I want to send you a virtual hug ( ). I have been through a similar situation, as my child was born at 36 weeks, and when he was 10 days old, he contracted a random bacterial infection and almost died right in front of my husband and I. I had to sit through the medical staff giving my baby a spinal tap, and watch in panic as the nurses and doctors scrambled to hook up machines as our child started to breathe erratically. The doctors said our little one was within hours of death, and we did the right thing by bringing our child to the ER. We are first time parents, and were completely blind-sided.
What you are experiencing is completely normal for what you have been through. Trauma is hard for the body to handle and cope with. What you are describing sounds to M. like PTSD, however I am not a doctor, just speaking from personal experience. I am a PTSD sufferer, and many things trigger sadness or anxiety in M., bringing M. back to those days in the hospital, and fear for the future. My child spent 10 weeks in the hospital, and it was the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I thought once we got out of the hospital, and we got back into a routine, things would be fine. I figured if I can make it through the hospital, it should be smooth sailing....that is not always how the human body works. It gets you through the present situation, but then it needs to heal and come to terms/cope with what has happened. I have read research that trauma actually changes the brain in many ways.
In the days following trauma, we learn how to move forward in the best way we can. I personally started to have panic attacks and anxiety. Fear of sickness and death for my family. None of the doctors, including Infectious Disease, could tell us where our child got the infection from, and cleanliness in my home has always been really important. But the doctors told us that the particular bacteria our child came into contact with can survive on surfaces for up to 30 days. So it could have been anywhere in public, someone could have touched a doorknob, and then grabbed my child's hand, and then maybe he stuck his hand in his mouth...
All of this to say, I am in a season of combatting my PTSD, so I can be the best momma I can be :) And I hope for the best for you, hopefully with the advice you are receiving and with the health care you receive, you can find what works for you. Everyone is different. I needed to talk to a professional, so I called my insurance company to see what I needed to do to be covered to see someone. I realized that I needed someone who could hear my concerns, validate what I was going through so I would not feel like a leper, and give M. ways to practically learn how to deal with and minimize my sadness and panic attacks. I identified my triggers, and figured out safe situations for M., as I baby stepped back to a healthy momma :) I also had a double whammy of my in-laws being quite negative and pushy, saying things that were not at all encouraging. So besides my own challenges every day, I was having to combat my feelings of being a bad momma as a result of their comments and actions. You mentioned having a supportive family, and that is a huge blessing. They can be a great resource in moving through this season of learning to cope and move forward.
I am happy to report that our child is doing wonderful, all of his doctors have been amazed at his healing...he really was a miracle baby. I hold onto that on my challenging days. My husband and I did the best for him in the situation we found ourselves in. No one would ask for their child to be sick, or ask for any kind of trauma in general. But know that you made it through the situation. You and your son survived. The outlook could have been far worse, one only needs to watch the news to see this. You are blessed, so hold onto that, even if you have to write your blessings down when you are having a good day, and then when a challenging day hits, take it out and read it, over and over if you have to. Life is quite fleeting, and we all need to remind ourselves to enjoy the good stuff when it is here. Hopefully this is encouraging to you, everyone deserves encouragement, even if it is from complete strangers :) More hugs ( )