I think about you often.
I noticed you on our second day in the NICU. I was in the hallway in front of your daughters’ room speaking with our nurse. You looked up from your chair and tried to smile. As I walked away, I looked at the nameplate on the door. Sophia.
From where the rocking chair was in our room, I could see out our door to Sophia’s room. Over the next few days, I noticed your daughter’s door proudly displayed several milestones. “Off ventilator” and “first-time mommy held you” made me realize you were seasoned here. Your daughter had been through a lot in her little life. And so had you, Sophia’s mama.
A week later, you came in scrubs to see Sophia. I wondered if you had gone back to work. I thought about how hard and long your days must be. Working when all you wanted to do was be there with Sophia. And coming after a long day to sit by her isolette late into the night.
My heart hurt wishing you could just be there with her, Sophia’s mama.
A few days later, my husband and I were there when Sophia coded. We sat in silence as doctors and specialists and nurses ran to her room while you stood in the corner with a look of terror that I will forever remember. I rocked my daughter and stormed Heaven with prayers for your girl and for you, Sophia’s mama.
It is a humbling experience being able to peer through a window into the hardest, most vulnerable, and most intimate moments in a family’s life. I watched you sit right next to Sophia’s isolette and just stare at your sweet girl with worry on your face and in your heart. I saw you, exhausted, late at night and early in the morning with coffee in hand. I watched your husband hold you while you shook with sobs as a doctor delivered news. We never spoke. Only exchanged forced smiles as I walked by to the bathroom or you went to refill your water.
But I felt like I had forever bonded with you, Sophia’s mama.
The day for us to be discharged arrived. I was beaming walking with my daughter in her car seat to go home. I passed your room and watched you quickly look down. And I instantly felt sorry for being so happy. Guilty that we were bringing our baby home while Sophia had to stay. Ashamed by my joy because I know that watching us leave must have hurt your heart, Sophia’s mama.
Now, I watch my daughter crawl and sit up and eat solids, and I hope you are getting to do the same with your daughter. I pray that you got to leave, beaming while they wheeled your Sophia out to the car to go home. I wonder if our girls may one day be classmates or on the same team. I hope you are living a happy and beautiful life with your strong, miracle girl.
I think about you often, Sophia’s mama.