When you are pregnant, you imagine so many things about your baby. You wonder about the first moment you will see him, hold him for the first time in your arms, feeding him, and so much more.
Then, during the long hours of the unbearable pain of labor, or when the nurses are preparing you for the C-section, and you are beyond nervous, you keep thinking, just some more time, then I will have my baby in my arms.
Then your little angel comes into the world, but instead of being in your arms, your baby has to be taken into the NICU (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit), due to some unexpected circumstances like premature labor or other health conditions.
The NICU Days
And from there begins a very hard journey of NICU. That’s what happened to me too. After the birth, my baby wouldn’t stop crying and was not taking a feed, even after 2 hours. I got to hold him only for a short time, and then he was taken to the hospital, where he was admitted to the NICU because of blood infection.
Those NICU days of almost 2 weeks were the hardest days of my life. And I salute those parents who survived not days but months of NICU.
Because it’s hard, nerve-wracking, heartbreaking, and painful, seeing your baby attached to those daunting machines and monitors, IV attached to his tiny hands, it’s just too much. You just pray each moment to have your baby healthy and at home with you, wondering when this will be over.
Here I am sharing a few ways to help you survive those hard NICU days:
Take care of yourself
Your body is still recovering from the birth of your baby. You need to take care of it so you can face the battle ahead. Take your medicines on time. Rest as much as possible, I know you are worried about your baby, but you need the strength in your body too.
It’s not your Fault
Mommy guilt is irrational and creeps up on you when you least expect or need it. And amidst this worrisome time, you start wondering I must have done something wrong, or what if I hadn’t done this or that? It’s not your fault Mommy; it’s just the circumstances that are not in your favor. Remember, this too shall pass.
Don’t start living in the NICU
I know you want to be close to your baby all the time. But if you are not allowed to go inside and touch him, spending long hours in the hospital is very tiresome and not advisable in your condition. It’s not good for your mental health too. So take rest and good sleep at your home. It will be good for both your mental and physical health.
It’s natural to not feel like eating in these moments. But eating healthy is very important for your health. Think of it as you are doing it for your baby only, as you will be feeding him soon. Your body needs the nutrients to prepare milk for your baby.
Ask questions and keep informed
Whatever questions you have in your mind, don’t ever hesitate to ask the doctor or nurses. You have the right, and it helps you survive these days better.
Gentle touch and talking to your baby
When you are allowed to touch your baby, reassure him with your gentle touch, talk to him. It helps soothe your baby. Trust me, your baby recognizes you.
It’s Okay to cry, Mommy. All the emotions you have been bottling up to stay strong for your baby and your family, let them out every once in a while. It really helps.
Talk to Someone
Pouring your heart out to someone who will listen, who will hold your hand and be with you, can be therapeutic. It could be your mother, a friend, or a mother who has gone through this and know how it feels.
I hope these tips help mothers in surviving the NICU days.
Are you a NICU Mommy too? Do share your experience and how you survived it in the comments section.
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z challenge for the letter N.