It's the holiday season and while the world around you is gallivanting around with holiday cheer, you're feeling a lot less than jolly because instead of scrubbing up to prepare to eat your holiday feast, you'll be scrubbing up so that you are safely able to touch and interact with your baby in the NICU. This may be far from what you expected or wanted. You may feel disappointed, anxious, and sad. The feeling of "Why me?" or "This isn't fair" may run across your mind more than once. That's completely okay and totally normal to feel when dealing with a baby in the NICU. Being in and around the NICU is not an easy thing.
There are many types of medical equipment babies can come home with such as: an apnea monitor, a feeding tube, an oxygen machine. These things can seem a bit intimidating without having a full NICU team there with at home to manage them, but don't worry! Before you leave the NICU, you may have to take classes or do training sessions on how to properly use the equipment, so you will have all of the knowledge necessary to use them.
Breastfeeding for your little one can look a lot different if you have a Preemie or NICU baby, for a number of reasons. Although we may have intentions on putting our little one on the boob for nutrition and precious bonding, that may not exactly be possible.
Studies show that most Premature babies are more likely than their full term fellow neonates to experience a developmental delay, whether it's in the category of: motor, behavioral, or language. Not all Preemies will experience delays, but it's important to note that most Preemies do experience one or more, especially if they are extremely or moderately preterm and have been exposed to the NICU.
When we left the NICU in 2018, I left with the invisible battle wounds of the NICU etched into my soul and my precious 24-weeker left with a list and wide range of issues. We also came home with oxygen and a g-tube. And each thing had a different doctor associated with it, so the NICU staff told us to prepare for the follow up visits that we would attend to monitor Kylo's progression. I am still so grateful for the wonderful social worker who was sure to have all of Kylo's initial follow up visits scheduled already for us,...