I’ll never forget the day my husband and I found out we were having a baby. We were in complete shock, and the happiest we had ever been. I was so full of joy every morning, even when those mornings were spent hanging over the toilet. Every day we became more and more excited about our little one arriving and we began preparation. My husband and I planned out her nursery, started stocking up on diapers, and doing all the things that mommy’s and daddy’s do while eagerly awaiting the new family member’s arrival.
I began educating myself on breathing techniques and what I could do to make the labor experience the best possible. I educated myself on what to expect each trimester, all of the proper techniques of swaddling, feeding, burping, etc. What I didn’t prepare myself for was the fact I would give birth to my daughter nine weeks before her due date to save both of our lives.
When I became sick and was admitted to the hospital, I had no idea what to expect. I had never been so afraid in my entire life than I was in the moment they told me I would most likely be delivering that week, possibly that day. I had prepared for the third trimester, and literally just entered it a couple of weeks before.
My local hospital didn’t have a NICU, so using their best judgement they transported me to the nearest hospital with one, which was two hours too far away from our home. I had severe preeclampsia and that day they gave me the steroid shot, two days later at 8:59 a.m. I gave birth to my beautiful little girl.
It happened so suddenly. Everything in my body was shouting it’s time, so we had her within the hour of finding out she was coming. We held our breath until we knew she had breathed her first. She had the most beautiful cry I had ever heard in my life, and when I seen her for the first time, she was the most beautiful thing my husband and I had ever seen.
(This photo was taken be a wonderful nurse whom I cannot thank enough for taking this)
She then was rushed away to the NICU and away from my arms.
I knew that is what had to happen for her life to be saved, but at the time, the only thing I was thinking as a mama is All I want is my baby to be here and okay.
Little did I know the next five weeks would be the hardest and most emotional time in my life, but together my husband and I bravely faced it for the sake of our beautiful little girl. I was grieving during my daughter’s NICU stay and for months after, even though we made it through that terrifying time in our lives,
While she was alive by the grace of God, it pained my heart to see her attached to a monitor and hooked up to oxygen, among everything else. She felt far away because she wasn’t in my arms. My heart goes out to any mother or father who has ever lost a child. Nothing in the world could ever compare to that pain. As a NICU mom, I chose to embrace the fact that my daughter was alive, but it didn’t take away the PTSD I developed from this experience and the pain I faced.
A NICU parent is literally feeling their heart ripped out of their body. It is something you can only understand if you have been through it. While the birth of a child is seen as a beautiful, happy time in many lives, a Nicu mama is suffering a loss whether or not that is visible on the outside.
Bellow I have listen five of the many reasons a NICU mama may be grieving, and what you can do as a family members and friends can do to help.
(Don’t ever leave out the NICU daddy. I only say NICU mother because I am accounting for my own personal experience.)