I thank you...For every bit of what you do. For every aspect of what you give. For every day of yours you dedicate to my child. The NICU is tough and no parent wants to be behind its doors, but I am happy that it exists, that you are here, and that you work hard every day not only to help my baby survive, but thrive x
I need to be present... Please don’t tell me to go home and rest “while I can”. My heart is sleeping in that incubator, my hands are empty. If I say I need to be here, then I need to be here.
I'm grieving... This situation is far removed from anything I ever imagined, my hopes for a healthy and natural delivery have been crushed. Please be patient and kind while I try to grasp what all this means, and while I mourn the loss of a normal pregnancy and delivery...I will get there but if I'm not ready yet, please understand.
Your support makes all the difference... Seeing my baby struggle is the hardest thing I have ever had to face, the ups and downs of NICU are tough on me emotionally. Just knowing that I have your support, if I need it, makes all the difference to me when days are hard.
I need to be part of my babys team... I may not be a medical professional, and this may be the first NICU baby I have been around, but this is my baby and I need to be included in the care and decision making on a daily basis. Please respect this important aspect and see my baby not only as your patient, but as a child that is loved beyond measure.
I will learn... I may not completely understand everything that is going on but I'm willing to learn, please teach me. Take the time to help me understand so that I can be the very best advocate for my baby. Not only while in neonatal care but once my baby leaves hospital.
Let me be a parent... I know I may take more time to do the little things like change a nappy but if you encourage me to do such tasks for my baby, I will feel more connected and comfortable. Being able to participate and be present in these moments will be my memories, memories I will cherish for a lifetime.
Help me bond with my baby... Holding my baby is an essential aspect of our journey and kangaroo care is crucial for my baby’s development. Please help and encourage me to have this special bonding time with my baby whenever it is possible.
Please be consistent... I understand that the NICU is has a vast majority of staff; from nurses with different backgrounds and philosophies, to doctors and therapists who I may only see from time to time. But if you can all get on the same page when it comes to the care of my baby, I won’t feel so lost and confused with the expectations and the goals for me and my child.
I need to trust you... I have handed over the most precious gift that I have been given, to you. I know that you are only human too, but I need to know that you will do everything in your power to make my baby well, to grow and to succeed. Please treat my child like they are one of your own and know that I will be forever grateful for the love and care you show while you work.
I have hope... I don’t really want to hear the statistics all the time. They scare me. They cut the thread that ties my hopes to my dreams. I understand I need to know when things are bad, but please remember I also need to know when things are good. Please don’t just break the bad news to me, but help me mend my heart with the happy stuff too.
I thank you... For every bit of what you do. For every aspect of what you give. For every day of yours you dedicate to my child. The NICU is tough and no parent wants to be behind its doors, but I am happy that it exists, that you are here, and that you work hard every day not only to help my baby survive, but thrive x