If you've read this blog for more than two seconds, you know that I suffer from PTSD related to my son's early birth and NICU stay. While his stay was shorter than some, and he is healthy overall, the birth and aftermath left me emotionally scarred for a very long time. The link below links to an old blog post from June of 2010. George was 19 months old, Cole was two months and I was still having dreams.
The good news? I am so much better than I was. SO MUCH. When my niece was born in April, I was able to walk into her room. All I saw was a lovely little lady, my sweet Miss Who and all the things that made her Miss Who. Clinically, you can go on-line and read about what a micro-preemie looks like. I didn't see that. I saw her big hands and feet, her tiny cow lick and how she loved to hold her mama's hand. There were no overwhelming memories. No dreams. No huge, sobbing tears. The PTSD beast did not rear its head.
Unless you have been there, you have no idea how huge this is for me. Huge. And throughout the entire NICU journey my sister went on, I didn't have one knee-buckling flashback. Not one and I spent enough time in her room that I should have. I should have been on my knees, sobbing at the memories and I didn't.
Will this happen for everyone? I don't know. I can't promise that. It was a long slogging road and I won't consider myself healed. I do consider myself better, stronger and healing.
I can't promise that anyone will be able to walk back into a NICU room after having their own NICU baby. I can't promise you will be able to do what I did. But I can promise that, with the proper help and time, it will get a bit better. Easier. Healing.
Flashback: Trigger Control