7 THINGS TO HELP COPE WHILE BABY IS IN THE NICU
On April 21, 2017 around 2am, I felt a pop in my uterus and immediately after water came gushing down my leg.. now I’m not gonna lie, for a second there I thought I peed on myself because that wouldn’t be the first time, it happens often throughout all my pregnancies and yes i’ll admit to that. I’d usually have to walk around with extra panties for the just in case. Anyways, I jumped outta the bed as fast as I could because water was still running down. I knew then it was my water that broke and so I started to panic. I went to the bathroom to clean up and about 2 secs later the contractions came along. I felt pressure, lots of pressure. Got my husband up and told him it was time to go. Now instead of him just grabbing his things, this dude had a series of questions to ask .. Like bruh!!! we gotta go.. Jr: How do you know the baby is coming? Me:my water broke .. Jr: are you sure you didn’t pee on yourself.. Side eyed him for sec but couldn’t really be mad because I had a track record lol he continues with the on a scale of 1-10 how much pain are you really in, can we just wait till the morning?
Like is he for real for real? because I was this close to leaving him and was prepared to drive my own self to the hospital.. The contractions became more intense, it hurts.. It hurts badly; I didn’t know whether to hold my belly or my butt to help control the pain because it was unbearable. We arrive, we’re getting checked in, contractions are back to back .. I’m being asked to wait in the waiting area.. wait what? but my water broke tho.. clerk says all rooms are full, so I wait! (pause) I’m lying chile, I immediately started screaming, pretended like I was seeing stars.. 10 mins later I was in a room getting strapped up to monitors. I was thirsty and just about tired of feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. Nurse shows up, checks me and says mom you’re only 1 cm, are you sure your water broke? I looked at her with a side eye and she said well let me just check with the doctor to see what’s going on. I said well, you do that and make sure you come back with my epidural because I’m ready. This nurse went missing for an entire hour, I must’ve buzzed that ringer about 50x and her response was I’ll be in soon. I promise you I was this close to calling 911, I was in so much pain and just felt like the nurse could care less. Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re wondering whatever happened to Jr (hubby) well he fell asleep on the couch. He woke up once to ask if I was ok but I didn’t respond because if I did.. eh emmm, I’ll leave it at that. Like who sleeps through all the weeping, moaning, screaming and nurses constantly coming in and out of the room? tchuip.. 4hrs later the nurse strolls in with the anesthesiologist, I was so ready for this needle that I didn’t even bother asking her why it took so long. 20 mins after, I felt signs of relief.. thank God because honestly I felt like my bottom half was detaching from my body. 2hrs later, baby finally makes its debut into the world and it was definitely a HE. Deep down inside I was hoping the doctor made a mistake and that God was just gonna give us this girl but he had other plans. 10 fingers 10 toes , I’m grateful either way. Little did I know, my niece would be here a year after!
What I didn’t to tell you is that my baby shower was scheduled for the next day, April 22nd and there was no way I was going to miss it especially with my cousins and friends coming into town. I asked my doctor to be released so once everything was cleared, the Doc allowed me to go but Mayson had to stay an extra day due to protocol. Sunday, April 23rd Both Jr and I got ready to pick Mayson up from the hospital and we received a call saying he wouldn’t be going home until further notice. I responded with: umm ma’am, I just pushed a 6.8 oz baby* I need my child to come home. I had family just waiting to see baby Mayson, what you mean he can’t come home? When we got to the hospital, we were told Mayson was transferred to the NICU and will be staying there until he gets better.
(Puzzled look on my face)
Get better? before leaving the hospital he was in good shape, I questioned what could possibly be wrong with him; I began to panic. Doc says Mayson stopped eating and can’t seem to hold his temperature on his own. Because he was born at 36.5 his lungs weren’t fully developed . I cried, cried like a baby. I blamed myself for leaving the hospital. I was so depressed. I couldn’t understand why God would let something like this happen to him. I was just not mentally prepared for this. My child will be left in the care of a bunch of strangers and I’m just going to have to deal with it. I cried for a whole week straight. I was so alone, my husband literally went back to work days after I gave birth. My family and friends were all gone, it was just the kids and I; talk about stressful. I couldn’t even share it on any of my social outlets because I was too embarrassed. I still had a house full of kids to care for and make it to the hospital every single day because I was exclusively breastfeeding. I didn’t think I would survive y’all and I’m not exaggerating but I did and now I can share 7 things that helped me cope with Mayson being in the NICU:
#1 God is in control
I knew that this was beyond my control and there was nothing I could do to change it. I shifted my focus.
#2 Skin to Skin
Skin to skin allowed me to not only bond with Mayson but it helped regulate his temperature and his breathing
before playing music he’d never want to open his eyes until I started playing classical/gospel music around him. He’d open his eyes and smile. Playing music helps to soothe both you and the baby especially when having to breastfeed
#4 Celebrated his accomplishments
Mayson had daily goals with feeding and when he would accomplish them, I’d celebrate with him. I’d say good job, you’re so doing so well, you’re so smart.. I felt like he heard me because with every feeding he aimed to surpass his goal
#5 Get to know the staff
your sweet baby is in their care so it was important for me to know the names of every nurse/doctor that would be taking care of Mayson. I knew their shifts, days off, etc.. They knew me by my first name and when I’d call, they were ready with the report. I wanted to staff to know that I’m present and together we can help Mayson get better
#6 Accept your emotions
your emotions will be all over the place, they are real and needs to be heard. Talking to someone helps, your spouse, friend, family member, somebody. This will make you feel better, trust me!
#7 Connect with other NICU parents
it helps to know that there are other parents who are facing the same struggles you’re facing and that you’re not alone. It made me feel a lot better and gave me so much more motivation just listening to their stories.
It’s hard to accept that the NICU has your baby for awhile, hang in there! this too shall pass
Don’t be selfish, share the info
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