Last night was my first night volunteering in the Kuddle Korps program in the NICU at the hospital. Although the sight or sound of another baby has brought me to tears in the past since losing Liam I had felt I could handle this. I felt that this is something that I could do for other babies, babies that needed to be held when their families couldn't be there, they needed to feel the closeness, to be held, to be rocked, to feel loved, and that is something I could offer. It is something that I could not do for Liam, but I could do for other babies that were born too early or that are too sick to be able to go home to be with their families.
Maybe I did okay since it was my first night and everything went smoothly. Maybe I would have had a hard time if something went horribly wrong with the baby I was holding or one near by, but I don't know, and hope it doesn't happen when I am there. I often thought about seeing even a baby with Spina Bifida or with Hyrdocephalus, since that would really make me think of Liam, and be sad because my baby had that and he didn't survive.
I held a premie that was a few week old for about an hour. He cried a lot at first but after a little bit of rocking he fell asleep. It felt good to hold him close and in my arms and that he fell asleep, it made feel good and at peace that he felt relaxed enough to sleep even though I was not his mother. I thought of Liam the whole time I was there. I thought about what it would have been like holding him in the NICU after he was born and how he would have needed me to be there holding him.
This was the only baby I held last night. My trainer said there will be times that I might end up holding 5 babies in one night, while other times it could be the same baby for the entire 2 hour shift. The baby I held was around 5 pounds and the baby she held was around 12 pounds and 2 months old. So I know I will definitely be holding babies of all sizes with all different of reasons why they are in the NICU and maybe I will be more emotional with certain babies than others, but for now I feel good for what I accomplished last night and was able to go bed feeling like I did something Liam would be proud of.
When were leaving last night my trainer asked me if I had any kids, I wanted to say yes but all I could get out was an "ah, ah, ah" and she said I understand and continued to tell me a story about when she first got pregnant it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and along with losing the baby she lost one of her fallopian tubes. She told me her doctor told her it would be very hard to conceive with only one tube and recommended that she do IVF. She said they did IVF for years with no pregnancy and started getting really depressed. She said she then and spoke to her Pastor about all of this and finally came to the decision that it was okay to not have her own kids and adoption was still an option. Her and her husband became at peace with this idea and started filing the adoption paperwork when within a month of doing so got pregnant with out even trying. I was happy that she opened up and told me that story. I proceeded then to tell her about Liam and why it was so important for me to want to help out in the NICU.
A little off subject but I have been thinking about Liam and his Spina Bifida a lot lately. I told Dereck and my grief counselor the other day that I just want my Spina Bifida baby. I know this isn't true, that things don't work this way, but sometimes I still feel like Liam died because someone up there thought I wasn't a strong enough person to handle a baby with Spina Bifida. I often still feel selfish in getting the fetal surgery because I wanted so badly for my life to be easier and the fetal surgery was a way to make that happen, and maybe for thinking that made me undeserving of having him. I know it isn't true but that thought still haunts me at times.