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Post visit wrap up

February 23rd, 2007

I think everyone romanticizes visit trips and how wonderful things will be when we bring our babies home. We anticipate those visit trips for weeks and envision the wonderful bonding time with out beautiful children. A good number of people out there who suffer from varying amounts of depression after they finally bring their child home because things don’t meet the idealized scenario we have in our heads. We tell ourselves it might be hard but we believe that we can handle it. And many of us believe that we will be one of the lucky ones with a smooth transition home. Many of us have been dreaming of having a baby in the house for years. Then the reality of a screaming, grieving baby enters our home and brings us to our knees.

My first visit trip was definitely the honeymoon. Sabrina was a doll – fussed very little and slept a good deal. Steve and I smiled at each other over the top of her head when she would fuss a little bit. I dressed her in beautiful outfits and watched her peacefully sleep. She was really only full-blown not happy during tummy time – otherwise we had no problems.

Prior to my second visit, my biggest concern was that I would be leaving her at the end of it unsure of when I would see her again. I knew it would be different because she was older and would sleep less and Steve wasn’t going to be with me but I really wasn’t concerned. I had visions of my mom and me bonding over my first child/her first grandchild while Sabrina cooed and smiled. Reality was a little different: Sabrina was sick and my mom and I snapped at each other much of the week. I spent the week feeling inadequate, exhausted, and frustrated. Sabrina spent a good deal of the week being cranky and difficult to comfort. My mom spent a good deal of the week biting her tongue and trying not to interfere.

Honestly, there were moments when I wanted to go home. I would have gladly taken her with me but I just wanted out of that damned hotel. The first visit it was kind of charming. This visit it felt claustrophobic. I had walked all of the halls, shopped in the little shops, sat by the pool, visited the family room – I wanted out! I felt like every little bit of progress I made with Sabrina was futile. The sustained eye contact, the cuddling and seeking comfort from me, the growing trust during bath time – all seemed useless because I knew I would have to start back at ground zero next time I saw her. I was sad because as I figured out what comforted her, what made her laugh, what her different cries meant, I knew all of that would change before I saw her again.

Of course I wouldn’t trade the time I spent with her for anything but this wasn’t a fun visit. During the first visit, I felt at peace and complete for the first time in a long time. This visit, I felt I needed a vacation afterward. Despite the difficulty, I am glad I went. This visit reminded me that we were likely going to have a rough patch of adjustment when she comes home. It reminded me that being a parent is hard work. It reminded me that I need to have realistic expectations for our first several months as a family. It reminded me to catch up on my sleep before we pick her up. Our first trip made me a mom but my second trip forced me to act like one.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007 at 8:25 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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