You end up learning all about the other parents in the NICU, just by default. You overhear everything. I know which babies are there because their mother abused drugs. Which babies get visitors, and those who never do. Which babies are going to struggle with a disability every day for the rest of their lives. The parents who drive down from Rexburg to visit their one twin in the hospital, while one parent keeps the other twin outside.
The thing about Eloise's TEF is that it is entirely curable. It is a problem that can and will be fixed, and eventually we will not have to think about it. She will enter kindergarten as a perfectly whole and normal little girl. She will go on to lead a normal adult life without hiccups from this period of her early life. We just have to survive this time. This is endlessly comforting to me.
But it doesn't help me deal with the sad stories, the failed attempts, the pathetic sounds of suffering babies and families we are surrounded with at Primary Children's. It doesn't help me remember not to judge the mothers whose babies are suffering drug withdrawals because she was abusing drugs while pregnant.
I swear I can feel myself picking up emotional baggage whenever I walk out of the hospital.