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Don’t Kiss the Baby – ​NICU Stay

bHXo5txZSH6rCK2vUkFLjgI needed a few days before I could write about this. It was a scary, exhausting and very emotional few days for me and I found it hard to find the words to talk about it. But here it goes, I will give it my best shot.

A few days leading up to this my little wasn’t acting herself, she was sleepier than usual, and I kept feeling like she seemed warm to me, but every time I checked her temp, it was in the high 98’s or low 99’s. My mother and boyfriend both kept telling me not to worry, that she seemed fine to them. At first, I thought maybe she was just going through a growth spurt. I know babies can sleep more when they are growing, so I tried not to worry. Then she started sneezing, a lot, I wanted to attribute it to her getting used to all the allergens and different things in the air. She had been sneezing since she was born so again I tried not to worry.

Then she started coughing, I tried not to worry, but I started doing research and babies as small as she had no reason to cough. It wasn’t something I could explain away with a normal newborn thing. My suspicions that my precious baby was sick was starting to be confirmed. Then she started sounding congested when she would breathe sometimes, and I really started to worry. Her being all stuffed up was making it hard for her to nurse, I didn’t even realize it, but she was starting to become dehydrated. The final day before we went to the hospital she was lethargic and not at all herself. She didn’t eat often, even after 4 hours of not nursing she still didn’t want to wake up and eat. So I retook her temperature and found it was 100.4. Little ones under 8 weeks shouldn’t have any sort of fever, so I called her pediatrician, and he sent us to the hospital immediately.

When I took her, I knew she wasn’t feeling good, and I was concerned about her, but I didn’t realize how rough she was doing until the hospital’s pediatrician finally got in to see her. Let me preface this by saying the emergency room was horrible, we sat in our room after being triaged, for almost an hour without seeing a single person, not a nurse or a doctor. They left a not even 4-week old baby with a fever sitting in a room without one person checking on her. We even looked for a nurse or someone, but everyone was in the middle of something and had no time. Needless to say by the time the woman who takes your insurance came in I was livid. My precious baby needed care, and I was about ready to leave and go to another hospital. I was really starting to get concerned about her at that point. She was extremely lethargic, didn’t want to nurse and hard to rouse. I told the poor girl to forget the papers because I was about to walk out and go to another hospital.

They were neglecting my baby as far as I was concerned. Thankfully after my fit, a doctor finally came in assessed my precious little girl and quickly got the pediatric doctor down from the NICU to see her. After that she got immediate attention, the ER nurses were in to see her and tried to take blood and urine samples.

I say try because they weren’t used to working with babies and quickly realized they weren’t going to be able to start an IV, get blood or a urine sample. Thankfully they didn’t try too many times before the NICU nurses came down. With the help of the doctor, they got the IV started the blood drawn and a urine sample. I felt so bad for my baby girl she cried and slept intermittently throughout the whole process. You could tell she was totally exhausted and dehydrated, which was part of the reason they were having such a hard time getting her IV started. After all that she was admitted and we went upstairs to the NICU.

kLR3H%J3TxmzyOc8oEgyfABut even with the pediatric nurses and doctor being so wonderful and taking such good care of her it was all still so heartbreaking. I didn’t cry while they did all that work on her. I helped hold her still and comforted her as much as I could, it wasn’t until they took her out of the room to do the spinal tap that I finally lost it.

I cried I couldn’t keep it together anymore with her out of my sight. She was just so little, and the thought of losing her was breaking my heart. She had only been in my life a few short weeks, it hadn’t even been a whole year since I found out she was going to be a part of my life. But already she was such a profound part of it, I love her more then words can say. I was already planning a future with her in it, to me, she just had to be a part of it because that’s what I had expected. The thought of it going any other way was unbearable. With the help of my boyfriend, I was able to pull myself back together by the time she came back.

According to the doctors so far everything looked good, they were thinking it was possibly a respiratory virus but went ahead and gave her IV antibiotics to be safe. She needed to be on them and admitted for 48 hours from the time they had taken her cultures. At this point it was about 5am, so another two days at least in the hospital from that point on.

I sent my boyfriend home to be with my little guy when he woke up, my mother was watching him (an easy task at that point as he was sleeping). For the next few days, we juggled being at the hospital with the baby, caring for my little guy, making sure everyone ate and slept. Including my little one who is breastfed. I was a long and grueling few days where everyone got very little sleep.

They were also the scariest until my little one started to improve. I was terrified at the thought of losing this precious little person. Or having to go home to my 4 year old who already loved his little sister so much and having to explain why she wasn’t coming back. All the thoughts were just too horrible to consider, so I prayed, I prayed she would be okay. I prayed she would get healthy and come home with me soon.

Thankfully my prayers were answered, all the scary tests came back negative, no bacteria, no crazy diseases. My baby had the EnteroRhino Virus… which is basically a cold for an adult or toddler. But for my little girl, it put her in the hospital for days. Had I not noticed she was sick or let it go on too long things could have been a lot worse for my little one.

5tyOh2tTTRWJuoIAUZni0ASo this is my plea, from a mom who had to watch her precious little girl go through all of that. Friends, family, anyone involved in a newborns life. Don’t kiss the baby, wash your hands, don’t come to visit if you or anyone in your house is sick. I have never been a germaphobe mom, but I know everyone thinks I am, what with asking everyone to wash and getting pissed at anyone who kisses her. But I don’t care, I don’t know what got her sick, and from now on I am going to speak up. I will make you wash your hands before you hold her and if you kiss her you’re done there will be no more baby holding for you. Period, end of story, and that include grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I hate to put my foot down, but until she’s a little bigger, it is just not happening. I do not want to go back to the hospital. I do not want my baby girl going through that again and I don’t want to go through that again.

What’s Better?

I have found so many times since I have had my son that I have asked myself this very question. What’s better? What is the better food to feed him? What shampoo is best for him? Which diapers are the best option? It is a process most moms probably go through every day. A choice is a gift and a burden, especially when it comes to your kids. They rely on you to make the best choices for them, to keep them healthy, safe and to help show them how to make good decisions. One day they will be making choices for themselves, so we have to teach them how to make good ones now.

It’s almost crazy to think about right? The small decisions we make every day teach and guide our children on decision making for the rest of their lives. I want to give my little guy the best of everything I can… But I also know I have to be pragmatic. I have to live within my means, with that thought in mind I always strive to give him the best I can afford.

Part of this dilemma is daycare/preschool, his father wants to put him in a preparatory program and while I would love to be able to give him an education like that, is that indeed what’s best for him. Those programs are more expensive, he won’t be with his baby sister one she starts daycare and so many other reasons both positive and negative.

I think my most significant deciding factor is, if I go for a more expensive education there are so many things financially that would have to be sacrificed for it to happen. At the end of the day, I think making sure all the bills are paid and us having a little left over to be able to do things as a family is more important than a fancy pre-school education. I genuinely believe in these times, my son will benefit more from the family memories and never having to know what it feels like to have your utilities turned off. I also refuse to feel guilty for feeling this way. As a mom, I have to realize there are limitations to my financial situation and I have to make the choices that provide my son with the most secure and stable living environment possible. To me that security and stability I can give him is more important than a fancy pre-school education, and I won’t apologize for that.

I have seen so many moms shamed for not giving their children enough, or other parents judging and believing their parents are making the proper sacrifices or choices for their children. But I feel we shouldn’t judge unless we’ve walked in their shoes. You never know all the details of someone’s situation, so instead of choosing judgment choose to always be kind. Even if you can’t understand someone’s reasoning still choose to be kind, you never know what the future may hold and being kind to someone now could mean receiving kindness in your future when you need it most!!!

What’s best for my family and me, my son is a constant question on my mind. The thought that each of my choices shapes not only my future but his as well is so scary. I am sure it is a burden, so many mothers carry, but at the end of the day you are a mom, and you know your children. You love your children, and I believe despite all the hard choices out there and what others may feel, moms will always make the best decision for their children.

So keep asking yourself what’s better? And then ask yourself what’s best for my child, for my family? And then just follow your heart, let it lead you and don’t let yourself feel guilty for your choices. If you made them with your childs best interests at heart, don’t let anyone make you feel bad, don’t doubt yourself because you are strong momma. You are amazing and you are everything your little one needs to make the best choices.

Co-Parenting AKA Magical Unicorn When Your X is a Narcissist…

If you ever have to go down the road of Divorce and there are kids involved you will hear the term Co-Parenting. If you have a great relationship with your X Co-parenting is totally possible and can be immensely helpful for your children. It is a way for you and your x to present a united front and make the transition to divorced life as easy as possible for your children.

But sadly this route is not for everyone, not everyone has the maturity level to cooperate with their x-spouse. Or there may just be too much animosity, too many bad feelings to be able to effectively co-parent. Over time though as those wounds heal you may find yourself in a place where you are able to co-parent with your x. Everyone takes different journeys when navigating the waters of divorce/separation, especially when children are involved.

And then there are those of us in my situation, where that shining example of parenting during divorce, also known as Co-Parenting seems to be a distant dream never to be achieved. We are stuck in this situation because my x is a narcissist. As much as I would love to say it doesn’t matter, we can work past it, or try to convince myself that I can find a way to make co-parenting work with him. It is an impossible dream, like the dream you have when you’re a child of one day finding a magical unicorn. You convince yourself when your little that this unicorn does exist and fill your days with unicorn hunting and lots of adventures. But at the end of the day the unicorn does not exist and stays forever out of your grasp.

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Co-parenting for me may very well be forever out of my grasp, all attempts at communication are either met with hostility in one form or another. Either I am wrong, I am making it up, I don’t have my child’s interests in mind, I’m just being a B****, whatever reasoning he comes up with. Anything I say or suggest is wrong and whatever he decides from this is obviously better. If I try to arrange extra time with him and his son it can never just get taken for what it is, an attempt to allow my son to get more time with his father. Instead it becomes a headache of nit picking, the pick up and drop off times, trying to get overnights and anything else he can. There is never any compromise, only giving my x exactly what he wants or he throws a fit. Trying to bully and hurt me as much as possible, anything he can do toget his way.

I have learned through much wasted time and effort that my concerns will always fall on deaf ears. That anything I may feel is best for our son is never right and that everything is my fault. Everything needs to be my x’s way or no one is allowed to be happy. When you deal with a  narcissistic person they always believe nothing is their fault, they can do no wrong and cannot see outside of their own wants and need to the wants and needs of those around them.

They can love but you find that they only love the way certain people and relationships make them feel, not the person themselves. And as long as that person conforms to fit into the narcissists world of wants and needs everything goes smoothly, but if anything you need or desire deviates from their’s, smooth is not something that exists. Co-parenting requires communication and compromise, a joining of two people belief systems and ideals, in order to create a harmonious plan both parents follow to have a cohesive environment in both households the child lives in. So if you can imagine attempting to create this plan with a narcissist, you have an idea as to why the words co-parenting and narcissist are not terms that work well together.

It has taken many many attempts at holding conversations, trying to reason and discuss topics with a narcissist for me to realize it is a pointless exercise. Once you realize you are simply wasting your breath and time you will live a simpler and less stressful life. You have to be able to accept there is no amount of reasoning or discussions that will bring a narcissist around to considering your way of thinking unless they want to. Once your able to accept this you can start exploring different paths, one I strongly recommend when all attempts at co-parenting leave you frustrated and with fruitless encounters is parallel parenting. Kids are resilient and can adjust to many different things, in parallel parenting both parents have their own set of rules, etc. in their houses and as long as both parents are consistent children can do just fine with this form of parenting.

As much as I wanted co-parenting to work and I wanted to be able to work with my son’s father for the benefit of my little man. I also knew that the toxic relationship between the two of us was not something that was going to go away. I realized my son was just going to wind up seeing his fathers continued attempts to bully and belittle me if I didn’t put a stop to it. I left for these same reasons and since me leaving was not enough of a wakeup call that I was no longer to put up with his behavior. You get to a point were you have to accept this style of parenting relationship is not going to work and you have a to find another way.

 

 

The Dreaded Weekend of The X

As I am sure many parents going through a divorce know (if you/ your X are actually willing to act like an adult during the process) you have to share your kid with the other parent. As much as you don’t want to, even as much as you may not trust them. Even if they have not acted like an adult, you still have to let the kids go. If the court finds them to be safe and fit, no matter how much you hate it, you have to let them go, and let me tell you it sucks. I don’t know if I will ever be okay with my son leaving to go to his dads house. I just have to remind myself every time, I took all the precautions I could to make sure my son would be safe while with him.

For me its all about safety because my X hasn’t proven himself as the most capable parent the whole time we were together and then he went off the deep end when we separated . So I always have that worry about the stupid things that could happen. I never know what plan he may try to concoct to hurt me or try to “steal” my custody. The other part is he’s not very aware of what kids need. Too many weekends my little man has been getting dragged across state lines, kept up too late and had his routine completely messed up. For a teenager this might not be so bad… But for a 3 year old it can be rough, it is especially rough for me as I get him back usually Sunday night a total mess and by Monday, more days then not, he has ended up sick. It’s frustrating and exhausting for everyone involved.

Between my little man getting sick, not getting the proper care he needs and my x refusing to tell me where he takes the little guy and who he has him around… Even when I get face time calls and can see my son is sleeping in some random persons house. He still refuses to tell me anything. And yet demands to know anything and everything the little guy does when he is with me. I am sure there are many out there that know how this goes. The whole process is taxing, even when I try to just let things go and try to put the things I cannot control out of my mind. They always seem to find a way of creeping back in. Like when my son doesn’t “call” and my x says its because he fell asleep early. Okay, that happens right? I try to think nothing of it, but then my son comes home asking me why I wouldn’t answer the phone or why I wouldn’t talk to him… I am then left with only bad options or trying to answer my sons question, either I just take it and I am the bad guy or I in some way throw his father under the bus. Even if I try to do it in the nicest way possible eventually my little man is going to know his father is simply keeping him from calling his mom even when he asks to talk to me.

I wish there was a way to talk with or reason with my x…. I have tried on so many levels but I have learned it is a waste of my time and patience. He is never wrong, I am always out to hurt him, I never have my son’s best interests at heart, the list goes on and on. I would have loved to co-parent with him. But in his mind co-parenting is he says something and everyone else just has to do it… It makes for lot’s of frustration but will save the failed co-parenting attempts for another post!

It is not a two way street with my X, its usually his way or he throws a tantrum. No matter how much I try to accommodate him and work with him it is never enough, he always wants more. So I dread the weekends when my son goes with his father. I miss him like crazy when he is gone and I worry the whole time he is away. I hope with time it will get easier to let him go, easier to trust his father to do the right thing. Or at the very least as the little guy gets bigger he will be able to take care of himself and there will be less to worry about. But until then I will always dread every other weekend when my little guys father has him overnight.

Sweetest Little Boy

My son’s ability to love and persevere even with all the turmoil that goes on in his life at times amazes me to no end. Despite his father not showing up when he says he will or acting the way he does. Despite his schedule always getting changed or the ups and downs of life in general. He is just such a loving and kind little soul.

I love how the first thing he does when he gets up in the morning is give me a big hug and kiss. He tells me he loves me and is always down for some cuddles. He almost always smiles and loves to play. He see’s the world in a way I don’t always, especially when the stresses of life get me down.

But then he will do something as simple as want to go outside and play in the sprinkler and watching him run around and have a blast just reminds me to cherish all of life’s little moments. I know I wont have these moments forever and with the way our world can be these days, he may not always be my happy little boy. So I want to treasure and encourage these moments for as long as I can.

I hope he never loses his perseverance, that he is always able to find his joy and I thank god every day that he reminds me to look for mine. The biggest blessing in my life is my sweet little boy and though I am not the perfect mamma, he still loves me through it all and I love him more then words can say.

To all you mamma’s out there with amazing and sweet little boys, cherish your time with them because who knows how long this happiness can last. Even now I see glimpses of his sadness because of our current situation and I wish I could do anything to take his pain away. Sadly I know there is only so much I can do, but I still choose to do everything I can to brighten his day when he is sad. To remind him no matter what he is so loved and to try and help him find that amazing happiness in the simple things all children seem to enjoy.

My little man is truly the sweetest little boy and I am so blessed to have him. Cherish your little ones and foster that happiness that all children seem to possess, it is truly the greatest gift we can give our children. The happiest child hood possible, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it will have its ups and downs, its good days and bad days. But as long as we make it as happy as we can and preserve is for as long as possible they will have memories to hold on to for the rest of their lives.