Thursday, 09 February 2012
We spent longer in the NICU with our daughter than most of the families I met had to. We dealt with surgeries, lung collapsing and multiple other near death problems but we survived and, as a family, are more than just rock solid. I stayed away from my husband out of state in a Ronald McDonald house for 3 months across from the hospital we ended her stay at.
While I was there, I ran across so many couples who failed. They were constantly in drama, cheating, drugs and so many other problems but I did see a few things. I met one couple who's son was almost 2 years and had been on a vent his whole life and they were a very strong couple (at least stronger than the others who were talking divorce right and left). I'm going to post again when I think of more tips but the ones I can think of right off the bat are things that I'm glad I did because it has kept me sane and able to take care of my daughter better than a lot of the moms I met.
1. If the hospital offers a support group for the NICU parents or a weekly dinner, go. You don't have to go every week but it will help you meet people who can empathize a little bit with your problems. The strongest parents I met were the ones who attended the dinners and we all could weirdly relate to each other.
2. If there is a therapist, go ahead and talk. It is someone who is not judging you and not going to criticize you for feeling down about your child's condition. At least for me, talking about a problem is what helps me handle it a lot better than anything else.
3. Take time for yourself every day. Even just a few minutes and meditate, pray or do something to relax. I started really seriously meditating and doing energy cleanses under the moon and it helped me. I never even got post postpartum depression and if I started to feel depressed, I'd talk to someone or I'd just try to relax.
4. Stay by your husband/fiance/boyfriend's side. If you are in a relationship, do not just randomly leave them or go behind their backs. They are your biggest support- they are the only ones who know what you are going through.
5. Don't make any life changing choices while you are stressed and going through hell. You will be acting on emotion and not what you truly want.
6. Enjoy your baby the time will go by fast and before you know it, they'll be about to turn 1 and you're left there trying to figure out what happened to them being a new born. I still feel ripped off with missing out on over half her first year and I was at the hospital every day.
That's all I'm posting right now but I have a lot of other things I learned from our nearly year long stay. Just remember though, you're not the only one going through it and you won't be the only one going through it. Before you know it, your baby will be catching up and getting stronger.