needing my space.

April 15, 2012


It's 4 am writing this.
This post is about to be an outpour of honesty and may not show the prettiest side of me.
It's been forever since I couldn't sleep and had to write out thoughts to quiet my mind. Before bed we looked through pictures of Aiden and Ainsleigh's births. We poured through video footage and all of those old feelings and thoughts came flooding back to me.

I get emails sometimes asking me the best thing you can do for families whose baby is in the NICU....everyone is different...but for me, the greatest gift was space. I had waited 9 months to hold that little baby, snuggle it, take care of it, bond with it-and I couldnt. And you would think that someone would want their loved ones and friends close. 
I didn't.

I know that sounds cruel and maybe even strange. 
But then again...who really understands hormones tied with pregnancy and postpartum anyways?

You see when your child is in the NICU you get one hour a day of hold time. You get limited diaper changes, limited feedings. And anyone who did one of those was stealing from me- literally had robbed me. It's weird because it didnt make me as crazy when a random nurse I had never seen before was doing this (well, it kind of did) but that was her job afterall
It was when people I knew wanted to take those from me.

I had been warned that sometimes moms have a hard time bonding after birth due to hormones- but no one warned me of the latter. That I would have a rush of protection and anxiety...just the thought of visitors wanting to come see us made a huge lump well up in my throat. Tears instantly. With Aiden this didnt subside quickly. I would say it was over a year before I was comfortable sharing him...over a year

I was thinking last night about when Ainsleigh came....and was wondering if I was really more mature/prepared/better...or if the second time people were just better about giving me that space. 

Letting me bond and heal the way I needed to until I was ready for people to start showing up. 
I actually am not sure of the answer.

I know that Chris was amazing. 
Some people want their best friends, or siblings or a family member...I only wanted him. He saw how everything happened with Aiden and with Ainsleigh there was a "no visitors" sign on the door, he climbed in that tiny hospital bed with me..let me laugh, cry...we watched movies. It was just us and I adored that. 
He is all I needed or wanted. 

It's interesting because I felt no pain with either c.section recovery. I mean, I walked funny and I know I got sick both times for 24 hours straight right after the surgeries but the overwhelming amount of emotional healing and sadness from being away from Aiden and Ainsleigh must have overshadowed what was happening to me physically.


Given our history I am already trying to emotionally prepare myself for another early baby....and given how emotional this pregnancy has been for me already....Id be lying if I wasn't terrified of all of these things all over again. 
I don't want to fight back tears everyday...and be in this constant race to gain back what I lost.

When your child is in the NICU they ask you to pump and they feed the baby by bottle so they know exactly how much he/she is getting. And with both of my kiddos after weeks and weeks of this getting them to go back and nurse was not happening. So I pumped like crazy. 

But I can remember how heartbroken it made me that anyone could feed them.
 I was robbed again. 
I wanted to be the only one. 
Sure, it was my milk....but I needed to be the only one...and I wasn't. 
So it came out in weird ways. I wanted to do the only diaper changes, and a dozen other ways as well.

And the thought of that with our sweet Apple is already stirring the crazy in me. 
Hormones, goodness.


So here I sit, heart beating out of my chest thinking about facing all of this again. 
Hoping it will be different...or just hoping that I can handle it all better.
Praying that I can rationalize these thoughts. 
Praying that we will have a smooth journey. Praying that if and when we don't... that I handle it well. 

I hit 18 weeks this weekend...which if you measure by how our first 2 went...that's half way.
Half way to this new adventure!


  1. praying for you.. good luck & stay safe!

  2. Your words are exactly the way I felt. My second born son was in the nicu for 11 days and I felt exactly how you did. I literally only wanted/needed my husband and my baby. I couldn't answer text messages, emails, voicemails, nothing. I needed my space and like you, all I wanted was to be the only provider for my son whenever I could!

  3. This brought me to tears. I'm praying for you guys and she enters the world healthy and safe. I just emailed you about her. :) have a great Sunday

  4. I understand this so well... in a different way. After battling infertility for years and losing two precious babies to miscarriage we FINALLY brought our little Mareto home from Ethiopia and I didn't want anyone to come near him or us. We waited so long. I hated having visitors and I hated when other people tried to talk/play with him. I only wanted it to be us... and for the most part it was for a few months. I still held on to my no holding rule for several months. No one touched him. I remember wanting to bawl the first time we let someone else hold him. Only a minute passed before I asked for him back.

    This doesn't make you crazy or reveal any ugly. It makes you a mama.

  5. Praying for you.
    I know people say this alot but it does get easier.
    No, I will change that - maybe it is never easy, but at least you know what to expect a little more.
    And your husband is a gift- tell him exactly what you want- and if people are hurt - they will get over it. You do and don't do what you need to. God has given the 2 of you these precious gifts.
    He knows you've got this!

  6. heart is pounding.....I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. It's been a little over 18 months now and I struggle with the same emotions I could literally cry at any moment if I "really" think about it long enough. I've never been able to write about my feelings on my blog.....but love that you do on yours! Praying for a new and healthy delivery of baby Apple!!! :)) Loves!

  7. with my second I was in the hospital for 8 weeks after she was born. I couldn't nurse her or hold her. She is 3 now and I still feel posessive over my time with her in special ways. She drinks a bottle and goes to sleep in my bed cuddling me & I just soak her all in. The Lord has given you these gifts and this husband to fit your heart & to mold theirs. He knows exactly what your family needs & you don't have to fit anyone else's needs except theirs! I pray for an extra healthy pregnancy & transition with your baby! Thanks for being so real with your story & encouragement in honesty!

  8. You're doing well. Stay strong. Preparing your heart for the future can help you, well, be prepared. Congratulations on your girl!

  9. It was heart wrenching for me to see my little one go back into the hospital after we were released because of Jaundice. I could never imagine being in your shoes. I can only imagine that it's gotta be one of the toughest things that a mama goes through. My prayers are with you and remember that it's all in HIS hands and He has a plan for all of us

  10. Casey I completely understand your need for space. I just went through a very serious surgery and everyone so generously wants to know what we need and both my husband and I say the same thing as it is so hard for people to understand. But after having to leave my husband and 2 boys and be in the hospital for Weeks. Space is what I wanted. Space now to be just with them as we readjust after surgery.. Space while I was in the hospital to get the sleep and rest I needed. I want to thank you for this post and let you know I understand. There is power in that "space" but most dont seem to understand it. I was amazed while reading your post because you do understand and you voiced it so beautifully well. Thank you for writing such a beautiful, honest, heartfelt post.. I am praying for your family and you and that littl eApple growing inside you. May God wrap u all up in his saving arms and fill you with peace, love, and all the space you need. May HE BE A SHIELD OF PROTECTION AROUND YOU! In God"s never failing love, I stand with you in prayer. Amy

  11. oh you beautiful woman, I am praying for you. I so admire how you are taking this on in godly and honest ways. Thank you for sharing your heart with us- it is inspiring. not to be perfect, but to be real, and to allow Christ to be revealed in that weakness. I will be praying for you as the time draws nearer and nearer.

  12. everyone deals with things differently. you shouldn't feel bad or guilty for your need for space. i believe you are such a strong woman, and whatever happens with apple's delivery, you will be wonderful. you are an amazing momma!

  13. Oh Casey, I hope and pray that this birth is at full term and goes as straight forward as possible. The stress you are under going and putting yourself through must be so so hard on you.

    I really hope for the best for you and your family. Stay positive and you have been through the situation before and you came out the other end. If is does happen again (I hope it doesn't) you know you have the strength within you.

    I hope for the best for you and you will be in my thoughts.

    Lou xx

  14. I felt the same way after my son was born 6 weeks early. We lived in the NICU for 2 weeks. I loved that people wanted to visit, and share my joy, but I felt they were robbing my time with my son, or my time to sleep and recover. I pumped like crazy too! The doctors let me nurse, then he would get the rest of his food from a gavage tube. We had to weigh him before and after each feeding, and type of feeding.

    My second was on time. You just never know the cards you will be delt. Although I was very thankful I got to take her home the next day, I felt over due and like we were stealing her! It definitely didn't feel right taking her home after 25 hours.

    Praying for an ontime delivery for Apple! We are two weeks away from our March of Dimes walk and have raised almost $1000!! Wish us luck! Anything to keep babies from being born early, and keep them healthy remains close to our hearts :)

  15. Oh Casey, I definitely understand where you are coming from. Thank you for writing this amazing post. You are such a good momma.

    Prayers for you and your beautiful family,


  16. Casey-I don't have children yet, so I can't imagine how this feels, but reading your post left a lump in my throat. I will be praying for you and sweet little Apple, that she has a safe delivery and that if she does, in fact, end up in NICU that you will find peace, comfort and strength.Thank you for sharing your feeling so honestly.

  17. Your words are perfect. i've talked about our three month nicu journey on my blog before, but I've never captured my true feelings as well as you do. I am constantly telling my husband that I hope our next little one can make it to full term. I hope that we can have that bonding right after birth. Both you and least with one of our pregnancies.

    My mom was hurt when I told her I only wanted my husband in the delivery room with me during my births. But its such a beautiful moment in a marriage...its almost a sacred feeling. I think husband and wife need that time. Just them.

    It's hard when you, as parents, are told "no. you cant hold your baby." excuse me? did you just tell me I, the mother, can not hold MY baby? It's hard. So so sooo painfully hard.

    I'm am so thankful we have the knowledge that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. Even though many times it's not the plan we wanted, we know He is always by our side whispering to us that everything is going to be ok. We will make it through as long as we remember to have faith in Him.

    you're beautiful Casey. Thank you for opening your heart to me. I appreciate it more than you know.


  18. I don't blame you at all. My boys were not NCIU babies, but I didn't really want a lot of people around once we got home. It was my time to bond with them.

    I pray you don't have to go through the NCIU again, but if you do that everyone respects and understands your wishes!

  19. i love your honesty in this post. i can't imagine what you are going through. i do know that God is a big God and He will be with you and strengthen you and that you are one of the most amazing women i know. love you girl xoxo

    Anything is possible through the Strength of God

    Philippians 4:13 NIV
    I can do everything through him who gives me strength

    Through him the weak become strong

    Isaiah 40:29 NIV
    He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak

    Ask God for strength

    Psalm 119:28 NIV
    My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.

    How strong is God?

    Numbers 11:23 NIV
    The Lord answered Moses " Is the Lord's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

    Who is your source of Strength?

    Psalm 18:32-34 NIV
    It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

    Do not be afraid

    Psalm 27:1 NIV
    The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall i fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?

    God will uphold you in his right hand

    Isaiah 41:10 NIV
    So do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

    God will not give you more than you can handle

    1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV
    No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

    Lean on God and you will not be tired

    Isaiah 40:31 NIV
    but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

    Love of God brings strength

    Mark 12:30 NIV
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength

  20. My first daughter spent 2 days in the NICU ( I know 2 days is nothing compared to what other babies do but I think any mom can agree even an hour is too much). It still KILLS me that I didn't get to see her naked until she was 3 days old. It never occurred to me before that it might be part of why I have never been good at "sharing" my kids either. My second wasn't in the NICU but every minute I was waiting for after the c-section I was asking for her. I'm sure the nurse thought I was nuts. Anyhow,

  21. first, i am so sorry you had to have both of your babies go into the nicu. i am a mother of an 11 month old little girl and i couldn't imagine what you or your husband were going through. that is such an emotional time for a woman (and man) and it breaks my heart to know you were away that much from your sweet babies.

    secondly, i understand that you didn't want your friends or family close. i didn't either. but, i let them because i thought that is what you were supposed to do...let family and friends visit. i was such an emotional wreck after having my daughter (sleep deprivation mostly) that i needed that alone time with my daughter and husband. loved ones should understand and respect that. if we are blessed to have another baby, this is what i will ask of them (if i feel this way again.)

    i hope that you will make it full term with Apple. and that you get all of the alone time you need with her.

  22. That is a very tough situation, and all I can say is Good Luck. I hope that maybe this time you will make it longer, and the babe will not have to spend any time in the NICU. The baby is already so lucky to have such a wonderful family who loves her... positive thoughts on her entry to the world!

  23. I can relate but in a different way. I was told by my doctor that I couldn't have children. After a second and a third opinion I had given up home and actually had made myself believe I didn't even want children. Then I got pregnant. I believe that I needed this child to become who I was meant to be and God provided. When he came I was (and still kinda am 18 months later) very possessive of these moments with him. Praying for you and yours that things are perfect and for peace in this pregnancy. I love the names you chose, btw =)

  24. I'm rooting for baby Apple. I'm in your corner, cheering you on. Jumping up and down, clapping my hands, the we-will-rock-you football stadium type of cheers.

    It might be just a whisper at times, and sometimes so soft you won't even know it happens. But, Casey, I believe that just by thinking these thoughts, writing your words down, feeling these emotions, and yes, revisiting your past experience - you are being given the tools you need.

    For lack of a better comparison, like a squirrel who gathers hundreds of nuts in his mouth before he sets them aside - until he knows he will need them. And he'll know right where they are if he needs to grab a few to replenish his body. To make it through "that day".
    You have the same set of tools. You are gathering upon everything you have learned, everything you have been through, and preparing for what lies ahead. It's a normal thing.

    Sweet Girl, you know that Faith is believing the unseen, the unknown. It also means that you believe that you will have what you need, when you need it. For each day. xoxo

  25. abba, i love you so much. i love your kindness and gentleness and the sweet way you put your mighty hand down to give us strength when we feel like we can't take it anymore. you are our hero, our light, our everything... and i believe that you care about those little things that maybe nobody else can understand. you care about what is important to casey... she trust you and she knows you listen to her little secrets that she doesn't put here on the blog. you, abba, know her. i believe apple will come when you are ready to share her face with the world. apple will come when it is her moment. i imagine the build up everybody had when your son was coming physically into this world. casey and chris know this feeling in there own special way. i pray apple's moment is beautiful and bright. and God, i even ask that you surprise the mess out of them.. that you break down everything they are expecting and have her come right on time. i pray against the need for cords and wires and breathing machines.. i pray she doesn't need any of that.. just her mama and daddy! and God in these next months as she waits for apple i pray your comfort her from fear and pain. that you lay that hand on her shoulder and tell her you understand, because God you know pain. thank you for dying for us so we can walk in freedom. amen amen!

  26. My heart aches to think of what you went through. Praying for you and your little peanut.

  27. Definitely NOT crazy! We lost our first born half way through our pregnancy this February. The thought of having another baby already makes me want to build my bubbly to put around them...only big enough for me and that baby! Praying for Jesus' peace for you and me.

  28. I worked in the NICU for 15 years, so I saw first hand 100's of moms go through what you did. It's never the same, and it's never easy. Then my niece was born at 25 weeks and it REALLY hit home. I would hold her little hand if mom couldn't be there. Or hold her when she was finally big enough. I hope and pray you don't have to go through another NICU experience. I will not say "a normal birth" because they are all normal. Some are just a little earlier than others.

  29. you are not crazy, not even a little bit. you're human, you're a momma, and you're wonderful. don't ever feel any different. pray that your little apple sweetie comes out safe, sound & on time so you don't have to go through this again.

  30. Wishing you a smooth and pleasant pregnancy and delivery! I don't know what it's like to have a baby in the NICU, but I do know that feeling! I hated leaving my baby for the very first time because that meant somebody else could actually take care of him! But soon I realized, that I am his mother; no one can take my place because I love him like no one else can/does.

  31. I have been reading your blog for a little while now and I am always drawn to your words as they remind me so much of how I feel at times being a rather sensitive person myself. I don't know your pain as my babies where never in NICU but I do understand not wanting any visitors. I was very protective of my babies when they were born and the only person I wanted at the hospital was my husband I did not want any family or friends taking those few precious early moments we mothers have with our babies. I hope and pray for you that everything goes well for you this time and you will have a beautiful healthy baby girl at the end of it all.

  32. Casey, sweet friend I get this! After 2 pregnancy losses once I had my son I was (and still) am exactly like that. You are so lucky that you had a husband that understood- mine didn't and would let anyone come over causing me major anxiety. I want him to myself, I want to create those memories with him, less now that when he was born- but he's 11 months and I still have those feelings- I am his mother, nobody else should try to fill that position. Thank you for sharing this! I'm praying for your pregnancy!

  33. As someone who has also experienced a loss due to preterm labor and then subsequent pregnancy that resulted in my son being born at 31wks and having a lengthy NICU stay I am not even pregnant again and yet worry about what will happen with future pregnancies. It's so hard not to worry once you've lived through those experiences. Sending prayers for strength and hope that the rest of this pregnancy is blessedly uneventful ((hugs))

  34. Thank you for baring your soul here ... this helps me understand needs of friends. I would want my friends around me and it is good to remember that we are all different.

  35. I didn't have to go through what you did because my son did not have to go to the NICU, but your comment about pumping hit me. I never realized it, but when we had a ton of trouble nursing, I did become kind of controlling and wanted to do everything else, and refused a lot of help. I now realize why I did that! Thank you.

  36. I never had to go through anything like this, but I would picture myself being the same way, wanting to be alone with my baby, with my one else.

    Thanks for your continued honesty. :)

  37. OH Casey!!!! I just want to give you a big hug. I remember feeling that too, I didn't want anyone taking those things away, like diaper changes. Thank you for posting this. It reveals so much of what so many NICU mommies feel.


  38. Thank you for sharing a part of your heart today. That had to have been so hard and I'm not even sure how I would of reacted. You are a strong woman and I hope and pray things are different this time or that you find strength if they are not! many hugs and love sent your way!

  39. Aww...what a good mom you are! I had those same crazy feelings with each baby and no mine were not in the NICU. I just wanted that bonding to be there. I feel with my last it took me longer to recover from the c-section and I don't feel as bonded to my baby Gideon.....but he has bonded to daddy. I'll be praying for you and that baby Apple will come later and you can feed and hold her first :)

  40. sweet casey...thank you for being vulnerable & sharing the "not so pretty" things in your life. in so many ways your story has touched my life & sweet girl i pray you are blessed over & above.

    we are praying for you & little apple. for chris & baby A's. knowing that our Abba Father has a beautiful plan for this next blessing in your life! XO

  41. You put into words what I couldn't...My first baby was in the NICU (for nothing serious) only three days yet it was incredibly difficult and seemed like weeks. Like you,I had such a hard time 'sharing' him for so long. Our second son didn't make it (25 weeks gestation) and our beautiful daughter has been blessed from the beginning and is now six weeks old. I know I could easily fall into the anxious overprotective mother I have been in the past, but family and friends prayed so hard with us for this miracle and I know God wants me to share her with them. It's hard, because these little ones seem to be ours for such a short time, but if God wants to bless others through them, who am I to stop that? At the same time, I know God wants to bless ME through my children, so if I want cuddle time, I can graciously say so. <3

  42. Praying for you little mrs! You are such a great mama, and I look up to you so much! Thanks for being so real!

    xo. molly beth

  43. Oh honey! Your words express the emotions so well. Our twins were born at 28 weeks and spent 2 months in the NICU after I had a 6 week stay in the same hospital. Our second was 37 weeks and no NICU. Don't give yourself over to worry. I always reminded myself that HE knows when my children's birthdays will be and HE will take care of them. Hugs to you!

  44. casey this honest picture of having babies in NICU will forever leave a lasting impression on me, as i want to be able to help friends who could go thru this.
    i can relate a little.
    on TOTALLY different planes, but, still, i relate. i didn't have NICU babies so am not claiming to understand that part. but i do understand that feeling of powerlessness--i get postpartum pre-eclampsia after i give birth. with story that meant i had 2 ER (very scary) visits and over a week in the hospital. she was with me for some of that. but the rest of the time, i had to focus every ounce of energy and strength on getting better. when the e.m.t.s wheeled me away on the gurney, down my porch steps...i had to look at shawn holding story, and a friend (who rushed there) holding wilder, and it crushed my heart to know that I (whom I felt was the only one who could care for them "perfectly") was leaving. it was the most emotional, gut-wrenching, heart breaking thing i have ever had to do. a mother's love is wide and large, but it is also desperate. and that feeling of powerlessness...well, it's the very worst.
    yet another reason why i'm SO SCARED about potentially having a 3rd baby.
    (i could go on...)

  45. I did not have a NICU baby but I was (and still am a lot of times) a very protective mother. I wanted to do everything and didn't want to miss anything (diapers, bath, etc). And I only wanted my husband. We had family visit the hospital, but when it was time to go home, I wanted all our family to go home as well. I wanted just my little family at home, figuring things out our way. And I would not change a thing. I pray little Apple has a short stay at the hospital and goes home happy and healthy with her little family. I'll be praying for your sweet family.

  46. Hi Casey, I just read what you and your husband went through, I will pray for you that you have a safe pregnancy and that Apple will be ok.It must have been very hard but you have two gorgeous children and another (beautiful one im sure) on the way, cant wait to see Apple. Do take care of yourself..lots of love. Maria..xx( I know you dont personally know me and vise verser but I think you give such a positvie aura and connection):)

  47. I am praying for you guys and for your sweet little one! You commented "it may not show the prettiest side of you" but my dear, it does. I think we all feel this to an extent. When my oldest was born, he was almost to term (only 2 weeks early)and healthy but as they had stopped my labor previously at 34 weeks, I was a nervous wreck! :) I too felt a lot this way. At least for day #1. I had waiting so scared for so long, my anxiety was on high, and I just needed some time alone with my new little family to feel all the emotions that came along with it! It is ok to feel whatever you feel! I have been following your blog for a few months now and I have to say it is one of my favorites because you are always so honest it what you feel. It is a treasure! Plus my little Aiden is also almost 3, and he loves to watch the videos of your Aiden... Thanx for always sharing what is in your heart!

  48. You are normal. You are a momma. Don't let these feelings make you think something is 'wrong' with you or it's 'not pretty'. You are their mom. It's completely normal to have these feelings. I pray that with Apple you will have a whole new experience. You will have that bonding right off the bat, that she will be able to nurse and you can experience that joy. You are a great mother. It shows through the eyes of your children! Bless you Casey! Such a sweet tender soul!

  49. Ive never left a comment on anyone's blog that I don't know, but when I read this post I thought I would give it a try. If anything I just wanted to be an encouragement to you. I don't know anything about your birth story with your first 2 kids, other than what you wrote in this post. My first 2 girls were preemies born at 32 and 30 weeks, so I know all about life in the NICU also. There is a lot more to my story, but to keep this short, after years of praying, I got pregnant again and just 4 weeks ago gave birth to my FULL term baby boy. You can go to my blog to read all about it if you want. Even though I don't know you, I'll be praying that this pregnancy goes well and that you get to experience the joys of bringing home a full term baby. :-)

  50. I hope this baby decides to stay cozy for a bit longer than the first two.

    But I experience this same feeling. I feel awful for you that you had to go through that with a NICU experience too. I didn't want to share my baby with anyone else and I didn't have to go through your experience.
    I remember crying because he was napping in his crib and I missed him. I can only imagine how much harder that would have been with not being able to be attached as you wanted.
    I finally got better about sharing around 6 months or so, but it was very hard.

  51. I don't think there is a right or a wrong way to cope--your reaction, was your reaction and everyone who loves you will accept it and not judge you for it.

    I hope that this time is easier in some way for you and I hope Apple's stay in hospital is not too long.

  52. Thank you for posting this and letting all of us with various stories know that we are not alone! I too had a NICU baby, born at 32 weeks and spent 4 weeks in the hospital. The first time these feeling really came out was Easter Sunday. I walked in to find an Easter card from my son, with a picture of him being held by the Easter bunny, tubes and all. While this was a sweet gesture and now a treasured memory, I was really upset. I had only been allowed to hold him briefly ONCE, and here he was being held by the Easter bunny!

    I also have anxiety thinking of number two, even though I know it may be completely fine. It's still hard. I hope baby Apple has a nice LONG pregnancy and goes straight into her mommy and daddy's arms! Prayers to you all!

  53. Your post made me cry. My oldest is 16 and I was the ONLY one out of my friends and family that had ever had an emergency C with and an ill child to bring home. Everyone else had a cast of thousands around them and I just wanted my baby, quiet and my hubby. I wish I had read these words 16 years ago.

    I hope and pray that your little Apple doesn't have to go thru what her siblings did but if she does, you are a seasoned Mommy and know what YOU want and NEED and what your baby needs.


  54. Congratulations on the halfway mark! We celebrated at 18 weeks, too. :) Call me if you're ever feeling like your emotions are out of control- having been through the EXACT same thing as you twice before, and being only 6 weeks ahead of you with this pregnancy- I PROMISE I understand. Seriously- call/text anytime. I'm always awake with worry. <3 Always here for you lady. Love you!

  55. Casey....


    I've never heard someone put it sooo perfectly.

    My Elle was born at 32 weeks and spent 2 months in the NICU.

    Rielynn had low apgar scores and spent 9 days there.

    Worst part for me was watching other moms in the hallway holding/sleeping with and feeding their newborns. I had bad deliveries and had to stay in the hospital for a week with both. My babies were a few floors away and I couldn't take myself there to visit them. I was healing and unable to move independently. (With Rielynn I had almost 300 stiches. I torn internally.
    I wish I was kidding.
    It was awful.

    And yet...everyone else got to know my babies before I did. It sucked. I hated it. But...

    I got to bring them home, eventually. I got to love on them, kiss and feed them and make up for lost time.

    That was pure joy! Thank you for this post Casey. You can do this. ;)

  56. My first was 4 weeks early and 2nd 5 weeks early. NICU is no fun and I also had the same feelings. For one it was hard just making it home, trying to figure out what to do in the between time if we weren't staying at the hospital and making sure we were back for that short window of time to feed even if it was without being able to hold them. Much less having another child in tow and visitors were the last thing I wanted to deal with as sweet a gesture it was from them.
    Prayers for you and your pregnancy. May the peace that only God can give wash over you during this time.

  57. sending prayers and hugs your way! thank you for sharing and for letting us all in on a very difficult experience. Love your honesty. I'm twelve weeks with our fifth baby, so I totally understand the whole hormones and mommy protective issues! Just praying for God's peace to protect your heart and mind.

  58. Ahh! Wow, I've never heard someone actually say that before! That is EXACTLY how I felt. I had three kids and I felt guilty every time for those thoughts. I am pregnant with my fourth and I am going to channel this post!:) Thank you for making me feel normal about my feelings!!:)

  59. Holden didn't go into the NICU, but I wanted (with every ounce of my being) to have a natural delivery and found out at 36 weeks that he was breech and I would be having a planned c-section. I stayed awake every night until his birth, crying over my fear that my family would get to really see him or hold him before me. And I got to see him for a little bit before he was taken to the nursery with my husband where my family watched through the glass. And this still brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart a little bit. Even though they are my family and I love them, I didn't want anyone to take Holden away from me for a second, even still (at 7 months old) I really only like sharing him with my husband. I feel guilty and selfish for even saying it, so I appreciate you sharing your experience and the emotions that you felt and feel about your babies. Praying that you have peace heart and that your mind is free from worry in the upcoming weeks.


  60. You are such an amazing mother! And your thoughts are not mean or selfish or weird in any way. I think ever mom needs extra space after a baby is born: especially NICU moms, and I think everyone should agree. Next time I have a baby, I plan to demand the space that I didn't get after my first was born.

  61. oh friend! Thanks for sharing! My son was a member of hotel NICU & felt the SAME way!! I wanted everyone to leave me alone and when we brought him home I wanted him all to myself :)

  62. Sending my prayers and thoughts your way my dearest friend! It's only normal to have those thoughts as a new mom for every child and good things will be there at the end of the road, no matter how hard the struggle.


  63. Phil 4:8

    My prayers are with you.

  64. Phil 4:8

    My prayers are with you.

  65. My precious baby girl Olivia Adele spent 80 very long days in the NICU. I am BEYOND terrified to live through that experience again if we decide to have another baby. We chose to be the only ones that held Olivia as well (just my hubby and I) we didn't even feel guilty. She was ours and just how you had said we had felt robbed of our experience and wanted a part in this experience that was only for us. I could NEVER have gotten through those 80 days without Jeremy. I've been thinking of you during both of your current pregnancy's! Apple is lucky to have you guys as her parents :) You are SO strong!!

  66. What a beautiful, honest post.

    I breastfed both of my children and had that overly- protective feeling too. I understand that feeling of wanting to be the only one to feed them...I'm sorry that was taken from you.

    Hopefully you will be able to this time. I will say a little prayer for you.
    Lot's of luck!

  67. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Casey. I think your feelings are very normal as a Momma. Neither of my babies had to be in NICU, but I have an overprotective instinct in me too. I hardly ever let anyone babysit my kids (5, and 20 months) and I homeschool my son currently. I'm due at the end of June with our third and realized I can't handle homeschooling and 2 little ones under 2. I am TERRIFIED of sending my son to school in the fall. I realized lately that its because I am holding on too tightly to him, I'm trying to control everything- and I can't. I have to let go and trust in the Lord through these things that I'm so scared about. I will be praying for you and sweet Apple, I already have of course, but its nice to know specific things I (and we all) can pray for. God bless you sweet sister!!

  68. My first born was in the NICU for 10 was such a roller coaster ride and I felt the same way as you described. I just wanted my husband and no one else. I just wanted to bond with our baby alone. We wanted to learn how to be parents alone...not in the NICU where things were totally out of our control. It was so emotional and hard. I remember going through so many feelings and I just wanted to be able to hold our baby for as long as I wanted to and without limits. I felt like we wouldn't bond like we should because of this. I couldn't hot her for 3 days after she was born because of my health and hers. It was heart wrenching. I still think about it now that she is almost 5 years old. I held her for almost all her naps for her first 2 years of life. I carried her with me all the time. I am praying for you! Thanks for your beautiful blog :)

  69. My first baby was born healthy, and I still felt this way. Not many people visited, just our parents and a friend, but still. . .someone would hold him and take him across the room from me and I was no longer a part of the equation. I'd generally make my husband go get him back =) This time we are emailing our "expectations" to everyone before birth. They can come visit, but not right away. If the baby fusses, it is NOT a favor to try to comfort him for me. It makes me feel panicky and threatened. A year and a half after the birth of my first son I still struggle towards my father in law because of what he thought were innocent jokes ("we're taking the (1 day old) baby now and going home" or things he thought were his "rights" as a grandpa. . .to take the baby out of my arms whenever he wanted, etc. You spend every second with that baby, it is YOURS and YOU decide when to share!!

  70. I still cry thinking about how much it broke my heart when my babies were in NICU in Amarillo. After having two baby boys born healthy and chubby, one born a day late and one a day early. They both were back in my room with me in a matter of hours. A nice big fancy room by the way because I had no c-section. Then, when my identical triplets were born 5 1/2 weeks early, it wasn't just the scheduled times for feedings, baths, diapers, and meds that got to me as much as the empty, little shared room you get stuck in on another hall away from the other new moms who didn't have to have a c-section. They never brought my babies to my room. The first two days I only got to see an instant picture of the smaller of the three. They kept telling me they didnt know if she would make it. On mother day in 2003 when they were three days old I finally got to hold her. She had lost down to three pounds two ounces. I was afraid to touch her she was so tiny. Tomorrow is their ninth birthday. I still remember it like it was yesterday! I'm just so thankful that I am not in control. God is in control, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thought of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11 King James Version)
    Rest in the assurance that He is in control and He is all the strength you need. Use every minute of the time you have to be a witness in everyone's life that you come in contact with. Prayers are with you!

  71. Yes. I was the same way. Space was what I needed. I would sit on the couch and cry when people showed up with meals. It seemed that no one understood and I had to fight for space. It took me a long time to want to share him with anyone too. Thanks for sharing all of this because it made me feel "normal" in how I felt.

    I pray peace over your heart and a healthy in every way full term baby in Jesus' name.

  72. I was glad to read your honest thought on such a tender vulnerable time. My step-daughter and her husband just recent had a baby that will probably not make it past 3 months. When we heard that he was in the NICU my husband got in the car and drove 16 hours to be with his daughter. Unfortunately they were mad that he came and so because he wasn't able to see them, help them, bring them food or whatever my husband turned around and drove home. We haven't heard anything in 10 days and are trying to be respectful of their privatcy but at a loss to understand the rejection of the entire family. Your blog reminds me to be patient. thank you