When I think about the narrative that can be left out of the postpartum and motherhood story, I think about NICU families.
Everyone has a heavy heart for a NICU baby, rightfully so, but NICU mommas need extra love too.
A NICU mom is choosing whether to rest and let her body heal or venture down long halls to sit in uncomfortable chairs and (maybe) snuggle her child with cords. Sometimes the snuggling isn’t even an option and she watches, through an isolet, as she hopes her baby hears her voice and feels her love.
A NICU mom, if choosing to nurse or pump breastmilk, must learn to do so with an audience of medical providers in and out.
A NICU mom changes her blood soaked Depends in too many public bathrooms.
A NICU mom knows the hospital cafeteria menu and any food options nearby.
A NICU mom doesn’t get herbal bath soaks and is doing all her self care in a sterile space void of the comfort of home.
A NICU mom sleeps to the sound of beeping devices and continual stat checks through the night.
When we talk about postpartum, May we not overlook the voices of NICU moms.
I had but a small taste of being a NICU mom. While our week inpatient felt long, it was so short in comparison to families we saw and families we know. The NICU experience often spills over into the struggles of maternity leaves and insurance needs, sibling care and more.
NICU moms- you are heard. And we will work together to make sure your voice is part of the story when we talk about postpartum and motherhood.
For authentic conversations about postpartum, motherhood, and being a woman (as well as heart defects and hospital life) follow me on IG: @chels.keeps.it.real and if you're an expecting or new mom, you can learn about my virtual coaching groups at postpartumtogether.com because no mom has to do postpartum alone.