You might wonder what it is like to have a baby in NICU (Neonatal, Intensive Care Unit). Perhaps it never crossed your mind or it’s one of those scary thoughts you prefer to ignore. I never thought I would be able to explain it, but I can and I will.
Why do I want to explain this? Well because I’m so grateful to the nurses and doctors of the NICU. They are truly miracle workers. As you might have read in my previous blog I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and that is why my son was born at 34 weeks.
One day after he was born, it literally was 24 hours after giving birth, he was taken to another hospital in another city to go to the NICU. It was the scariest moment of my life. Seeing how he was taken in an ambulance. It was horrible, but I also knew that it was to make him better, so I did my best to stay strong. Even though at that moment I completely broke down.
He needed medication to make his lungs stronger as they weren’t fully developed yet. The medication worked right away and that same night he was already doing so much better. My husband and I just stared at him. There he was, our little boy, already a fighter.
We stayed at the same hospital since I was still recovering too and luckily I had a private room so that my husband could stay with me. We went to see our boy as much as we could. There was one nurse who was so loving to our son that it relieved the pain a bit when we had to go and leave him.
Two days after being born we could finally hold our baby boy. He mainly laid on my chest, skin to skin, so we could bond. He still had a little mask to help him breath and all these wires, but we didn’t care. That moment was perfect.
All you want to hear is that your baby will be better and will be fine. You want to know you don’t have to worry, but for good reasons the doctors can’t say that. So all we could do was sit there, watch him and have faith that it will be alright and hold him as much as was allowed. In the evenings my husband and I fantasized about all the great things we were going to do as a family. Every time I got sad we’d change the topic to the happy moments we were going to have together.
And then the day came that the doctor was willing to tell us what she expected. She said our little boy was the strongest there of the NICU. Soon he could go back to the hospital in the city we live in. That meant there was no life threatening situation anymore. Good news! We realize we were very lucky. Some parents have to wait months, if at all, to get news like this.
In the meantime we already switched from staying at the hospital to sleeping in the Ronald McDonald House. By the way if you don’t know about this place please look it up. It is a great place and allows families to stay close to their hospitalized children/ siblings. You pay a small fee and there is a kitchen where you can cook, a living room to relax and you have your own bedroom with a bathroom. It’s a place meant to feel like home when you can’t go home.
There are so many more details I could talk about, but then this blog will turn into a book. For example just imagine the strict hygiene rules they have. I’m glad I can talk about it and end it on a happy note, because not everyone can. We were lucky and I’m so grateful for all the good care my son got there. We literally had to put his life in the hands of the NICU staff and they did an amazing job. But let’s not forget about my baby boy whose also a Superman.