"my own words" is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion or understanding to unique issues. Remember, one "story" could change a life, and that could be your story.
To submit your own story, click here.
This 'my own words' submission is from Meredith at Boy Crazy.
When you hold your child in your arms and she goes limp and begins to turn a shade of blue that resembles death, and you know that you are at the mercy of the nurses to run to your baby’s aid, and there is a ringing in your ears and yet somehow silence simultaneously, and you are thinking, dear God, please don’t take my baby from me...
My girls graduated from their little corners of the NICU almost three months ago, but the experiences we endured for three weeks still haunt me. The smell of Purell makes me want to puke (clearly they aren’t paying me to say that). For the longest time sudden noises made me jump out of my skin as they reminded me of the loud bells that signaled a baby in distress. My peeling skin is an unlucky souvenir from the hundreds of hand washings. After three lonely weeks of sleeping on a cot in the NICU, I value the comfort of my bed and the peace of mind that all of my children sleep under one roof.
I know how lucky I am. I have been to the funeral of a seven week old baby born too early. I know how badly this could have ended. My girls are a constant reminder that life is fragile.
At eight pounds and ten pounds my babies still have a long journey. But I breathe a lot easier. Their smiles slowly melt the NICU ghosts that linger. This is our story. It is this experience that changed who we are as a family, and we are better for it.
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