The one thing I have been told and learned is to know when to take a break from the hospital. Because if you don’t it will become something that is harder to walk away from and find a stress free time. If I had my way I would never leave the hospital and I would sleep and make a point of snuggling with my little guy for 3 to 5 hours a day. But when i do go home I realize how exhausting being at the hospital is. I have only been doing this for 31 days, and I think I have found a good system that I will be able to spend the time with my husband and decompress as needed. I treat it like a job, as bad as that sounds. I get to the hospital at 7 to 7:30 Monday to Friday morning and leave at 3:30 to 4 in the afternoon. And then I have time to get groceries and cook supper and cuddle with our fur babies that are at home. On Saturday and Sunday My husband gets his time with our son and cuddle him and read to him and sing to him. We are there for no more than 4 hours a day on the week ends and that really allows us to spend time together and talk about how we feel and cry together and plan out what we hope for our son when he is done with this ordeal.
Its extremely stressful for any one who has a baby to see them sick, but this takes that stress and makes it, for lack of a better word, it makes it, its bitch. When you see your kid in pain or feeling uncomfortable your natural reaction is to pick them up and hold them and tell them everything is going to be OK. When you have a preemie you don’t always have that option, you can touch them lightly and talk to them, and that’s only if they are feeling up to that. When my son had a bad day, he does not handle being touched by anyone at all, that includes me his mommy. And when your touch stresses your kid out makes you feel even more helpless. But you have to look at it as he is getting the best possible care that you can provide for him and you have a support system both in and out of the hospital. The NICU is its own family and I have found some of the best support in there from families who have been there and been through some of the road blocks you are going through. And they will tell you the same thing, take a break from the hospital. Walk away and have a ‘Mommy sanity’ day and it will not make you a bad mom that you took a day to take care of yourself. Its like when you need a break on a regular day, you would drop the kid off with its grandparents or call a baby sitter, and take a break. It is the same thing, and you will feel better. Because being a mom is hard in these cases you are there making sure you know what is going on with your child and remembering what medications they are on, and what things they like and making milk and remembering to pump every 2 to 3 hours and making sure your Milk stays at 600 to 700 ml by the end of the day. Its a lot on your mind and a sanity day and breaks from the Hospital are a good thing. Make friends with other moms in the NICU, and plan a coffee or shopping day together and have sanity days with other NICU moms. Remember you being happy and healthy helps your child.