On Day 3 of my son's life, I was released from the hospital. I remember my husband wheeling me into the NICU for the first time. The sounds were foreign. The smells were foreign. Overwhelmingly foreign. My husband had to show me how to scrub properly. He took me to J's isolette, and he introduced me to his nurse. I felt out-of-place, truly like a visitor. And then I looked at that tiny baby in the big pexi-glass box under the bili lights.
Inadequate. I was wholly inadequate. I felt powerless, helpless, and clueless. Oh, and swollen and terribly sore too.
"Mama, WAKE! UP!" And here we are, J's smiling face in my own. I am the one who knows him best. I am a hero to him, all-powerful and full of answers. If only I could go back and tell the woman I was then that she wouldn't always be inadequate. If only I could tell her to be patient with herself and give it time.
We were all thrown into not just the deep end but a whirlpool. We were sucked under and spit out. We all struggled, my husband, my son, and me. But, then we all popped up to the surface, we found our places, and now we're a family.
And I might be many, many things, but inadequate is no longer one of them.