Right now, I’m in the dark of my studio typing this out with tears on my face. I just got done begging God to help me. Begging to be able to bring my baby home. I haven’t had a full nights sleep in months. My baby isn’t home but my body still needs to pretend that he is. I’m up twice throughout the night to pump and I pump every two hours during the day. Sometimes I don’t get to do that because I’m stopping by by every hand sanitizing station on my way to the Intensive Care Neonatal Unit, feverishly washing my hands, putting my phone through a UV sanitizer, all while wearing a face mask just to see my baby. I’m there with him alone too because Covid-19 won’t allow us to be a family with the new hospital visitation rules in place. Only one visitor at a time, once a day. Anyway, I don’t always get to pump every two hours because I’m desperately holding tight to the baby that I can’t take home with me. I’m usually there, holding him, feeding him, you know? Trying to be his mama through all of this. Not letting go even though there is a pain in my chest from not pumping. I eventually have to though. I have to use the bathroom because I’m too afraid to use the public restroom now. I’m hungry because if I take off my mask for just a few minutes, I’m deathly afraid that I’m not being the best protective mother I can be. So, I gather my things and say goodbye to my sweet child. I sanitize again on my way back to the car and again when I’m in the car.
Before you know it, I’m home again. I have to pump again. I have to cook dinner again. I have to tend to the sick husband who needs me too. The baby’s laundry is dirty. Milk needs to be inventoried and frozen. I have to take off these contaminated clothes. I need a shower. I don’t eat though because I often forget to eat. I do get a few minutes to myself to cry when I’m in the shower. I’m ready for bed but I only get to sleep two hours until I’m up to pump again. There is so much that needs to be done. There are people that I need to taken care of. But who’s going to take care of me?
Who is going to take care of me?