Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NICU Moms Link Up!

It's time to link up to offer advice for NICU moms!




Here's my info...

Newborn Skeeter

Baby's Name:  Skeeter (nickname)

Gestation Age at Birth: 32 weeks, 4 days

Time in NICU: 3 weeks, 4 days

Birth Stats:  3 lbs, 5 oz & 16.5"

Reason for NICU stay:
Due to preeclampsia, we were forced to deliver early.  {Read the full story here.}  Skeeter needed to gain weight, maintain her body temperature on her own, and be able to bottle feed before being allowed to go home.

Obstacles: Skeeter had recurring sleep apnea with bradycardia.  It caused her discharge to be delayed a couple times.  She was ultimately sent home with an apnea monitor.

5 days old

Coping:  When Skeeter was born, I wasn't scared for her well being.  She was born breathing on her own, which was a huge relief.  It wasn't until I visited her in NICU that anxiety really set in.  When they handed me that tiny child, I immediately became terrified for her safety.  I think being able to pump my own milk and provide nutrition for her was a huge help for me.  Knowing that I was helping in some way was a huge relief.

Another issue I had was having to leave her.  Unfortunately, I couldn't be in NICU 24/7, and leaving  her alone in her isolette broke my heart.  Another NICU mom suggested cuddling a stuffed animal for a while before leaving and putting it in her isolette.  She could smell me-as stinky as I may have been the first days- and be reminded of me.  Also, rocking her to sleep before I left helped me too.  For some reason, I had a complete meltdown leaving if she was awake.

One suggestion I wish I'd followed through with was leaving a disposable camera at her bedside.  This way the nurses could take pictures when you weren't there.  I know they gave baths and changed her outfits during the night shift.  It would have been wonderful to have these pictures to look back on.

Most of all, just know that it's okay to cry.  I did a lot of it.  One time, Mr. BUB and I had to drive past the hospital without stopping to see her and I burst into tears.  I think this is part of being a mother- you're not supposed to be separated from your child like this.

Of course, the support of our family and friends was monumental.  Knowing we were backed by prayers was so comforting.  And knowing that our parents were visiting Skeeter when we couldn't soothed my aching heart.

I don't mean for this to be a depressing post- I think that honesty is key in relating to what current NICU moms are experiencing.  And I'm completely open to answering questions if any of you have one!
7 weeks, 4 days old (On her due date)



Link up below!

10 comments:

Amber said...

I can't even imagine how hard it was for you! I'm so glad she's home now :) Love those tiny little hands!

Krystal said...

You and your family are so strong, glad that she is home with you all now and is doing well.

Myra said...

So glad that precious girl is home with you! I hope to meet her soon!! And of course see your pretty face :)

Warf pary of 3 said...

Hello I was sent your blog through a friend of mine. We just had a 26 w 5 day preemie in September 2011. We spent 67 days in the NICU in Nashville. Everything you said I felt during his hospital stay. I have actually had two NICU babies. My first was born at 33 weeks. Both boys are healthy and thriving. The hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life was to leave my babies in the hospital while I went home. It's good to read other NICU family stories. You can read our story at Jtlwarf.blogspot.com in September 2011. Glad to find your blog.

Katie said...

Once again, you are a tough mama! I can't imagine how hard those days must have been for y'all. Praise God Skeeter is healthy & thriving! Precious girl!

Jessica Renee said...

Skeeter has made some amazing progress!!! So happy for y'all :) Thanks for hosting this link up!

Kim said...

Such a great link up!! I enjoyed this so much and really found it therapeutic!! So happy baby Skeeter is home and doing so good, and that all the other NICU Moms are too! Thanks again for hosting this link up!

Sara said...

Thank you do much for doing this link up. Every post I have read, I could have written part of it because I went through the same thing. Mackenzie is almost a year old and for some reason I've been thinking a lot about that time and this was therapeutic in a way.
And this wasn't a depressing post, just honest.

Meg O. said...

You are such a strong lady and I was seriously thinking about you so much during that time. Little Skeeter is such a fighter and is so lucky to have such amazing parents like you and Mr. BUB! I can't wait to hold her soon!!!

Carissa said...

I'm super late to this post and I didn't get a chance to link up because I was getting married the week I saw this, however, I couldn't pass up a chance to tell my story of being a NICU mom! So I posted it today! I admire all the moms that linked up because hard being a NICU mom and each one of us dealt with something totally different but made it through!!!

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