Shop the fall collection ➔

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

I don’t have a choice. I feel helpless in so many aspects of my life right now. I muster on as though I am strong, but really I am stuck. I am stuck with the situations that have happened and a past I can’t change. There are so many things I want to change for myself and for my family, but I can’t because I don’t have a choice.

Since delivering our son at 30-weeks gestation via emergency C-section, I have felt adrift in the midst of my own existence. I think about the last few months often, but never very deeply for fear I will get lost in the stress and anguish. Each step of the way, I think about how I didn’t have a choice and how I still don’t have one.

RELATED: Everyone Warns You About Childbirth But No One Warns You About a NICU Stay

I didn’t have a choice when my body went into labor at 30-weeks even though it was too early. I didn’t have a choice when I was only able to glance at my son for a short moment when he was born before they took him to the NICU as I lay on the surgery table alone.

I didn’t have a choice when we had to follow the NICU’s orders for his care and get their permission to be able to bring our own child home.

Even now, with him home, I find that I am angered by this season of our lives because it is not what we had hoped for and I still do not have choices to alleviate my frustration.

When we were discharged from the NICU, we were given a list of follow-up appointments that were already made for uswe were supposed to reschedule our lives around these appointments. I know these appointments are necessary and meant for good, but they are like a tether that continually ties us to our past hospital stay, a reminder of our son’s prematurity and the struggles that continue to vex us.

RELATED: To the NICU Mom Who’s Back at Home

I had hoped that once we left the NICU and were home, we would be free to regain some of the happiness we were supposed to have with a newborn at home. But I realized that we still do not have a choice, and we will continue to be swept along, without a choice. The exhaustion and stress of our son’s delivery and hospital stay has worn away our ability to emotionally cope and rebound. Now, everyday experiences can send us over the edge and make us feel like there’s no hope and no end in sight.

So, we continue on, because we do not have a choice.

Every day, I push through the exhaustion and frustration, knowing I have no other choice. This is my reality right now. While it is not what I had hoped for, I am still thankful for my son and for his health and safety. I am thankful I can still take in his big, cheeky smiles and watch as he develops into a little person. I have to hold onto those little glimmers of hope and happiness because I don’t have a choice.

I have not chosen this journey for us, but I can choose to be strong for now. I hope that one day I will have other choices again, but for now, my choice is strong.  

Rachel Meeker

I am married with two sons and lots of fur babies. I love animals and wildlife. I'm a self-proclaimed mental health advocate who wants to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness. I love the Lord and am so thankful for His work in my life. I would like to share my journey with you, so come join me in my trials and triumphs. 

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Became A NICU Mom

In: Child Loss, Grief, Kids, Motherhood
5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Became A NICU Mom www.herviewfromhome.com

It only takes one moment. Maybe it’s the sound of an alarm or the smell of hospital soap. All it takes is one moment to trigger a flood of memories, no matter how many years have passed. For 116 days, my family called the neonatal intensive care unit “home.” At 22 weeks gestation, my triplets arrived, their eyes fused shut and their skin transparent. At one pound each, they were fragile and barely alive. Within two months, two of our triplets passed away. As we mourned the unimaginable loss of two children, we found strength and hope in our survivor,...

Keep Reading

In the NICU You Proved You Were Tiny But Mighty

In: Baby, Motherhood
Baby in NICU parents holding hands

I waited seven long months of pregnancy for your arrival but still wasn’t ready for the moment you came early. Suddenly, everything seemed scary and uncertain but one thing was for sure—you surprised me from the start. There was no slowing you down. I longed to finally meet you face-to-face but nothing could prepare me for when they whisked you away before I got the chance. The hours waiting were the longest of my life. Nothing about our new home in the NICU felt normal. There were so many limitations on my time with you, so many unfamiliar medical terms...

Keep Reading

Confessions of a NICU Mum

In: Baby, Motherhood

Dear NICU mum, I see you sitting there in the hospital café, clinging to your cup of decaf wishing it was caffeinated and with that thousand-yard stare. I can see that guilty feeling you have right now, guilty that you left the side of your baby for just a few minutes so you could step out of the NICU rooms that become so claustrophobic. I see you, NICU mum, and what’s more—I understand you. Because I’m a NICU mum, too. My little man left his 66-day NICU stay almost two years ago now, but I will always be a NICU...

Keep Reading