I have been reflecting on guilt – well basically since William was born – guilt that I imagine all mothers feel regardless of health conditions but I have to say that the guilt I felt when he was born at 28 weeks because my body "failed" was horrible. Then the guilt of 60 days in NICU and the guilt of needing help and that guilt only intensified when I had to be hospitalized! It was like a huge pile of guilt on guilt on guilt. I have to say that my husband is truly amazing and I could not have gotten through the first year without him and my youngest sister who moved out to Georgia to help. This is particularly true because my family – who is equally awesome – lived in Texas while we were in Georgia. Support is critical when life feels like one crisis after another.
Now that I have had a few years to wrestle with this guilt that comes with being a mom with chronic illness I believe (and hope) that I have a more realistic perspective on the situation. Rather than continually kicking myself and making things worse, I have learned that I just do what I can everyday to be the best mommy I can be and William loves me – period. That is it. I am his mom and I am what he needs. Guilt for something I (or you) can't control is counterproductive and takes more away from the positive times. So while I can't say that I never have guilty moments as a mom, I can say that I have learned not to let those moments outweigh the joys and triumphs that I have in celebrating life with Will every day.