You can’t please everyone.
As I’ve said before my son was born ten weeks premature by emergency c-section. There is an interesting battle that ensued from this. The battle for my attention, but not how you think. I was in the hospital with advanced preeclampsia and extremely high blood pressure. Henry was in the NICU ten weeks premature at 2 lbs. 13oz. Naturally we had a lot of doctors telling me what to do.
1 My doctors
The only thing they cared about was me. They wanted me to rest, stay in a dark room and basically not move until my blood pressure returned to normal. There were staples in my stomach and IVs all over my arms.
2 Henry’s doctors
The only thing they cared about was Henry. They wanted me in his room every day for 12-16 hour days doing skin-to-skin to help him grow and bond and be healthy and that meant my full attention caring for him. To be in his room at every doctor check to get the update. They didn’t want me laying in the dark in my room, they wanted me in Henry’s room helping him.
3 The Lactation Nurses
The only thing they cared about was my producing breast milk for Henry. I was required to pump 10-12 times a day! That’s a lot by the way. They didn’t want me to lay in the dark and relax, they didn’t want me doing skin-to-skin, they only wanted me to pump milk.
It is safe to say all these doctors and nurses talk to each other and truly they probably all do care about all the aspects of our health, but it sure didn’t feel that way. I felt overwhelmed and always behind. I felt like no matter what I did I couldn’t succeed in any of their eyes. It was so hard. It actually was a struggle with depression for me just dealing with all the demands they each had, that didn’t seamlessly work with the other’s demands. That was one thing I struggled with accepting that I couldn’t be perfect any of the doctor’s eyes.
What ended up happening is I sacrificed my own health so I could ensure I pumped so Henry had fresh milk every day and I did skin-to-skin with him. I didn’t rest much. I was never sure if I was coming or going or if it was day or night, but somehow those forty-seven days passed and after two failed sleep tests, Henry and I passed and he was allowed to come home.
Those were simply the best words. Henry could come home. All my hard work and crazy unwashed hair was worth it. My baby was coming home.
There is no perfection, there is not any one set of rules or a delightful little guide book. Life is a journey and each of us has to walk a different path. Do the best you can and know that is enough. You are doing a great job.