Unspoken and unnoticed

Call me hypersensitive. Call me super observant. Or…just call me a mom.

I don’t believe The Investigator knew exactly what she was in for when Twix arrived 3 weeks early. Normally, she’s a strong woman. She kept grueling work-related hours during her pregnancy; hours I thought were excessive at times. And as she worked incessantly to rack up overtime that would afford her two months of paid maternity leave, it took a toll her. Exhausted, she would sometimes collapse into bed at 8pm with Peanut. Work, eat, sleep…and, oh yeah, be a mom to an active 5-year-old…became her routine when not on call or working well into the evening with home visits. As a stay-home mom with both of my pregnancies, I honestly cannot imagine adding that component to the physical stress of being pregnant, especially in the third trimester. I know millions of women juggle family and work while pregnant up until their water breaks….but it comes with a price. Something has to give. Many times it’s mom’s mental strength.

Her contractions started at 35 weeks. By 36 weeks the doctor isn’t sure she will last the week. At her 37th week, she is far enough along where the doctor admits her to the hospital to avoid going into labor during Winter Storm Nika.

Twix monitoredTwix comes quickly….and concerns about fluid in her lungs become obvious. Her sugar levels are low, indicating she is not maintaining enough calories. Days from mom’s milk coming in, the doctor wants to supplement with formula, which is a stab in the heart for a mom who is adamant about nursing her newborn.

And then concerns about jaundice levels delay their homecoming for two more days. Twix is re-admitted to the pediatric floor for further monitoring. Her levels are checked round the clock every 2-3 hours by drawing blood from her heels.

Not a crisis, but still a lot for a post-partum mom to handle with emotions already roller coastering out of control. And it may be going unnoticed by others, but not to me. The distraught look on her face and the teary eyes speak volumes even though she insists she is doing okay.

Once home, we can be of more help. It’s the simple things….like helping her get up from the couch….or sit down on the couch. Getting her meals. Asking if there’s anything she needs. A hug. A reassuring touch. All small gestures but helpful in providing the emotional, mental support needed during this time.

TwixBut the tears and concerns continue. The self-doubt creeps in. Twix comes home with a biliblanket to help reduce the bilirubin levels that cause jaundice. She’s on the glow of the blanket’s blue light all day and throughout the night; she nurses, but still need to be supplemented with formula until her weight increases. Meticulous records are kept on how often and how much she eats, the status of her diapers and her alertness/lethargy levels. She returns to test bilirubin levels 3 times in 4 days. Her heels look like pincushions. She’s so small.

Mom continues to worry her baby is not thriving.

And I can so relate.

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10 thoughts on “Unspoken and unnoticed

  1. Worry is a heavy load to carry. My prayers are with you – all of you. I will pray for your world to right itself and Twix to thrive and grow so her family can relax, sleep well and smile. And know that they have enough.

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  2. I had 3 jaundiced babies. When they were pricking the heels of one of them I was sobbing quietly until a wise nurse told me that it isn’t the crying babies they worry about – it is the ones that don’t. All three went onto do great. Even our premie first granddaughter with open heart surgery at 3 days old fought like a tiger and has been a joy for 16 years. Miss Josie & Mama probably need lots of skin to skin cuddle time. Keeping all in our prayers.

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  3. ” Or…just call me a mom.”

    Yes, I definitely think mom’s have almost a sixth sense about these things, Lisa.

    Just know that my thoughts and prayers are with your daughter and Twix.

    And I know I’ve shared this with you before in other comments, but Twix is so precious and beautiful!

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  4. Even when it is all joyous and no concerns about baby, the emotions are all out of whack. She’s lucky to have her wise mama noticing. Prayers for the baby and your daughter and all the family. What a little cutie pie. Hopefully soon all goes well and it’s just cuddle time with that little bundle of joy. 🙂

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  5. Pingback: Fiercely Independent Snuggle Bug | peripheral perceptions

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