Cry Baby...

>> Saturday, March 3, 2007

Happy, sad, angry, or in awe it really doesn't matter - I cry. Long distance phone commercials, songs on the radio, a beautiful smile from my kids, in the middle of a heated argument...you've got it...I cry.

It's not a nice delicate "tear sliding down the face" cry either. When I cry, I'm a big sobbing, running nose mess! To make matters worse, I'm a fair-skinned redhead - so not only do I cry, but the whole world knows about it just by looking at my blotchy skin and red nose for the next few hours. And have you ever tried to be taken seriously in an argument when you're crying? I think my all time favorite movie line is Meg Ryan yelling "It's just stress, @ssh&*$!" in "Courage Under Fire"

So I've always tried to control my crying. I've learned ways to stop the tears as soon as I feel them building up. I DON'T cry in public! I've probably spent hours already walking up and down the hallway outside NICU reading the bulletin boards because I don't want to cry in front of the nurses and doctors.

Just yesterday, I had a headache. It came on super quick while I was in a co-workers office. We were chatting and suddenly I felt as if I had been hit upside the head with a sledgehammer. I could tell my co-worker knew something was wrong - he was giving me that "You OK?" look, but I was determined NOT to let anything be wrong and certainly there would be no tears! Fifteen minutes later, things were so bad that a friend was giving me a ride home and I barely made it to the stairwell when I started sobbing - it just hurt that bad. We ran into another friendly face in the stairwell who was asking me about Cassie and wanted to know if I was OK...all I can remember telling him was that I hate to cry in front of people "So you didn't see this right?!?"

Turns out the headache was a reaction to changes in my blood pressure meds this week. Sorry to everyone I made nervous! It got me thinking though about crying. I had just been talking earlier that morning about Cassie crying and how thrilled I was to hear her and in my post headache fog different scenes started to re-play in my mind.

***We had just been rushed to surgery for my C-section after a very brief meeting with the neonatologist. She had explained that they would "try" to resuscitate Cassie, but that they didn't even know if she was going to be big enough for the tubes. I'd been given my spinal and the drapes were up, the anesthesiologist kept talking to me but all I wanted was for him to shut up so that I could hear what was going on...then all of the sudden clear as day I heard the best five words ever..."Look! She's trying to cry!" I don't remember a lot of what happened for the next few hours but I do remember thinking "Good for you Sweetheart!"

***Day two or three - I'm still in shock and can't function for much more than sitting by Cassie's bedside having this long internal conversation with her. I notice that she's crying. I can't hear her of course because she's intubated and that makes me sad, but it's almost funny the way she starts when certain people are talking near her isolette. Yep, after a few more times I'm convinced, she really does start to cry everytime her attending and one of the interns are near her and she REALLY gets mad when she's put on her back. "Good for you kiddo - tell us all about it!'

***Cassie's been off the ventilator for a day or so now and I'm holding her skin to skin. I can't see her face, but I can feel her moving around and starting to fuss a little. I'm hearing this noise though, almost like when one of the neighborhood cats got into the attic and had kittens, just a soft little mewing sound - and then I realized - I was hearing my daughter's voice for the first time! "Thanks so much for sharing that with Mommy darling!"

***I'm taking Cassie's temp on Thursday and she's mad about it - and boy did she let us know! She was really yelling, crying, and kicking up one heck of a fuss. I stopped what I was doing for a sec and just looked at her. The nurse must have thought I was nervous about her being upset because she came over to reassure me until she saw the ear-splitting grin on my face along with the tears falling down my face - "That's it sweetie - you keep fighting and letting the whole world know about it!"

I think this little girl is going to be teaching me a heck of a lot more than I'm going to be able to teach her....

So you go ahead and cry, baby....maybe Mommy will too

4 comments:

Jodi Reimer March 3, 2007 at 8:10 PM  

I cry too. My friend tells me it is a strength to have "access to your emotions". Good thing!

Michelle,  March 4, 2007 at 2:34 PM  

Oh, that first post-intubation cry! We had to wait 6 weeks to hear that little kitten sound, but it was the best sound, ever! They are definitely fighters, and they eventually get their "real" voice!

Congratulations on getting to hear that wonderful sound! These little preemies are such fighters(and I had the weakest breed: white and male)

Michelle,  March 4, 2007 at 2:35 PM  

Sorry, apparently I wanted to get the point across that micro-preemies are fighters! UGH! Mommy brain at work again.

Stacey Ryder,  March 7, 2007 at 12:36 PM  

Karen,
I just found your blog a couple of days ago and felt the need to write. I'm also the mom of a preemie named Cassie. Our Cassandra Faith was born oh-so-much later than your Cassie, at 31.5 weeks, but had a really hard time of it in the NICU, was intubated for 2 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 8 weeks.

Yesterday, our little peanut turned 3! If your little Cassie grows into a little gem like ours (and yours has 3 times the number of older brothers, by the look of it, so she should be well on her way), you'll be truly blessed.

It never sounds like much at the time, but the whole interminably long NICU period really does fade to a distant memory at some point. How wonderful that is!

I'll be thrilled to follow Cassie's progress. All the best to you and your family. I know you'll make it with that fantastic sense of humor you've got! Loved the NICU Don'ts, by the way! : )

Stacey
stacey.ryder@gmail.com
http://homepage.mac.com/scott

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