I guess the thing about PTSD is it can hit you anywhere, anytime. You might be perfectly happy and just enough distracted by this, that and the other that you don't even see it coming. That's how it happened to me this morning.
Standing in line at Starbucks I recognized a glassy-eyed look on another woman's face. I saw in her blank stare that while she was standing right next to me smiling politely she was all together somewhere else.
My mind instantly and without my control went to the days that Bryce was his sickest and I'd escape the NICU for 10 or 15 minutes to walk to the nearby Starbucks. I was never where my body was, my mind was always with Bryce.
There were so many days that I spent all of my energy fighting back the sinking feeling that I was going to lose my precious baby boy. This child who had spent so little time growing inside of me and even less time where I could see him and occasionally touch him. I felt like at once I knew and loved him more than anyone else in my life and like I hadn't yet had a chance to really know him and love him for who he could be.
So I'd walk around Dell, down the busy streets in the blazing heat to a familiar place, because all Starbucks are the same, and I'd order my usual. I'd stand there in line and smile vacantly at strangers wondering maddeningly how all these people could go about their lives so nonchalantly, how could they go for coffee, laugh at dumb jokes and worry about their petty problems.
Didn't they know I was losing my baby boy!? Didn't they know that as we stood there he was fighting for his life!?
It's been about a year and half since Bryce came home from Dell and just a bit longer than that since we've been sure we would get to see him grow bigger and be his own person.
It seems it's just long enough to distract yourself laughing at dumb jokes and worrying too much about things that don't really matter. But low and behold, it's not long enough to forget that awful feeling, it's not too long to find yourself suddenly fighting back tears and feeling as if you'll throw up while waiting for your morning coffee.
Every day, thousands of babies, just like Bryce, are born too soon, too small and often very sick.
Wouldn't it be an awesome tribute to Bryce's incredible fight to have a huge group walking in his honor this Saturday?
But, if you can't walk with us, please help by donating to our team. To make a donation or sign up to walk with us visit the teamBAM! page.
Thank you for helping us support the March of Dimes in their mission to give all babies a healthy start!