Wednesday, April 16, 2014


I close my eyes I think of you, 
I take a step I think of you,
I catch my breath I think of you, 
I cannot rest I think of you
--- Brandi Carlile "Looking Out"

The other night, I crawled into bed closed my eyes and saw my little boy's tiny double chin and round face.  The flashes reminded me of what I see when I play Tetris for too long.  This made me think even more about bonding with Joshua than I already have.

A few days after I went on bed rest, I asked Jerry to give me a priesthood blessing.*  I was hoping to hear that this business with preeclampsia would go away and that I would have a healthy pregnancy for the duration.  I did not.  Instead, the blessing encouraged me to find ways to bond with Joshua.  What I did not realize, it that we would be bonding in the NICU.

Because Joshua was whisked away from me in the delivery room, I missed out on those precious first few moments of motherhood.  The moment when you immediately get to hold your child after he is born.  I know many mothers have had to endure this and it is painful for everyone. 

I embarked on a plan to bond with my son.  When I am outside of the NICU, I try to occupy my times in projects for him.  As mentioned in the earlier post, I wrote him a book.  I'm also crocheting him a blanket.  Jerry has set our TV up to play a constant slideshow of his pictures.  I've found it's very easy to constantly think about Joshua when I am away.

In the NICU, we are encouraged to talk to Joshua as much as possible.  When we hold him we typically do skin to skin also called kangaroo care which has been shown to benefit both parent and child.  But honestly, I feel most bonded to him in the quiet moments of holding him.  I treasure the moments when he's lying with me, nothing is beeping, and the nurses are occupied elsewhere.  Often his breathing improves dramatically when I hold him.  I take that as a sign that he feels bonded to me as well.

How does Jerry fair with bonding?  Most excellently!  Jerry is full of goofy conversation, reads fun stories, and would make Joshua smile tons if Joshua could smile yet.  He's a natural.  

*For those not familiar with the LDS faith, a priesthood blessing is when a priesthood holder (in this case Jerry) lays his hands on your head and gives spiritual insight and counsel as he feels inspired to do.  A blessing can grant healing or be an opportunity to gain peace, insight, and direction from the Lord.    


Laura said...

Your posts keep making me cry. I love those quiet moments when all is still and the only thing that matters is the softly breathing bundle in your arms.

This is why I still sleep with Lily from about 4:00 am onward, truth be told.

Dirtius Wifius said...

I always felt kind of horrible for not feeling particularly bonded to Felix when he was born, but I'm sure it was part of the NICU experience.

I think it's an excellent idea to actually work at it, because I believe it's good for the kids and parents just like skin to skin is.

You're doing it right. Hang in there, and let me know if you need more rides. :)

emma call said...

Beautiful and sweet posting. Yes, many tears in reading! You are doing great, keep it up. 31 years from now you will still be bonding! :-)