Dear New Mom Jodi:
In the words of your college friends: nobody died. Look at you go, having a kid that defies odds and Mother Nature. Life is hard right now. Get used to that. It’s not going to get easier. That’s just how life goes. The sooner you suck it up and come to terms with it, the better off you’ll be. Put on your big girl pants. You’re a new mom. To a flipping miracle.
Your baby in the NICU? She looks like ET now. But in a few months, when she gets her tracheostomy and you get sent home to pretend like you know what the hell you’re doing raising a “high maintenance” kid, she’s going to be the cutest, smiliest, happiest kid ever. You’re going to hear stories about crying, screaming kids that don’t sleep, or eat, or are cranky and miserable. You won’t know what that’s like, but you can tell them where to find the children’s suppositories in the drug store. Priorities.
Your career working with people is going to come in handy. You will need to use those restraints, careful words, and attention to detail and memory recall when dealing with doctors, nurses, specialists, and schedulers. God knows your husband isn’t going to do that for you. And if you play your cards right? Well, you’re going to deliver your expectations once, and it will be inherently clear when those expectations haven’t been met. And you’ll earn a great deal of respect from the people who need to meet those expectations. And they know they’ll meet them or you will find someone else who will.
You have no medical background. None. But you’re willing to learn. And you’re scared to death at failing. Failing your kid. Failing yourself. That deathly fear of failure? That will get you through the most difficult times to come. You won’t fail. You’ll be fine. You may cry hysterically at work one day because the night before you gave your kid a bath and started at her feet instead of her head. You know what? Nobody died.
You’re going to quickly learn you have new priorities. You won’t even know it. You’ll be trying to make appointments for your kid, and the doctor will HAVE to see her on a certain day for a vaccine or something that will take up a ridiculous amount of time when it doesn’t need to. So that conference you wanted to go to? The one you paid $150 to attend for one whole day? Yeah, well, good thing you have a fabulous coordinator to give that registration to because you, my friend, are going to the doctor. With Cheese.
Suck it up, buttercup. You’ll be fine. Nobody died.