I don’t know how many people have picked up on it, but I have an overactive mind. I think about everything and then go back and over-think it. It makes me often come off as a rambling fool, but there it is.
So what has bounced around the corners of my mind lately? The birth of my son. Generally when babies are born, it is a time of celebration and love and joy and general merriment is had by all. And I know all these feelings will be felt when my son is born, but I also know that I will feel anxious, upset, stressed, angry, and sad.
As birth comes closer so does reality. My son will be taken from my arms (if I am blessed enough to hold him after birth, so he may be taken straight from my womb) and rushed across the street by a team of specialists to the NICU in the children’s hospital. Once there, an IV will be inserted into him giving him drugs to keep the hole between his right and left chamber open keeping him alive until surgery.
Five to ten days after he is born, my baby will experience open heart surgery. Unfathomable. How does a baby survive that trauma? I know it happens, but it is hard to believe that it does.
And right now I am not even focusing on the surgery. I am focusing on the two days when I will be apart from my son. The two terribly long days when I will be in the hospital across the street and he will be in a NICU. I am so scared about what will happen in those two days.
I am most scared about him dying (how could I not be), but that is not the only thing I am fearful of.
I don’t like the idea of other people touching Emer before me. I am afraid he won’t attach to me and that our bond will never be solidified. Now realistically, infants fail to bond with parents when they are consistently neglected. A four-month old who has never been held by their mom will have attachment and trust issues that will carry on throughout development. If I can’t see my child the first two days, it may take longer, but I know I will attach. I will not let my baby sit in a crib alone for 4 months (or more). Yet the instant bond that happens between a mother and child is so hyped up and so reinforced in all developmental theory that I still fear my son will not attach and then will continuously struggle with attachment.
My other fear is that he will attach to someone else as his “mother”. I am sure it is selfish of me, but I don’t want anyone else to touch him (outside of my husband and medical staff) until I get to spend time with him. It would break my heart if he preferred someone else more than me, even if it was just initially. I would really feel like I failed as a mom. Isn’t it amazing how easy it to “fail” as a parent? Or at least feel like you failed.
Anyway my fear of him attaching to someone else is eclipsed by the guilt I feel for even thinking of deny my son the touch of another person. Isn’t it better that he is touched than I am the one touching him? Isn’t any human contact better than none regardless of what I think could happen?
I just don’t know. I want my baby to be safe and loved and comforted. And I want to be the one loving and comforting and protecting him. But that won’t happen at first. Luckily I have an amazing partner who won’t leave our son’s side until I can get there. Everything is easier knowing Matt is there to help.