4 weeks ago
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
When Joshua was about a week old, Jerry and I made our usual visit. Because we were still not able to hold him frequently, I sat next to his incubator, reached inside and held his head. Tears poured from my eyes uncontrollably. You could blame the tears on postpartum hormones or the stress of having the little one in the NICU.
It wasn't either of those two things. What I felt was a strange new emotion that I have decided to term sorrowful joy. At that moment, I felt so much joy and love at the little thing that had grown in my belly. I even missed feeling him kick around inside of me. But I also felt a sadness of watching someone you love so much have to go through something so hard.
Since the first moment of his birth, Joshua has been poked, prodded, and pricked more than this little innocent thing deserves. I've seen him get shots, IVs, Picc lines. His eyes have been dilated. His lungs and intestines X-rayed. I could go on, but I think the list is extensive enough. My heart hurts so much sometimes.
I could probably term this emotion parenthood. Perhaps this new feeling is just a preparation as I imagine most parents encounter something similar. It's funny how love seems to be a mash up of so many other feelings.