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Monday, June 14, 2010

One Hundred Days of Solitude..........

Gabriel Garcia Marquez once wrote:

“...human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

It has now been 100 days in the NICU.......and Thurston has definitely re-birthed himself a 100 times over, everyday, emerging from his journey there, stronger, and more durable. It truly has been a surreal period of time for all of us.
If it were not for my daughter Viola, and of course my hubby Chad, I think I would have gone crazy by now. The NICU is a very strange place for any parent, but for me it is the antithesis of every parenting belief inherent deep within my soul.

When Viola was born, she was very coll icky. We were extremely frustrated parents and it killed me to know that my baby was in pain. She would not go in the stroller, car seat, baby swing, you name it. She would not let us put her down for two seconds. We had a few sleepless nights until I decided to just sleep with her in my arms, with pillows supporting us......that night, we all slept like babies,and after about 3 months, when her colic disappeared we were able to lay her next to us in bed where she has remained ever since. I pretty much breastfed her on demand as well and let her decide when she was ready to wean. I realized after meeting like-minded peeps that I am an AP parent, or attachment parent. I allow the child to lead and tell me what she needs. Most attachment parenting involves one or more of the following.....natural birthing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding European styling, NON-crying it outing, baby-wearing, organic-buying, cloth-diapering, tree-hugging, nature-loving, recycling, back to the basics mentality. Let me tell you, the NICU is the EXACT opposite of how I want to parent, and there is no one to blame for this, it is what it is and they have taken excellent care of my baby(saved his life as a matter of fact) but nonetheless, it does make me cringe when I think of how divergent it is with my own parental philosophy.
For instance
-Natural birthing....well that one flew right out the window didn't it!!!!
-My son has slept in an incubator, and now a crib, by himself, away from Mommy and Daddy and Sissy...........we finally got him a glo-worm so he could co-sleep with something!
-He does "cry it out", not anyones fault, but there isn't always someone there to pick him up and nurture him when he cries...wish I could be there 24/7
-He is getting 70 percent formula and other additives that are probably not organic, and only 30 percent of my breast milk, through an NG tube, again, not anyones fault, he really does need to grow, but again, UGH!
-Um the breast pumping is pretty much de-tached parenting at its best!!!!!
-He soon will be bottle-fed, again, a must before he can go home, which kills me because they wont let me try and nurse him exclusively, but they need to know exactly how much he is getting, and if he can master suck, swallow breathe.....
-He of course wears disposable diapers, which I have used on and off with Viola, but am happy to say I am back to using cloth......its been a long 5 months...

So my sweet boy has endured a 100 days of solitude, detached from his parents in so many ways......yes he has docs, nurses, RT's, Ot's, and just about everyone in between, but he is still alone in his little bed, waiting for us to scoop him up and take him and his glo-worm home.


  1. We are all counting the days until Thurston comes home...until then, I think he feels the love from his Mommy and Daddy, you are doing everything you can with the situation you are all in...he is such a beautiful boy. I can't wait to meet him in person and hold him. Ama xxoo

  2. Hi Donna,

    I'm so sorry you and your family have been going through all this. Your blog is very touching and captivating. I could not stop reading and I'm looking forward the next chapter's of Thurston's journey: the day he gets out of the hospital, the day he starts crawling, the day he says his first words...

    Life is an endless fight and the sooner we accept it the better. He already knows that and I sincerely believe this will shape his personality in a very positive way.

    Simone Benassi

  3. the day you get to take him home will be the so liberating for him and he will immediately feel the love and nurturing warmth you and your lil' family exhibit. i know it's hard, when you have to do something that you are not accustomed to, but just know that it's not forever, and you will have the rest of his life to AP him.

    (((loves and hugs)))

    ~veronica from the sewing group

  4. Donna

    Ah, I could have written so much of this. Anneliese, my 2 year old, was a very difficult infant and colicky. She nursed on demand, was never given any formula, and weaned at 19 months. She is the picture of health and has never needed so much as an antibiotic. I held her ALL the time. She is now so well adjusted and independent.

    Now Natalie has been held a matter of hours in her 2 months of life. Really, she has been held as much as Annie was just in he first day of life. It is SO hard to change parenting directions in this way.

    I jeep telling myself when I get her home she will be held as much as she will let me. Sadly she LOVES being snuggled but the oscillator won't allow it.

    Jennifer (from the inspire board).