Every month, High Risk Hope would like to highlight ongoing topics, frustrations, or curiosities in your very unique journey with high-risk pregnancy and/or premature birth. Mothers, fathers, family, and friends will touch on their personal tools, tips, and techniques to many of the ongoing concerns you face after having a high-risk pregnancy or a premature infant. Above all, remember that there are no right or wrong answers, only other parents and families figuring it out along the way, just like you. Here is what they have to say this month. Do you have a question you’d like addressed on The Parent Perspective? Email us today!
Lindsey Coccia | Maisyn + Madisyn, born at 32 weeks
“While our identical twin daughters, Maisyn and Madisyn, were in the NICU we had many people come to help out. We had family members who sat with us in the NICU for support, ones who came to have lunch with us, and ones who came to help out with our older daughters. I remember the day HRH walked through the NICU doors. It was day 2 and I was a mess, so thank you HRH for turning my day around. We love you for that! We loved having Child Life (offered through the hospital) come to sit with us. They came and consoled us and our babies when they were fighting just to breathe and stay alive. The best thing you can do to help your family who has a child in the NICU is to just be there and be present. When you’re in a tough time, it’s nice to have a friendly smile from someone other than the nurses and doctors. I was on bed rest for 32 days in the hospital and over two months at home. Again, be there! Whether that be a text message, a call or an in-person visit, be there! I’m a teacher and even had a student who came to visit! There were days I just wanted to sit there and cry but then I’d receive that one text message as simple as, ‘We love you’ or ‘You’re strong, you got this’, and my day would be turned around. Stay strong momma, you got this!”
Brooke Torres | Ian, born at 35 weeks
“Learning just a few hours after you have given birth that your newly born baby has to be transferred to a hospital 45 minutes away because he needs a higher level of care is devastating news. Knowing that we were making a daily commute and spending the majority of the day at the NICU, our friends and family supported us in so many ways. A close friend and neighbor would take our dog for a walk around our neighborhood. A few of our close friends would make the drive to Tampa to simply take us out to dinner or lunch on occasion. This provided us with not only a great meal but also a piece of normalcy just by sharing a meal and a conversation with great friends. Co-workers and friends provided us with gift cards for gasoline and restaurants like Wawa, Subway, Starbucks, and Panera Bread. Preparing a home-cooked meal was nearly impossible during our 100-day NICU stay. We also received a small, soft-sided cooler with candy, gum, trail mix, granola bars, etc. which were perfect car ride snacks. Additionally, friends and family took time off from work so I wouldn’t be alone at Lakeland Regional and my husband wouldn’t be alone in Tampa while our son underwent surgery. This will always hold a special place in our hearts because the hours and days that followed our son’s birth were emotionally overwhelming. While all our visitors may not have known what to say, their presence alone was more than enough and will never be forgotten.”
Amber Howell | Logan, born at 30 weeks
“I received messages from family and friends daily, checking on us. Just a simple text message asking how we were doing and if my family needed anything really meant so much to us. I had one friend in particular reach out to me about her experience in the NICU and 4 years later, her words of encouragement and support still stick with me. Hearing other’s experiences, reading every story in the HRH Calendar that we received in our NICU bag, those were the things that kept me optimistic and got me through each day. I was also hospitalized during his NICU stay with pneumonia. The NICU staff at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital were amazing. Even though my husband was able to visit Logan daily during my hospitalization, I still received a call every day with updates on Logan’s progress. ”
Bailey Nicholas | Henry + Nora, born at 34 weeks
“Henry and Nora, my twins, spent two weeks in the NICU after being born at 34 weeks. During those two weeks, my husband and I relied heavily on the support of family and friends. My mom stayed with me 24/7 while I recovered in the hospital. This was so helpful because my husband was with our twins 24/7 in the NICU when I couldn’t be there (I was on magnesium for 24 hours after delivery due to severe preeclampsia and was not allowed to leave my room to visit the NICU). I needed someone who wasn’t on a ton of pain meds or mag to keep track of both my care and what the twins needed. Once I had been discharged home but the twins were still in the NICU, my mom played an integral role in driving me to and from the hospital daily to see the twins. I had a c-section, which meant I couldn’t drive for six weeks. Friends also visited me, both when I was on hospital bed rest and in the NICU, and they brought me food “from the outside world’ as we liked to say in the hospital. It reminded me that there was still life beyond the four walls of the hospital and the encouragement I received during meals was much appreciated. My one piece of advice around visiting friends with a baby (or babies) in the NICU is to always coordinate with mom and/or dad to verify the best time to visit. There is a LOT going on in the NICU on a daily basis and you don’t want your visits to become a scheduling stressor. We certainly would not have made it through my four weeks on hospital bed rest and two weeks in the NICU without support from our family and friends!”
Do you have a question you’d like addressed on The Parent Perspective? Email us today!