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Sunday, May 13, 2012

You make everything NICU

Taking care of five children is chaotic, and writing about time spent in the NICU can be exhausting, so I slipped into a pattern of not getting back to continue the blog.  But a couple of weeks ago, during a field trip to Children's Hospital of all places, I found out that one of the parents in my 2nd grader's class also was a NICU parent.  Even though we didn't get to share but just a few moments, it was clear that she had been scarred deeply by the incident.  It's a common saying that time heals all wounds, but nobody mentions the scars.  It was a bit comforting, extremely comforting really, that I was speaking to someone who knew how I feel and vice versa.

Being somewhat nomadic doesn't help my case, because nobody outside of family has known what we've gone through these past few years.  We moved to Knoxville right at a year ago and it is such a drain meeting new people because you explain who you are, but when you are still reeling from the trials that have been hurled at you, talking about hurt feelings isn't exactly on the topic list. Instead we put on the mask of the person that we would like to be.  That's extremely easy too since many cannot possibly empathize with the NICU parent.  The problem is that to miss out on being understood becomes a hurdle to actual healing.  Sad thing is that when we camouflage our selves that well, we hide from the ones that can truly empathize with us.

Doing what I do, which is working things out inwardly, I put together a slideshow that scratches at the surface of what it means to go through the season of having a child in the NICU.

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