Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: NICU Parenting

My way of giving back...

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

November is premature awareness month...

Our story is one that I have not been shy about. Most if not all of my friends and family know our story. The story of how our lives changed the moment this tiny little 2 pound baby entered the world. 17 almost 18 years later I can remember almost every detail to the moment he was born. The anxiety of the unknown, we didn't know anything about preemies, no one I knew had ever had a premature baby, all of my cousins who were pregnant at that same time were having healthy babies. GOD why was this happening?! I couldn't figure it out. And when things got bad and my life was on the line, my Dr. decided that it was time. And in the short moments before they took me for an emergency c-section, Felipe and I both felt a peace, that all would be ok. Being in the NICU with new machines I'd never seen, people I'd never met. I wasn't allowed to hold Mason, only allowed to touch and talk softly too him. I did this for a week before they decided I could hold him. I held him once a day for many days, cherished our time together sang to him, talked with the nurses, as they were the ones caring for my most precious gift. But one thing I will never forget is the moment I left empty handed... There are no words, there is no remedy for that feeling. 53 days we spent every day watching him grow, learning how to care for him. We had a great support system. And eventually Mason came home and you know the rest of the story. I went to school and became a NICU nurse, so I could be that voice, so I could be the shoulder the mom cried on and cry with her because I understood her pain of walking out empty handed, or the guilty feeling of not being able to carry my baby to term, and the frustration with not making enough milk, and being able to feed him as a mother should. Mason sometimes asks me what his purpose his, what is his role in this life. I can't help but remind him that his very existence has helped to change so many lives. Not only did he save my life, but those of so many others that we've met along our journey. There are so many reasons why premature birth happens, issues with mom, with the baby. If you know a mom and she's limiting her time for visitors, please understand, she has limited time with her baby herself and that she's just trying to embrace each little moment she gets to be with her little one. Support her and dad as it is just as hard for dads. They are trying to be supportive, and to understand all of this as well. The dad's have a little different perspective as they are the first ones in the NICU with the baby, usually seeing first hand what happens as we admit them. By the time mom comes in we've usually got baby all tucked in, with a cute blanket. Dad's seeing the IV poke, the xray etc. So when I post pictures and talk about my experience its only because the moment I became a PREEMIE MOM, everything changed. And every time I place a baby in its mom's arms for the first time, or get to see them after they've gone home and how they are growing and being successful, all my days in the NICU with Mason were worth it! And my asking GOD why way back when gets answered! I have made it my life's mission to give back all I have been given. I have spent the last 11 years of my nursing career doing so, and will continue to do so as I am also currently in school to obtain my masters degree and am one semester away from becoming a NEONATAL NURSE PRACTITIONER, so I can continue to care not only for our smallest patients', but to provide comfort to their families, knowing someone else has been where they are....

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.