Friday, July 5, 2013

survivor guilt - mommy edition

i read enough to know that at some point from the moment i saw the word "pregnant" float up on that pee stick until inifinity, i was going to experience feelings of mommy guilt.  you know, i'm-not-spending-enough-time-with-my-baby....i-should-be-at-home-and-not-at-work...why-did-i-lose-my-patience...  all that good stuff.  i expected all of that and therefore have been able to contain it and reason myself out of it when it surfaces. 

what i didn't expect were these feelings of survivor guilt.  at almost 6 months in, i really have nothing to complain about regarding motherhood or parenting or newborns.  dax was an easy baby.  aside from cluster feeding, i really had very few issues during his super-young newborn period.  he is a happy baby.  we can take him anywhere and he adapts quickly and easily.  he can entertain himself.  when he's fussy, it's for a reason, usually because he's hungry, so it can easily be resolved by sticking a bottle or my boob in his face.  i am - we are - insanely lucky.  i am well aware of this fact.  i count my blessings every single day.  many many mothers before me struggled - with breastfeeding, with babies who don't sleep, with colicky babies.  i truly think it is not something that we are doing "right."  i think we just have an easy baby.  matt and i were both easy babies, and we are both laid-back humans.  i think daxon just has those traits from us. 

so when i see my sister struggling with quinn, i feel guilty.  quinn is a biter, so their breastfeeding relationship has been difficult.  he has terrible reflux (far worse than daxon ever did).  the medication he's on for the reflux makes him gassy.  he fusses a lot.  it is hard to be around for more than a few hours.  i don't know how callie does it for days/weeks on end.  especially because anthony travels for work, so there have been times when she's been alone with quinn for days.  they have tons of family around, but i get the impression that she doesn't reach out for help all that often.  so i feel guilty that i'm not closer by to help. 

and then beth, matt's cousin.  liam is now almost 10 weeks old (almost 36 weeks gestation).  he is still in the nicu, and still on the vent.  they have trialed removal of the vent several times, and each time he fails and needs to be reintubated.  apparently the doctors are now saying there is a chance he may never come off the vent.  he still has a pda (a hole in the pulmonary artery and the aorta that hasn't closed, so blood is not getting oxygen from the lungs).  they tried the medication given for pda, but he had a bad reaction to it, so they are basically just bidign their time to see if it closes.  my heart aches for them.  i feel guilty that i have this healthy, happy, full-term little baby, while they are struggling so much in the nicu.  

when daxon was fussing yesterday (because he was hungry) while i was trying to get one more thing done for dinner before taking him up to eat, i got frustrated and snipped at him.  then i thought about beth and how she probably wishes liam could fuss and express his needs so that she can attend to them.  and i felt terrible.  terrible that i yelled at dax, terrible that i didn't appreciate that he's healthy enough to have the lung capacity to yell for his needs, terrible that i'm not appreciating all of that.

i know that none of this can be helped.  i am doing nothing right anymore than they are doing anything wrong.  this is simply the way the cards fell.  babies are different and that's that.  there's nothing that i can do about it.  it is what it is.  i know it's silly to feel this way, but there it is. 

1 comment:

Maria said...

this was an awesome post, erin. you are an awesome mama and daxon is one lucky little guy. i love your honesty. <3