you to do. No platitudes, no ‘chin up, old bean’, none of that bullshit. Write. Vent. Get it out of your head, and onto the page/screen. You’re allowed to be pissed as fuck. You’re allowed to be irritated and angry and ready to scream at the next person who triggers you, regardless of how well meaning.

    Because you know all that shit already.

    It gets intimidating sometimes, when you’re blogging, and you start wanting to tell your audience what you think they want to hear. So don’t worry about that, if you can. Say what you need to say, because in the end, really? This is about you, and what you need. So whether it’s here, or in an email to a few trusted friends, or just to yourself, keep saying what you need to say.

    You’re an amazing, strong woman, but no one expects you to have sunshine blowing out of your nethers 24/7. Mary Sunshine you ain’t, my poppet. So be you.

  9. Stacey and Lucy says:

    Hey you go girl!! It sucks waiting and it doesn’t get easier. Chocolate helped me… Lots of it. Beer sounds good too… So does wine… There should be a bar where you can get all three!!

    Hey what size is she up to now… I’m going to clean out Lucy’s closet

  10. Biscottiii says:

    Hey, Karen you have more than enough reason to Vent or Rant!

    Hugs to You and Donnors, we didn’t think this was going to be a “Picnic”, but I still think it’s useful for you to blow off steam. You two are doing everything possible to get your little girl home. No platitudes from me, just one tiny step forward like you have been doing so bravely.

    But DAMN, I understand the frustrations. So more Hugs!

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