Updated: Sep 3, 2020
So, September is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU Awareness Month and having spent 21 days in the hospital with my daughter it is a department I know all too well.
On August 19, 2018; Chosen Chanel was born 9 weeks early at 3lbs 14oz. That day, so many emotions ran through me and that period in my life is one where I will never forget.
However, to date my daughter is doing wonderful, very intelligent and has hit all of her milestones. In fact, you would never know she was born early or in the NICU if I didnt express it.
So, as I think back to that time I wanted to share some life lessons I learned about life after our journey in the NICU.
LIFE DOESN'T ALWAYS HAVE TO GO AS PLANNED
Being a virgo and perfectionist I had envisioned a pregnancy where I worked up until the end and everything would go as I had saw so many other pregnant women before me. So me spending 23 days in the hospital for a short cervix and Chosen spending 21 days in NICU wasn't exactly how I planned. I had to postpone events and put my life completely on hold.
Of course, I went through a period where I asked "Why Me?" however, it helped me realize that life doesn't go as planned and that's ok. It also helped me realize there is no such thing as problems, only solutions.
2. NICU PTSD & POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IS REAL!!
Being pregnant with my second daughter brings back so many memories of being pregnant with Chosen. Note: as I write this I am 9 1/2 months pregnant. In fact, around July of 2020 is when I began panicking and making sure I had what I needed for baby #2 just in case she came early. Although, with this pregnancy I began seeing a high risk doctor and a nurse comes to my home one per week to administer progesterone shots, nothing could stop me from reliving the moments of NICU.
Of course, I knew Chosen would come home, I just did not know when or if she would be like normal children and that caused postpartum depression. That with the developmental appointments I went to after she was released telling me she was behind made me even more sad.
So, if you know someone who recently had a baby come home from NICU or in the NICU call or visit just to them just to listen, take them coffee or tea, make sure they have eaten. Asking if they need someone isn't really enough as they will say no. Just making a sincere effort to be there for them is really all they are looking for, trust me.
3. SOME MOMENTS ARE PRIVATE
If you google NICU, you will see hundreds of images of babies with masks, tubes and IV's everywhere. That is not an image I want or will share of my daughter, so those photos have only been shared with immediate family.
It can be especially hard in this social media, share everything world however, I feel those images should be private.
4. GIVING BACK HELPS TO HEAL
Through our foundation; Wrights Way Foundation (www.WrightsWayFoundation.org) we have been able to donate dozens or NICU Care Packages to families with babies in the NICU. The experience has been very therapeutic.
Well, I hope this sends comfort to anyone who has had or has a baby in the NICU as it was writing it.
by Trish Wright | Founder | Wife | Mama | Serial Entrepreneur |
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