Often I scroll the NICU moms Facebook groups and offer support where I can, having lived that nightmare for five HUNDRED days, my heart is often with the moms still sitting in those rooms.
A mom recently posted this image……
This was my note to her:
“Oh mama. Sending love.
I think I looked like this for the first 5 months of our nicu journey! (We did 20 months inpatient total).
I remember so vividly this one day during what we call “NICU days”, that 3 doctors and 3 nurses asked if I wanted to go home and rest before I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and was like, “oh shit”.
I actually did leave a hot emotional ball of tears and messaged this group of four moms that had all been through that NICU and their kids were all now home….so they had something I wanted and I greatly valued their collective experiences.
One of them flat out asked how I expected medical staff to take me seriously or work collaboratively with me if I was always looking tired and malnourished and emotional.
‘How DARE THEY!’ I thought to myself sitting in my car crying.
‘How dare they judge my journey and asking me if I am eating and sleeping and taking date nights and self-care time!’
Sounds silly in hindsight, and probably put like that, but the truth remains that I learned a valuable lesson that changed the course of our journey……
I couldn’t care for my baby and advocate properly if I was a tired, burned out mess. I was holding it together and “surviving”…. But I wanted my baby to heal and THRIVE, and that started with me.
I legit have no idea why I told this story, except perhaps that I felt led to share it. Hopefully it speaks to someone reading it.
But as for you mama, hang in there….just keep climbing. This is temporary and someday this will all just be a memory.
Allow this time of broken-heartness to mold you into an empathetic and loving person, and not let it destroy you. For in our struggles, we find our strength.”
When I write to NICU moms, I put myself right back where they are. I say what I wish someone said it me, or I pay it forward with some wisdom blessed to me along my journey.
If this note touched your heart because you have a unique NICU experience, I’d love to connect with you!
I’ve recently started a NICU Alumni Moms group for any mom that had a baby graduate from the NICU, either to home or to Heaven or another facility.
We are a space to nurture and heal moms that have had a nicu experience, with the hopes of paying it forward in many ways. I have BIG plans for these mamas!
You can connect with us here at NICU Alumni Moms.
With Love as my guide,