Encouragement From One NICU Mom to Another

No parent ever wants to have a baby in the NICU.  As a NICU mom, I wouldn’t wish that experience upon my worst enemy.  Ever since we left the NICU almost four years ago, I’ve had friends {and even strangers} reach out to me because they are facing a possible NICU stay.  My initial reaction every time is fear because I’ve been there and I know how rough it is. But I try to make a point to focus on the positive.

No, NICU will never be an ideal situation.  I don’t believe a mother should ever have to leave the hospital without her baby.  And there will most definitely be setbacks.  But if your baby is going to the NICU, it’s better to focus on the silver linings instead of stressing over the possibilities that are out of your control.

Silver Linings From One NICU Mom to Another…

  • NICU is like boot camp for new parents.  While most parents are tripping over themselves throughout the first weeks with a new baby and stressing over the baby’s every move, NICU parents get to learn the ropes under the supervision of some of the best nurses and doctors around.  You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone with more helpful tips on feeding, burping, and diaper changes than a NICU nurse.
  • Your baby is going to come home on a schedule.  Many new parents struggle with getting up at all hours of the night with their newborn.  My daughter expected to eat every three hours.  No sooner, no later.  We didn’t have to worry about her being awake all night in those first weeks home.
  • While leaving your baby at the hospital is heart wrenching, what better hands could she be in?  There are monitors tracking her every heart beat along with nurses constantly checking in.  There are doctors fully prepared to address any issue that may arise.  Your baby will never be so closely cared for again.  You’ll wish you had that kind of care the first time that little one runs a fever in the middle of the night at home.
  • NICU babies are tough.  Both physically and mentally.  Some of the most strong-willed children I’ve ever met are NICU graduates.  And I mean that as a compliment.

No parent ever dreams about her baby being in the NICU when she learns she’s expecting.  But sometimes that becomes a reality anyway, and it’s important for us NICU parents to stick together.  I would have easily lost my sanity without the support of other NICU moms during our stay.  I hope to provide the same guidance to future NICU parents.  Please feel free to reach out if you’re facing a NICU stay and need someone who understands.

NICU Congratulations

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