Saturday we headed up to Towson to visit with Ian's friend who just had his first baby - 8 weeks early. We took them some things since they will be in the NICU for awhile. They happened to be at the hospital that Luca was born, which I had not been back to since we left there following the ambulance. As we pulled into the entrance of the hospital, the images came flooding back and I had a complete breakdown. That garage is where we took a selfie before we found out Luca was a girl. That hospital was a place that I looked forward to going to, because I would get to meet our daughter for the first time there. That hospital held so much hope and promise before she was born.
But we ended things there in a mad rush - Ian sprinting to and from the car with our things, parking illegally so he could rush back and see Luca before she was loaded into the ambulance, and me waiting in a wheelchair with a nurse rubbing my shoulder while Ian pulled the car up so we could make it to the next hospital before Luca. While I remember those things, I guess I had kind of blocked the emotions that come with those images. I have become so accustomed to telling people what happened, that I have become a bit numb to the emotions of it.
Then, something triggers the emotions and I break down. It took me back to a place emotionally that was so dark. I sat in the car with Ian and cried my eyes out. Big fat, ugly tears. You know the type of crying I am talking about - where you can barely get your breath, you snort unattractively, and you look like a hot mess. I was not even sure if I could go inside and see our friends. But somehow, I pulled it together. We walked in, and I just continued taking deep breaths. We saw them, gave them some food and necessary hospital items, and left. I was emotionally exhausted and took a big nap on our way home.
I need to face these things. I am never sure what will trigger these breakdowns, but part of healing is dealing with everything that we have been through - the good and the bad. That hospital holds both good and bad - she was born there and changed my life forever. It is where the amazing NICU doctor recognized something was wrong and got her help before it was too late. The next time I go back to that hospital, while it still will hold so many memories and those images will still flood my mind, hopefully it will not be quite as bad as that first time.