"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

January 22, 2012

Torture or Therapy??

I was reading a friends blog the other day.....she is a NICU mom of a 23 weeker.  She's an amazing and strong woman, and her daughter...a true miracle.  She posted a couple links to stories of other families who have had preemies or kids with rare diseases.  I read both the articles and bawled my eyes out the whole time I was reading them......and for quite a long time afterwards.  These stories tug hard at my heart strings and I feel like somewhat, in some small way....I know exactly what they are feeling.

One of the links was an obituary.  It was titled "Our little Superman".  It was for a little boy, 5 years old who had passed away due to a heart issue.  He was a preemie, born at 24 weeks.  He spent 9 months in the hospital after he was born, but he was a happy and normal kid at home.  He was fun and loving...never complained.....and he loved his brother and playing with his iPad.   This story hit so close to home and even though I don't know him, I feel connected to him.  I can't even imagine.

Lately I've been finding myself surfing the internet.  Sometimes I google search or look for other blogs or stories that parent's have written about their NICU experiences.  I've found a lot, actually, and I can spend hours upon hours reading their experiences and seeing what they're going through, how they cope, their outlook on their situations...how their faith comes into play.  All situations are different, none are the same......finding other stories fascinate me!  This whole NICU experience has shown me a whole new world that I didn't even know existed.  It's a very special world, with miraculous kids, patient and strong parents....loving and kind medical staff...and all different kinds of outcomes.

Not all stories I find have happy endings....like little Superman who lived for 5 years, but recently passed away.  But I still like to read them.

As we were driving home from the hospital last night, I brought up the stories to Ova.  I almost couldn't even tell him the story because I was crying so hard....he got a little emotional too, just because little Superman and baby Katea started their stories the same.  He told me I should stop reading those things.  He doesn't understand why I want to read them....why I want to make myself cry.....why torture myself?  I don't see it like that.  We both handle our experience very differently.  He is strong and only sees the positive.  He hates hearing other people's experiences, especially if they don't have a happy ending.  He just wants to focus on our baby girl, how far she's come, and how well she's doing.  I, on the other hand like meeting and talking to other NICU mom's.  I love sharing my story (even though I cry the whole time) and I love hearing other people's stories.  Of course my heart breaks at the struggles, the steps backwards, the sad endings.....but those situations are real, and they happen to real people.  I don't see it as torture, I see it as my way to cope.  Finding other people who have been where I'm at right now....people who have struggled, cried, worried, stressed, celebrated and rejoiced....helps me feel like I'm not alone.  Theses amazingly strong mothers give me strength and hope.  They strengthen my testimony.  Some of the stories I come across make me grateful......grateful that my baby girl is doing so well.  I've been able to read and see some of the many things that could have gone wrong with her....but they didn't....that in itself is a miracle!  I can't help but think of the little boy who was born around the same time my baby Katea....same gestation and everything...who didn't make it.  I think of parents who have to deal with the unknown of the future....if their kids will ever walk, or talk....if they will have to outlive their kids.....if their kids will have full lives, or if some complications of being a preemie will hinder them.  I'm grateful that I don't have to worry about those things....and in a way, I feel guilty about it.  I know that sounds crazy, but I don't have to worry about those severe things that other parent's have to.....all I'm worrying about is whether my baby Katea will have asthma, or have to wear glasses.  It doesn't seem fair, but it does make me realize how blessed I am, and how grateful I need to be.

I find a lot of strength and comfort in my religion.  In the power of the priesthood and the blessings both me and my daughter have received.  I find comfort in knowing that my family is forever, and even though my baby Katea's twin sister didn't make it....she's in heaven and we'll be with her again.  I wish so bad that I could share that hope with some of these families who stories I read.  There are a lot of them who feel lost and hopeless....angry and questioning why?  I don't know why, but I don't question it either.  Someone once said to me "you are a strong person, that's why God trusted you with your precious little miracle".....I believe that.  I don't think I'm strong, and in fact, I'm probably the biggest crybaby ever....but it's amazing how even though you don't think you can handle it.....you do.  I would have never thought in a million years I would be able to handle something like this, but I am.  I have to.   I want to.  I can!  I can only hope and pray that someone else in my situation, maybe right now or maybe down the road, will stumble across my blog and find strength and hope from me....like I do from so many others!



I hope so too. Your blog not only inspires me, but my children too. We look forward to reading your blogs on Kateas progress. But seriously to know more and learn more about what others go through is therapy, and maybe even a relief to know that there is always someone sharing your pain, or going thru much worse. It gives me a different prospective on life, and a lot more empathy for those who heal (nurses, doctors, etc) it's a journey, and I love reading the ups, downs, and everything in between. So thank u, and thank u to all the other people who blog about their personal struggles..it's inspiring, and gives me hope for a better day, and more gratitude for all that I have :) Love u Monica!

Kassie said...

I second Anna..love you Mon

Kalani said...

Love this post Monica. And it's funny because I do the same thing -- read other people's stories, look for other blogs, etc., and Finau asks me why I read things that make me cry. I think it's theraputic for me, too, and on days when I feel like I can't handle having one more baby barf or poo all over me or when all 3 of them scream for 3 hours straight in my ear, I read the struggles that others are going through and feel a renewed sense of gratitude for my particular trials. You are incredibly strong and it's such a blessing to me that we have been able to be supportive of each other across so many miles. Thank you for blogging and allowing me to share in your experience with your sweet babies. Love ya tons.

Tina Tuakoi said...

I do this a lot too, and cried over the blog as well. Asi said the same thing Ova did.. I love reading your blog, seriously. Your blog is one of my favorites to read. The fight Katea has is amazing. You and Ova are amazing, and so inspiring.

MARCIA said...

I see it from both points of view, but that's exactly what it is, different points of view. You see it as therapy, even though it's painful, where your hubby see's it as torture, but only because he see's you crying. To men, when a woman cries she is in pain and it is his natural instinct to take the pain away. Woman on the other hand are emotional beings and we find strength in each other, be it trials or not, we need to know that we are not alone. I agree with my sis in that you should continue blogging, there are others who need you, just as you need them. This is how some woman release their pain, while men do it through games or sports. You are so strong Monica. Thank you for being an inspiration to all who read your blogs and who just know you! Love you.