by Amanda Tellmann
To our primary care team on our daughter’s 1st Birthday: Thank you.
I have thought about what I would say in this letter for the past couple of weeks. So many thoughts and emotions, yet all that I can come up with is, Thank you.
On August 30th, 2019, my life flipped upside down. I arrived at the hospital for a blood pressure check and was strapped to a bed and informed that I would not be leaving there again before delivering my daughter. I was only 29 weeks and 4 days gestational period. The next few hours would be terrifying. The goal was to make it to 35 weeks.
While the antepartum team did everything they could, I would be heading to the operating room two days later. After I was informed of the risk for Holly and myself, the details become blurry. (I hate that but feel as if it was a coping mechanism) I remember being wheeled into the operating room. The room was flooded with a team of yellow and blue dressed doctors and nurses. I was terrified.
It is a surreal feeling to only get a quick glance of your daughter before she is wheeled off to the NICU. I would not get to meet my daughter for two additional days. You guys did. You were the first ones she would hear. You were the first ones to help her when she needed it most.
The amount of guilt I had over the first couple of weeks, and sporadically throughout these past 12 months, was unmeasurable. I was broken. You all saw me at my most vulnerable. I was terrified. I was angry. I was having an internal struggle. I felt weak and I worried that I would not be able to handle the ups and downs of the NICU stay. Admittedly, I struggled with trusting that we would ever be able to leave the hospital as a family of four.
You saw the terrified look on my face every time a machine would beep. You were patient. You explained every cord, every wire, every tube, and every beep. My heart would sink every time, yet you would walk in, smile, and calmly check in on her. I watched in awe.
Looking back, I love how her primary nurses would not ask if I was ready to hold her. They simply would hand her to me. You could see how timid and scared I was, but you knew how much we both needed to feel each other. You helped me gain the confidence I needed to be the best mother to this ‘Lil warrior. Thank you for that.
I realized during our 73-day stay, you all helped me as much as you helped Holly. It was a healing process for both of us. I cannot thank you enough. You provided the best care for our Holly. She is growing and thriving, in huge part, because of the love and care she received from all of you.
The incredible care she received, allowed me to be comfortable to head home every evening so I could be the mother that my Emmy G needed, as well. It was because of you, that I was able to balance my time. Thank you.
The conversations we would have, the incredible hugs you would give, the quiet sessions on the couch rubbing my back, and providing Kleenexes when needed, all helped me to heal. I needed you all as much as Holly did.
Thank you for helping to heal my family. You will forever be a part of our story, and a bigger part of our family. As we celebrate Holly’s 1st birthday, we are celebrating you and the amazing work you all do.
Amanda Tellmann is a full-time college student and manager for a local parking company. She is an adoptive and bio mother to two beautiful daughters. In her free time, she enjoys journaling, crafting, DIY projects and home organization. Her greatest passion is spending quality time with her husband and daughters. She finds that playing dress up, organizing impromptu dance parties in the kitchen, or spending an hour playing during bath time is the mental break that all mothers need from time to time.