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josie duffy rice @jduffyrice
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
here's a story. my son came early, a few weeks after my husband and i moved to atlanta. we still had so many boxes to unpack and things to do.
i was in labor almost a full day. i spent over three hours pushing.
and then he was here. he was smaller than i expected. his head was shaped weird and he had big feet and blue eyes, just like my late father in law. he was just great, and we were thrilled but also tired and scared and overwhelmed. after a few days we went home.
we went to the doctor and mentioned that he looked like he was having trouble breathing. he assured us that happened sometimes. and so we tried to not worry about it.
my dad came over and said "he looks really red. he looks like he's having trouble breathing." and i patiently explained that babies sometimes are just learning how to function. i told him not to worry.
one night, when he was five days old, i noticed his head was nodding and ribs were showing he was breathing so hard. he was so red. we decided to call the emergency line. the on-call doctor wasn't totally convinced it was anything, but she said we should take him in just in case.
immediately they told us he was in a very serious state of respiratory distress. they hooked him up to many tubes. we were in the NICU for the next few weeks. it was, bar none, the most helpless i have ever felt in my life. i do not have words to describe how miserable i felt.
and here's the thing - we were he had. the nurses were great. the hospital was amazing. but no one was there to advocate just for him. and he was 7 pounds. he relied on us for literally every single thing, and he didn't even know it yet.
i am not a special mom. i'm a mom like all the moms that cross the border with their baby. and now, a bunch of people who don't trust government want me to believe that our government could responsibly take care of those babies.
those kids are like my kid. my kid, who is capable of exactly three things - eating and gurgling and rolling around. my kid, who needs a breathing machine. who has fragile "injury prone" lungs.
i was miserable - MISERABLE - when niko was in the nicu. and i was right there. it is quite literally unimaginable to me to imagine him in that same situation but monitored by some random HHS employee who doesn't care about him at all.
look, adults are assholes. all of us are pretty bad. some of us, particularly our depraved president, are worse than others. and its objectively insane that we have to fight for parents to get a chance to take care of their own children like i took care of mine.
babies are good, man. in the moral sense. my son hasn’t had a bad thought in his life. he knows nothing. he doesn’t even hate trump yet. punishing children in an effort to score political points is quite definitively unforgivable.
anyway, here’s my kid at 5 days old in the hospital.
And here he is now. Home. Okay. I’m done. None of this is groundbreaking. But tonight I’m remembering the NICU and it brought this all home in a different way.
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