Luke, I Am Your Mother

A quick bedside glimpse.

That is what my first sight of you was. You were then whisked over to the resuscitation room where I could then see you being worked on by a team of doctors, nurses, etc. I so badly wish I could have gotten up to be a part of it, but I was still on the table during emergency surgery.

We didn’t get that immediate skin to skin experience after those quick glimpses you were brought up to the NICU while I was still in the Operating Room. My physical pain was masked by this strong emotional pain from you being born way too soon and the tremendous guilt that swallowed me whole.

That day you were born, I so desperately longed to see you, but because I was so sick I wasn’t able to go to the NICU. Our separation sent me into a depression I didn’t realize then. I felt broken, alone and not like a mother … specifically your mother. A joyous and exciting time was, instead, accompanied by a cloud overhead with gloom, despair and uncertainty.

A new mom is always depicted in those beautiful tearful Pampers commercials with a gorgeous new baby and beaming full of joy. But what about those moms whose babies aren’t near them? Who still haven’t had their first touch or hug yet? I’m thankful for the NICU video cameras I could see on my phone, but it wasn’t the same.

I wanted to be with my son; I wanted to be with Luke.

One of the things I didn’t feel like, was a mom. I didn’t get to hold my baby, cuddle him, nurse him or even change his diaper. During those first few days, the only way I could even see him was over a screen.

I wept in my hospital room wondering if we will ever have a that special bond between a mother and a child. Is Luke wondering where I am? Is he longing for me like I am for him? Does he feel my absence?

Does he know how much I love him?

The first time I was able to visit him in the NICU, I couldn’t hold him yet, so I just stared at him. I kept on speaking softly to him, telling him how much I love him and how I am his Mother.

Each day I became stronger, and Luke continued to amaze us all. We eventually had our “first” hugs, nursing sessions and cuddles. Those first few months I would worry in the back of my mind that our bond wouldn’t be as strong as my my other sons, but I am happy to report that is not the case.

Luke, I am your Mother!

And what a proud mother I am. While we didn’t have the picture perfect beginning, we have our own special story.

So to the other moms who are going through a similar journey, it’s okay to feel these emotions! Don’t lose hope … your bond is unbreakable and may just need some extra time. Hang in there!

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Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.

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