It’s so many little things that can set a NICU mom off. I shared a post about me crying my eyes out recently on my IG page (@beautyiskherim) that went viral, because a nurse was the first person to dress my daughter, Gem. It took Gem almost a month to be able to wear a preemie onsie. I was excited about dressing her for the first time. That opportunity was taken away from me, but not in a malicious way. The nurse was trying to surprise us, but she didn’t realize that I was looking forward to the day that I could put some clothes on our soon to be 1 month old micropreemie at that time. It was bad enough that I wasn’t the first person to hold her. So, from that day forward (after my hissy fit) Gem’s nurses checked with me before dressing her. Being a preemie parent comes with many first moments that we do not get due to our NICU journey.
So what is that one thing that you must do as a NICU mom?
NICU moms, I encourage you to voice your needs as a mother to your LO’s care team.
If you want to bathe your preemie every night they get wiped down then tell the nurse. If you want to breastfeed your child for every feeding then tell the nurse. If you want to close the door to your baby’s room and pray then tell the nurse you need some private time with your baby. Now….I’m not saying that just because you voice your wants that they will honor it. But, I can guarantee they will have more respect for you as a NICU parent. They see that you are serious about being a mother to your baby while they are living outside of your home.
[Read Also: Life In The NICU: BMD Reader Kheri Monks Shares Her Inspiring Birth Story]
Let me give another example of another time I had to make them understand who’s the mama! The first time Gem had to have a blood transfusion I was not notified. I went to the NICU to visit her like I normally would do and they would not let me go to the back. That scared me and I can’t explain the feeling. I was thinking, “What in the world could be going on now…just a couple hours ago they said she was having a “good day” so far.” They were completing the procedure….needless to say I had a hissy fit. I told them the moment y’all decided to do this was when they should have notified my husband and I. To do a procedure on our child and we not be able to pray before was not in our plan. God worked it out for us and she did improve, but she needed another transfusion. This time they notified us and I claimed the blood they put in her body was the Blood of JESUS. She never had another transfusion after my husband and I prayed over our Gem. Anyway…I’m rambling. Just make sure they chart all of your desires as a mother. It is not weird for you to desire something most parents take for granted who haven’t been in a similar situation. You can look forward to (after washing your hands) changing their sheets, diapers, brushing hair….all of those simple things. I’m not saying I enjoy changing Gem’s 2yr old pampers now, but back then in the NICU I was all the way there front in line to change her. Today, I’m like daddy can change her.
I’m here for you, mama. If you have any questions about my NICU experience and beyond hit me up. You can follow me on IG page.
Written by BMD reader, Kherim Monks.
Photo credit: Instagram.com/beautyiskherim