#1 Motherly Commandment: There is no law that says we have to know it all!

On Maison's last night in the NICU, I had the opportunity to spend the night there with him.  This was apart of the "going home" process to help break the ice.  If anything happened I was literally a few feet away from the nurses.  The room had a personal restroom with a shower, mini-frig, TV, queen size bed, crib, night stand, a breast pump, breakfast table and a small kitchen sink.  It was literally a mini hotel room in the back of the neonatal unit.

That Saturday evening, I "checked-in" around 6pm with Maison.  I went into the back room with so many emotions.  I wanted to cry and at the same time I wanted to ask one of his nurses to stay in the room with us.  The moment she walked out the door, something came over me.  I immediately started thinking about feeding times, bumping times, sleep, and making sure he was warm enough.  I didn't even think about food for myself, in fact, I don't remember eating that evening.  It was all about Maison.

For the most part, Maison slept in his crib -- for the most part!  He kept making these grunt noises that made me feel as though something was wrong.  I knew he was OK, but still, it was hard to get use to... 

"I've never heard of GRUNTS...Is he constipated?  Is it gas?  Are they sure this is normal for preemies?  What if something is really wrong?  He should sleep with me!"

My Random Thoughts... 

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So, without a second thought, I made the choice to place Maison in the bed with me after his next feeding.   I set my alarm, cleaned my breast pump accessories, and went to sleep.  That morning when we woke up, the nurse came in and asked some questions.  Her main concern was, "How do you feel?  Are you ready or do you want to stay one more night?"  Confidently, I told her no and that we were good to go.  The plan was to stick to the schedule I created, pump as much as I could and get some rest.  It was that easy, piece of cake, no worries!  WRONG!

It was early Monday morning and our routine was going smoothly.  Maison's eyes were wide open and if I didn't know any better, I would say he was getting use to the idea of being home.  There wasn't the constant beep noise of the monitors, or the sounds of the nurses walking around and talking.  It was peace and quiet.  Time from time I would play our worship music if the TV wasn't on, or simply sing to him myself.  Our Monday morning was calmly rocking and I couldn't be any happier.  I was grateful because this was the moment I prayed for.  I prayed to be at home with my baby experiencing motherhood and moving forward to the next phase of our lives.  It was the best feeling ever!  Then suddenly it happened...

Maison's iron was a little low, so he had to take a little shot of his vitamins - extra iron.  When Maison was discharged, he was drinking 3 ounces of my milk.  So, in one tiny bottle, I would pour one ounce of breast milk and then add one drop of the vitamin.  The nurses warned me with how strong the taste is and sometimes the babies would spit it out or even choke on it.  Well, my reminder was frightening.  Right before Maison finished his ounce, he started coughing.  His coughing turned into choking.  Within a matter of seconds, he suddenly went completely limp in my arms.  While patting him repeatedly on his back and calling his name aloud, his lips looked as if they were trying to turn a super light blue.  Before I knew it I screamed, "Oh my God!" and started to pray out loud while I continued to pat his back.  I instantly remembered what they taught me in the CPR class in the neonatal unit and started to make my way to the floor.  As I crawled out my bed, still patting Maison on his back, I heard voice say, "Look at his arms."  Maison started to slowly move his arms as if he was swimming in mid air.  I held my son up in the air and called his name.  "Maison!  Hey buddy!  Come on an open your eyes for Mama..."  He started to open his eyes and let out a little cry.  Before I knew it, I threw him on my chest and held him tight.

Our embrace didn't last long because he was ready to finish his feeding.  However, once I got him settled, I called my mother and freaked out on the phone.  "I can't do this.  I can't do this!  He choked, I don't understand how, I don't know what I'm doing... I can't believe this happened!"  The level of fear that came over me wouldn't allow me to cry.  I just sat there shaking and staring at my baby.  He choked on his vitamin and couldn't really catch his breath.  I felt like the worse NICU-finally home-mother EVER!  I sat there shaking and listening to my mother calm me down and reassure me that everything was going to be fine.  Sure it was just a mishap, but it felt like the end of the world.  After our conversation, I called the NICU nurse (she gave me the OK to call whenever), told her what happened, and finally broke down in tears.  For a moment, I felt like I was talking to my mother again.  She was calm, loving, understanding, and reassuring.  "It's OK Mama, that's what we're here for."  She proceeded to give me pointers on what to do with his vitamin the next day.  Which was: add an ounce in a half more of my breast milk so the vitamin is not as strong.  But before giving it to him, feed him one-two ounces of milk first.

You might be a mother that just stepped into this new journey of life.  Neonatal unit or not, you're now a mother.  Let me give you a motherly commandment to live by: There is no law that says we have to know it all!  From the time the baby get's here to their first birthday -- you will never know it all!  Motherhood is a never-ending journey with tones of lessons.  Just when you think you know and have it all down to even a perfect schedule, it's like the baby and or life says, "Sike!  Let's do THIS instead!"  Don't get me wrong, create your schedule, set your rules, bond, build your boundaries, and enjoy what you have created.  But if an unexpected speed bump occurs and you crash into it, please know that IT'S OK.  You are a beautiful mother doing an awesome job!  If you need a moment, take a moment to get yourself together and then get right back at it.  My first full week with my son had almost every experience in it!  From choking to pooping in his bath water, jerking back when he was on my shoulder (thank God it was during our kangaroo time), to peeing in his own face, re fluxing and crying due to gas.  I embraced it all, prayed and took everything with one step at a time.  Remember, you can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Don't allow fear to rob you of something you prayed for; even with motherhood... 

Thank you for reading, please feel free to share.  Published 02/03/2018