As many of you know and have read in previous posts, my son was premature. Just in case some of you are new to the blog, my son was born at 26 weeks and weighed 2.8 lbs and we were NICU residents for 3 months. Actually 2 months and 24 days but who is counting? Well in light of his NICU stay, I have really been itching to give advice to NICU personnel and also families of NICU parents. I think that at times people could be a bit more sensitive to the parents of these neonates that are in such a fragile state. So here goes, the top five things that you do not say to a NICU Mom…. Keep in mind that this is based on my experience and my opinion and is not the opinion of all NICU mothers.
While I am sure that they (medical personnel) have the best of intentions and while most NICU moms are exhausted, the last thing that I wanted to do was to leave my baby. It is hard enough for a mom to be separated from a termed new born but I never wanted to leave my son’s bedside. How would I live with myself if I missed an emergent event or if he reached a milestone while I was gone? If you were in my situation, would you leave?
While I know this and you know this, as a NICU mom this is one thing that I do not want to be reminded of. I, for one think that it is quite disheartening that someone would remind you of the chance that your baby may not make it through the night. While it is a reality, it is a reality that I choose to distance myself from and not face unless I need to.
So they say that if too much oxygen is utilized that it can impact many things including brain development. Thank you for the information, but I wonder why they need to tell us this repeatedly. I guess that this is just a pet peeve of mine. It’s like when the weather man tells you that there is a 30% chance for rain and you prepare yourself for it and it is sunny outside all day. It must be based on personal preference and if the parent wants to be prepared for the worst or hope for the best. I personally do not want another reason to be worried, but that’s just me.
Yes, someone in my family asked me this and it was devastating. I was already feeling guilt stricken and guilt ridden wondering what I could have done differently and maybe if I would have done this or that, he would not have come early. Now I have someone basically blaming my for his prematurity. How insensitive could one be?
Oh my! I think that the first time that I heard this, I blanked out for a moment. This kind of relates to #2. So basically he is not supposed to be here, which I already know but somehow it is my fault? How could I have prevented it? What could I have done differently? This statement made me feel like I was the worst mom on earth and that I was the cause of my son’s early arrival.
I just wanted to share the feelings that I had in reference to some of the statements that were made to me while in the NICU. I am sure that they were not intended the way that I perceived them but perception is everything. While I am not sure that all of us had the same experiences, I am sure that someone has said the wrong thing to someone at the wrong time. I am in hopes that this helps someone to approach such a sensitive situation with tact and empathy.by