Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bringing Raphael Home


If there's one thing I've learned, it's that being a mom can be so freaking scary. I guess you could say that I'm a natural worrier. Sometimes I overthink stuff and I tend to think of worst case scenarios when I have to make a decision, but isn't that "normal"?

Most people just assume that since Raphael is my third son that I know everything there is to know about being a mother and parenting. However, this time is different. My two oldest sons were full term babies and Raphael came five weeks early. He is considered a late preterm baby. Raphael had some feeding issues and jaundice so he had to stay in the NICU. When I was told that I was being discharged and he was staying in the hospital, I felt like someone just ripped my heart out. I felt light headed and out of breath. Walking out of that hospital without my baby was one of the hardest things that I ever had to do. That first night being home without Raphael was brutal. I don't talk about that night, but I can tell you that I cried so hard. A million thoughts and questions ran through my head.

"What if he bonds with one of the nurses and thinks that she's his mommy?"

"What if he doesn't remember who I am?"

"What if he gets scared?"

"What will we tell his big brothers?"

Some of those thoughts may seem a bit silly, but it's what I felt. Thankfully, we had amazing NICU nurses. They always kept me up to date and were so incredibly kind. I called almost every hour. I went multiple times a day to the NICU to visit Raphael and bring breast milk. And it was so hard to leave every time.

Raphael stayed in the NICU for about four days. When we were finally told that we could bring him home, my heart felt like it was going to burst. I was so excited and couldn't stop smiling. We watched videos, like how to do CPR on babies and we showed the nurses his carseat.

Then when it was finally time to leave, I stopped dead in my tracks. I remember just looking at Raphael and being so worried and afraid. One of the nurses noticed and asked me what was wrong. Once again a million thoughts ran through my head, but this time I blurted them out.

"He's coming home!"

"He's so tiny. Are you sure he's ready?"

"What if I mess this up?"

The nurses immediately comforted me and told me that I could take my time. They even offered us to room in for the night. We decided not to and after my nerves settled down, we finally decided that it was time to go home with Raphael.

Once we got home, we settled in before John went to pick up Michael and Gabriel from my mami's house. We had a very eventful night and I barely slept. I smiled and realized that a new adventure was beginning.

Raphael is now five months old and he is doing so well. He is gaining weight and growing. I love seeing how he is changing and developing. There were a few days where I would worry, but everything has been okay. Bringing Raphael home was quite the adventure. I'm looking forward to the days ahead and experiencing new adventures as a family of five.


Thanks for visiting!

Until next time...

4 comments

  1. I'd be a nervous wreck too I'm sure, and it makes sense to have all sorts of thoughts and fears. I'm so glad that Raphael is doing well now and I can't believe he's five months already!! What a cutie. And I'm glad you had such wonderful nurses - that always helps. :)

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  2. I have a friend who had a NICU baby and she described all the same emotions you did. I can imagine it was very hard! But I'm glad everything settled in soon after he was home and he certainly looks like he's thriving, what a cutie!

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  3. I had a hard time even letting my baby stay in the nursery for a few hours; I cannot imagine how agonizing it was not to bring him home for four days! I often think of the families with babys in the NICU and I am always amazed at their strength during what has got to be one of the most terrifying times of a child's life.

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  4. Raphael is such a sweetheart. I'm glad that the NICU nurses were helpful to you. They are such a gift. I worked in the Peds ER and handing off those little babes to them...I felt confident. They had such a wealth of knowledge. But it still was hard for you Mama, I know that. You're doing good. He's thriving and gaining and he looks incredibly healthy and happy. Go you Mama! And that little man of yours!

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