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Becoming a NICU mum

Becoming a NICU mum

This isn’t how it was supposed to pan-out.

We all anticipate how our babies will arrive and try to envisage that spectacular moment our little creation enters the world.

Then fate cruelly interjects and suddenly the dream bubble that’s been floating above your head for the past few months is torn in two and is replaced with the sound of beeping machines, the hustle and bustle of a busy ward and the reality of this tiny fragile human-being with wires and tubes protruding ever limb on their helpless little bodies.

It’s a massive shock to the system and you’re expected to just take it in your stride. As if becoming a mum for the first time or adding to your brood isn’t enough to take on board, now there’s the fear that this little part of you, won’t make it.

When they are born, that’s the helpless moment you lose the ability to protect your little one safely inside your body, the moment they leave your body, the responsibility then leaves you and is passed on to the nurses and doctors, which although we are grateful for, is heartbreaking, because all we want to do is cuddle our little bundles of joy and keep them safe in mummy’s arms.

With a “normal delivery” mum’s are so excited to finally meet their new addition, but during premature birth we have the fear of the unknown, knowing your baby may not breathe or be born with long-term health complications.

You would be judged for saying this isn’t what you wanted to happen, but I can’t quite understand why someone would pass judgement on the feelings of something they have no understanding of.

We don’t feel disappointment and sadness because this premature baby has become an inconvenience to our lives, quite the opposite.

It’s sadness for our baby and disappointment that this person we love more than anything else on the planet it having to struggle through the early days, weeks, months and sometimes even years of their life.

We call them fighters, because they are.

We call them miracles, because they are.

We wouldn’t change them because we love them in a specially particular way after being astounded by their strength….

But would we, if we had the choice wish they had never had to go through this?

Of course we would!

I look at Jack now, my waters went with him at 25+5 weeks and he was born at 29+5 weeks, spending 40 days in NICU and I’m still astounded by what he went through as a 3.5lb preemie. But the heartbreak of seeing my tiny baby squeal in pain with needle after needle, knowing his body couldn’t provide what he needed to keep him alive breaks my heart and I’d of taken it all for him if I could.

Nobody hopes to become a NICU mum, but once you are one, all you do is hope.

Hope that your little one makes it through the fight for their life.

I’m just one of the lucky ones my fighter made it through unscathed.

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You’re not making a rod for your own back

Advice…

It’s a great thing, we all need advice at certain points in our life and it’s up to us if we take it or not, most people don’t give advice unless asked for it.

But there are a select few that just think their advice is needed, at all times, in all situations. They aren’t trying to give gentle suggestions, they are telling you”how it is”.

These are a special kind of people that will tell you that you are “making a rod for your own back”, they aren’t intentionally trying to offend or upset you, it’s just that one of the special characteristics these people possess is that their brain isn’t connected to their mouth, therefore what comes out of it has already done the damage before they have the ability to consider the feelings of others.

I mean don’t let your toddler sleep in your bed…ever!

If you do, you are making a rod for your own back!

You aren’t having a special moment, with this perfect little person you created, where the feeling of their arms being around you is the best feeling in the world….

No No No!

Don’t you know that doing this, is has a direct result of your child staying in your bed until the end of time.

Didn’t you consider that having your 3 year old in bed with you when they are poorly and just want mummy, is a detrimental moment that means your child will stay in your bed until they are 35!

Dummies, Christ almighty! Do not, I repeat Do not! Give your child a dummy! (If you’re american…pacifier) The special advice givers will tell you, ignore the research that’s been done that proves that dummies early on in a babies life actually greatly reduces the risk of SIDS…

No No No!

Putting that dummy in your baby’s mouth after birth, means you’ve scarred them for life and you will never be able to get it out of their mouth.

I mean, how will you feel as a parent when they are sitting their A-levels and everyone’s looking at them going all Maggie Simpson on the dummy in their mouth.

Save yourself the pain, we all know that any kid ever given a dummy, has never had it successfully removed from their mouth for good, once their in it’s like superglue!

Crying! OK this one is going to pretty obvious, because let’s face it, the special advice givers will tell you…Do not, I repeat do not, pick your child up if they cry.

I mean what sort of a parent are you!? Your child is crying! Why the hell would you try and comfort them?! Are you trying to make them emotionally unstable?! Do you want them to think that affection and cuddles are good things?!

They must must must cry it out, the best remedy I’ve heard is…crack open a large bottle of wine, crank up MTV and drown out those tears, I mean you might have made this human, it doesn’t mean you want to listen to them cry? I mean, you’re only their mother, there’s only so much you can put up with.

I’m not talking about those babies that just whine at night, I mean they woke up upset, they’re feeling poorly or just a bit sad, don’t give in to these signs of weakness, harden that baby up and leave them to cry it out.

So if you’ve read to the end of this post, I’m hoping you got my sarcasm 😜

Of course I don’t believe any of the above, but when I had my first baby, when someone told me something I believed it. It’s only as my confidence has grown with being a mother, that I’ve trusted my own instinct. That’s what I want to encourage other women to do, you are their mother, trust your instincts! There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking advice, I ask for it all the time, but if you want to do something or raise your child a certain way that is only going to benefit them, don’t worry that you’re “making a rod for your own back” or “spoiling them” just do what the hell you want and leave the haters to raise their kids in their own way