"I feel empty. I'm empty in every way!" I'll never forget shouting these words at my husband through a flood of tears as he did his best to comfort me. I was inconsolable. As I look back at those nights without my HunnyBee, I feel a twinge of shame and guilt. As a person of faith, who really believes there is an almighty God who loves me, I rarely reflected that during those days. I had so many emotions, but was mostly filled with fear, hurt, and anger. I'll admit that I felt a lot of guilt, which manifested as anger with myself. How could I be so selfish to bring another baby in this world knowing my body doesn't handle pregnancy well? Did I jinx things because I prayed for my last trimester pregnancy pains to end quickly? I managed to make the situation my fault.
I pumped every night so I could bring my baby breastmilk. I felt like it was the least I could do for him. My husband and I woke up every 3 hours, though neither of us were ever really sleeping. I remember pumping in the wee morning hours one day, listening to the snore of my husband who just couldn't stay up any longer. I sat there, alone. No baby in belly. No baby at home. No one to talk to. Pumping milk that barely flowed because it's just a machine. I can't describe the emptiness I felt that night, but something happened! Maybe it was out of habit, but I started talking to God in my mind. I just asked why? What's the purpose in this? Then I asked God to fill me up. After that I had no words for God, but music has always been there for me when I couldn't speak. Tasha Cobbs gave me words:
"Fill me up God. Fill me up God. Fill me up.
Fill me up until I overflow. I wanna run over. I wanna run over"
Things started to change. The first change was my baby being taken out of the Isolete and being placed in a regular bassinet. For us, that was a huge sign of progress because he could now control his own body temperature and we had more easy access to touch and hold him.
Despite struggling to latch for nursing, our HunnyBee was able to nurse using a nipple shield. Another sign of progress that brought me a sense of peace.
When we got the news that HunnyBee was coming home on April 4th, I was in a very different emotional and spiritual space than I had been for about a month, but a bunch of new fears crept in...