By Francoise Voldoire
Our first cuddles were not the first cuddles every mum dreams of.. but it was EXTRA beautiful. In one of those unforgettable chairs, I held him for the first time. I can still remember the emotions while he was on my chest. I was in tears thinking, who is this little stranger in front of me? I knew he was mine but there was a strange feeling of not exactly knowing who he was.
After 5 days in the hospital, I was finally discharged from the maternity unit while my son still had to stay in NICU. I cried and cried when we left the hospital because I just felt like “This is not right!”.
Postpartum at home at night without your baby is indescribable. It felt like he was still inside me yet he was just not there.
There were several nights when I woke up and thought that someone was crying but found no baby around the room. I would call NICU at 3am just for peace of mind. There were a few nights when I would ask my husband to drive me back to the hospital so I could sit down on one of those unforgettable chairs while cuddling our wee man.
There was definitely no time to feel postpartum blues, not even my own physical postpartum pain. All I cared about was that tiny little warrior fighting the battle filled with needles, wires, oxygen, caffeine treatments, medical procedures and for some little ones, fighting for their own lives. Some days, you feel disheartened and struggle to be optimistic in that moment. Watching your own child screaming from pain and you can’t do anything to help him is just the worst feeling.
All I could do was again, sit down in that unforgettable chair while the doctors inserted more needles into my little boy’s tiny little body.
Every day, my husband would drop me off at the hospital at 7am before he went to work. Most days, I would spend more than 12 hours there until he would come and collect me and we would both go home after 7pm. Every day, it was just me and my tiny man sitting together in one of those NICU chairs that change every day. Those chairs, I would always think, have witnessed so many stories of love, hope, faith, reconciliation, sadness, happiness, retreats and triumphs.