Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Thankful Project: A Photo

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Today's prompt is a photo.

I am thankful for many photos. I love taking pictures, I love having photos displayed, and I love looking back through pictures. I love having an image associated with a memory, especially when it helps that memory become clearer. You can look at a picture from an event in the past and all of a sudden you are flooded with details. That is why I am an obsessive photo taker.
This photograph is of Aria on Monday, December 10th. Taken in the morning before she was released from the NICU. Sunday night Chris and I got to spend the night at the hospital and have her in the room with us. A trial run with trained helpers just a call away. I was terrified that I was going to drop her. We'd only had minimal contact with her while she was in the NICU - a few nursing sessions and a couple diaper changes and mere minutes of holding her. So, I was feeling very fish out of water. I had no idea what I was doing. Panic was setting in - what were we thinking having a baby, we can't care for a baby, this is impossible, we are going to do everything wrong, etc. By the next morning though, I was starting to feel like I was getting my sea legs. I didn't even drop her, not once. I was changing diapers with a little more skill, and she was nursing like a champ, and she didn't fuss at all. We were finally bonding. I got to cuddle her all I wanted, and I got to take care of her all on my own (because, Chris had to work part of the night). Don't get me wrong there was still panic, but it wasn't as gripping. There were still plenty of doubts and tears left.

All of that is what this picture represents to me. The moment I really felt connected to my little girl. That unconditional out of this world love blossomed. I started to feel like I had the strength to be a mom. That instinct that tells you how to care for a baby kicked in. I gave birth on the 2nd, but I feel like I became on a mom on the 10th. And, I am thankful that I have this picture to always remind me of that.

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6 comments:

  1. She's so beautiful! I cannot begin to imagine what NICU mommies go through--but what an amazing story and testament to all of you for your strength and courage...and gratitude for those caring for the babies :)

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    1. She is so perfect. All her monitors and tubes gone, in her little white hospital onesie, asleep. I'm biased though =)

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  2. OH MY GOSH! she is so tiny. I'm so sorry you had to go through all the NICU stuff.. I can't even begin to imagine.

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    1. I look back at pictures and just can't believe how itty bitty she was. The NICU sucked, but I feel it could have been much worse for us - we had such a great team that it made things better, plus I knew she would pretty much have to go to the NICU bc my water broke so early. I also think it toughened up our skin - I always thought I'd be a mess when she got shots, but after dealing with her tubed, and poked, and what have you the shots don't bother me.

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  3. sweet sweet photo. I can't express in words how much I understand the sweetness of the first photo without tubes. Simply beautiful :)

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    1. YES! She was a whole different baby as all the different bits and bobs got removed.

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