What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Jersey Girl Gone Granola.

What I want you to know is that I feel guilty. Not all the time, not all consuming. Just when I stop to think about it. Just when I see pregnant women further along than I got. Just when I think about the possibility of having another child. What I want you to know is having a placental abruption resulting in the birth of my daughter at 29 weeks will forever color my parenting and all future decisions. What you may see as obsessive, ridiculous behavior I see as necessary – because what if I lost her?

I had every intention of being a “normal” parent. The nursery was ready for her at 5 months in. After not getting pregnant for 2 years and resigning myself to a most likely childless life, I was beyond ready to welcome baby girl, and nested about a month in. I had zero clue that it would be necessary this early readying for baby, because before I hit my 7th month of pregnancy, out came my little fighter. 2 lbs 10 oz of crazy, spitfire, jersey girl, ready to take on the world….or the NICU staff and ventilator at the very least.

Through kangaroo care (skin to skin daily contact as often as possible), breastfeeding, and a mother reading up on ALL THE SCARY that lives on the internet, baby girl thrived and got to go home exactly 1 day shy of 2 months in the NICU.

Suddenly it was all on the hubs and me to keep her alive. WHAT?!? No monitors, no nurses, no beeps (dear LORD THE BEEPING). Just the three of us, in our quiet house, trying to survive. The guilt was worse then. She weighed just shy of 5 pounds when we left. And her reflux was awful. (Had my stomach issues done that to her, too?) She couldn’t sleep on her back, and so she slept on mommy. Naptime, night time, all the time. Usually in the moby. My life was breastfeeding, burping, holding, changing, repeat. And I loved it. I still do, 22 months in, when she still falls asleep in my arms and shares our bed and nurses like a newborn.

But the guilt. Why couldn’t my body be the safe, warm place to grow what she needed? Why couldn’t I protect her from a severely traumatic birth story and first few months of life? Why did my womanhood betray me? And will it happen again?

So, yes, we don’t leave her with babysitters, or in the church nursery by herself, or even in her crib. Yes, I’m just the teensiest bit obsessed much by my gorgeous, delightful, happy baby girl. Yes, I am FOREVER worrying about her milestones (she should be talking more at this age). Yes, I will NOT allow any non-organic food in that child’s mouth. There shall be no chemicals, processed nonsense, harmful toxins anywhere near her mouth (except of course when she laps up water from the cats’ bowl….I just….sigh). And yes. I am scared as hell to get pregnant again. It would be officially off the table if the hubbs didn’t want more children so so badly. Me? I’m having a really hard time trusting the body that so greatly betrayed me the first time around. And since I’m an internet lurker, I’m also having a really hard time finding any good stats on women who have had successful pregnancies after having an abruption (if you know any, please please tell me).

The ambulance ride to the hospital that night I started gushing blood, God heard some pretty big promises from me. Please God, just keep her safe. Keep her HERE. I’ll do anything. Any and every time I hear her cry, or shout, or try and choke the cat again, it all comes back. She could have so very easily NOT been here.

Am I prepared for that possible scenerio again?

My friends and hubs say it will be fine- I’ve healed myself from all the other sickness my body went through by going all organic, all whole food, all made from scratch (including my shampoo…I’m pretty close to official hippie at this point). But I still have my doubts. Maybe I’m simply supposed to trust that if it’s meant to be, then it will be.

Maybe I should check the internet again….