When the doctor told me I was going to have to go into the hospital (6 weeks early), I was scared and a little excited at the same time. My emotions had gone up and down like a high powered yo-yo.
I was glad to hear my anxiety was going to be over soon, while I couldn’t help wonder whether or not my son was going to be ok. The doctors seemed to have a very calm and promising attitude. So it wasn’t later until later when I started to think about the risks and just did my best to stay excited.
I tried so hard to avoid all the questions that kept going crazy in my head. How big was he going to be? Will he have health problems? After a while, I realized I was a little more worried about him at that point than I was about myself.
After the little guy came out of me, I was banned from seeing him for at least 48 hours. I had pre-eclampsia and had a few things going on with my system, which meant I wasn’t supposed to be moving until all was safe.
When I finally saw my little guy and had the chance to hold him, all the emotions, I felt as if I had emotions I couldn’t compare to anything I’d ever felt before. He was absolutely the best and most beautiful thing I’d ever seen in my life.
I blamed myself for not taking care of him while he was living inside me. I went over so many things that could have prevented him from looking very fragile and unlike any newborn I’d ever seen. He was only 4 lb. 7 ounces. I cried every moment I wasn’t with him and even bits of times I held him. I was a mess.
So here I am with an attempt to help other new moms who go through the same emotions after the birth of their premature baby. Please remember that I don’t claim to be an expert, but just here to share my experience.
Think Positive Thoughts
Once a baby is out of a mom’s body, time is needed for the mom to adjust to not having to feed and support this other life inside her. Hence, the explanation of mixed emotions and so much more.
Positive thinking has been known to improve people’s health. As a new mother, especially to one who is premature, your instincts will tell you just how much you and your child need each other.
No, it may not be scientifically proven whether or not a baby can truly feel his or her mother’s energy, but there is absolutely nothing to lose by being strong and having positive thoughts, which could potentially be a good thing for the baby’s health.
Express Your Feelings
As a new mom, it’s normal to feel the emotional roller coaster caused by an imbalance in hormones as mentioned above. Sometimes having someone to talk to can have a soothing effect on these emotions.
Though you might feel like sobbing at the site of every person who passes by, it’s important to be able to compose yourself and be picky about who you spill your beans to. There’s nothing that adds more to the depression than talking to someone who obviously doesn’t care or just can’t wait to get away from you.
Expressing your feelings could be a helpful step towards your recovery. It allows you to be able to let go of unnecessary burdens in your heart so you can be more focused on the needs of your baby and enjoying those first few moments you have together.
Many people feel sad about having their baby in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). To some people, the idea of a child being in a NICU means the child is very ill, weak, or has some major health problems that needs the assistance of a nurse 24 hours a day.
It’s true that the children admitted to the NICU need help. However, it is very common for many of these children to live the most normal lives. The NICU should give parents a sense of relief as the professionals are more than qualified to give the best care possible to their child.
Before going into the NICU, it is best to ask questions and understand how it operates. Sometimes the negative thoughts or imaginations from ignorance or lack of understanding can drive some moms crazy.
When entering the NICU for the first time, moms might have a sudden rush of emotions at the site of their baby in an incubator or under a blue light. Panic could happen instantly if an already emotional mom sees this, especially if she lacks the understanding of what any of these machines do.
Jaundice is common, even for babies who aren’t born premature. It’s also common for babies to be placed under blue light to keep the baby’s bilirubin under control, preventing further problems that jaundice may cause.
The NICU can be a positive environment for both baby and child. Professionals are there to help prepare you to be alone with your child and to be comfortable enough to care for him by passing on the skills they know and have learned.
Being a Parent to a Premie
The first few months of your premie’s life will require constant care. As a parent, it’s always best to try to have extra help, if it’s at all possible. However, it’s not required, but all completely optional.
In addition to the emotional roller coasters, you also the joys of sleep deprivation and being tired all the time. And somehow, you have the ability to transfer all this trauma onto your husband who sometimes manages to become an added pain in your rear end. However, there IS light at the end of the tunnel. It will all come to pass. A large percentage of couples go through this and once the difficult period is over, everything will resume as it was.