mea culpa

Over the past few days, the task of blogging has become increasingly difficult. At first, I thought it was because Frankie's progress has been so steady that there's really nothing new to report. In reality, the problem is my unwavering optimism. I've been trying to sustain a positive tone in spite of my feelings of concern, resentment, and helplessness. I figured that if I remained upbeat I could somehow boost Anna's spirits and ameliorate her feelings of depression. But it doesn't work like that. Instead of easing her burdens, my constant reassurances have left her feeling alone in her anguish. She was feeling down the other night, and I asked her what was wrong. She snapped back, "What do you think? I'm exhausted, my baby's in the hospital, and my boobs hurt. And I'm tired of being reassured. I don't feel lucky. I hate this whole situation." The words were hard, but undeniably true. I realized that my perpetually hopeful, look-on-the-bright-side reactions to every bump in the road have become tiresome and grating. My facade of strength was having the opposite of intended consequences. Instead of being a source of support for Anna, it has become a wall between us.

The problem with this particular realization is that it's not as easily resolved as it might seem. The truth is, boundless optimism has kept me mentally and emotionally afloat for these past many weeks. I've been hesitant to admit that it's as much for my own sake as for Anna's. Still, I understand that a balance must be struck, so I'm going to dispense with the stiff-upper-lip heroics and allow myself some moments of vulnerability, doubt and frustration. Lord knows I have more than a few, and more frequently than I care to admit. If nothing else, it'll let Anna know that she's not alone, nor is she crazy for feeling the way that she does. Because this does suck, and no matter how lucky we've been, the truly lucky folks have beautiful, full-term babies, remaining blissfully ignorant of the goings on in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.


Anonymous aunt debbie said...

Everyone copes with excessive stress in different ways. I think you're both holding up exceedingly well under the circumstances. There's no denying that this has been a traumatic experience that none of us will ever forget -- except, thankfully, the most important person, Frankie.

Lots of love to you all, Deb

4:09 PM  
Blogger swamp4me said...

You guys have done great. You've gone through, and are still experiencing, a tremendously stressful situation. Don't beat yourself up over having normal feelings.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Grandma Judy said...

Wish September would hurry up and get here! XOXO

10:40 PM  
Blogger MommaS said...

I'm constantly amazed with the attitudes you both have. Yes, having a good attitude is key, but, feeling lost, confused, angry, and resentful is completely normal. Don't feel guilty for them. If you didn't hate this situation, THEN I'd begin to wonder. You are loving, caring parents, and little man is really going to hear about it when he's older!

We love you guys!

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rub a little dirt on it and get back in the game...

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the honesty of this post...

10:12 AM  

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