I wish I’d been there. More than that, I wish I could speak. Because had I been there and been able to I would have given this nurse a piece of my little doggie mind.
There is my mom, going into labor with dear baby Conner a few short nights ago, and she said it. One of the only things none of us were prepared for.
“More likely than not, he will be in the NICU,” she said. “I had a friend who had a baby around when you are and he was in the NICU for six weeks. You need to prepare yourself for that.”
I understand she had a job to do as well as I know there is good reason for the warning. Yet I feel there could have been a slightly more tactful way to deliver such an emotionally jarring message. I’ve heard the story retold several times to those who have come to visit dear baby Conner in the last 24 hours and my reaction to it has not changed.
I wish I’d been there and I could have told her to consider delivering messages of that sort with a bit more empathy. Because I know my dear forever mom. And I can hear it in her voice when she recounts the story. This was devastating news. She had everything else figured out in her head beforehand. Everything else was ready to go. But this? This was something she needed to adjust to.
With the help of dad, she was able to overcome the mental challenges associated with her gradual processing and have a fairly easy experience (if you can call labor and delivery easy, which I’m not quite sure you can). And, as predicted, Conner was whisked away to the special care unit all too soon after delivery. At first, the nurses said he would be there a week.
He outperformed all of their expectations and was able to come home after one extra night after mom was discharged. One extra night that was spent embracing a bit of transitional time with dear Carter. One extra night spent getting a little extra rest. One extra night celebrating my birthday.
While I would never wish anyone ill, I would say there was a pretty clear silver lining to this story. Not only is Conner doing swimmingly, but everyone seems to be adjusting quite well to the change. Even though I still wish I could have been there to fix that moment with the nurse, I know life is bigger than moments like that. I know that even things that seem like the worst case scenario at the time can develop into a blessing in disguise.