Preemie Life - Day 25 Older Children and their Fears
Yesterday at dinner Captain E was being a particular pain. At one point he says, "The baby could die. The baby could die." It instantly put me on edge and I roughly replied, "Why did you say that? Why?" And his father said, "Anyone could die." And then we paused for a second. And Dr. J said, "E, why did you say that? Is it something you are worried about?" And E said, "Yes, and it makes me really sad that we don't get to see Cheetah ever." And so we had a talk about Cheetah, how good she is doing. How she was born early but how her health is great. How much she is growing, and how we hope she will be coming home soon, and the things she needs to start doing before she can come home. And he did seem slightly relieved after that. I've thought of this conversation several time since then both yesterday and today, a little heart sick that I'd not adequately explained the situation enough to my son that he was carrying this horrible worry around. It makes me wonder what more should I have/can I now do to make this transition easier for my children. We pray for Cheetah constantly here, but maybe I can explain to my kids before each prayer that she is very strong and we just want her to get stronger so she can come home sooner. I try to take lots of pictures and videos for the kids so that they can see how she is changing and see that she is getting bigger. I've tried to explain the different tubes and leads on her so they would understand what all the wires they see are and what they are for. Dr. J is planning on taking them to the store to pick something out for her for when she comes home and we're planning on having a gift "from her to them". But there is a lot of fear, stress, disruption in this house right now. If the parents are feeling it of course the kids will as well. What more can I do? Any ideas on how to help older children deal with the stress of the situation and the transition to a new preemie sibling?