Possibly the worst thing about having my baby is the NICU


So I developed pre-eclampsia and was forced to deliver 6 weeks early. That in itself was much scarier at the time, but everything happens so fast, it’s hard to be scared or worried at the time. When my baby was born she was whisked off to the NICU. I did not meet her for four days and I did not hold her until almost a week later. That statement right there should have been the worst thing of having a preemie or maybe seeing all the tubes and iv’s and tests and things she had to go through, that was pretty bad. For me the worst thing was being in the maternity ward. I mean come on now. All night long I could hear the baby next to me crying, I could see babies being wheeled by in isolettes if the nurses left my door ajar. I could hear people oohing and ahhing over babies. And there I was alone after my husband would go home to our oldest child all night for six days in that awful place. I was fifty miles from home and my friends and family had come to see me, but really my kid was in the NICU and not many people are going to drive 100 miles round trip to sit in a maternity ward room and just hang out with someone who does not have their baby. People come to see babies, not swollen mamas. So night after night, when I was alone, I would cry and cry and cry. I mean hard to breath crying and nurses would come and go and see my red tear stained face and not say anything. One nurse finally talked to me and I appreciated her more than anything. My husband was concerned so he called the head nurse one night and asked for a social worker to talk to me. And yes they kept saying you need to keep your pressure down, you need to relax and I said how can I relax when my baby is in the NICU and I can’t hold her, my son is at home and I miss him more than anything and I have to sit here and listen to happy healthy babies, on top of that I had postpartum depression, which I had with my first child too. That was the worst experience of my life. I was told you have to be on maternity because that’s where you are treated by the nurses and doctors whose specialty it is. I get that I do, but there should be a private away from everyone else area in a hospital with a NICU where they put moms of NICU babies. And I had a baby, I’m sure there are moms recovering who miscarried, or gave babies up for adoption or who had a baby who did not make it. How do those ladies feel listening to that over and over and over day and night until they are discharged.
When people ask about my experience as a NICU parent, that is what I tell them was hard and it was hard. It was torture the first few nights, a lonely mom, who has a NICU baby, who is scared and worried should never be subjected to that and I hope that in other hospitals they have a better maternity floor layout for this very reason.

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