Special Needs

How to help coworker with special needs baby

XP from parenting. I don't know if I need to intro, but I have a 16 month old DS, and usually post on Nov 12 moms or parenting.

My coworker had a baby last week at 37 weeks, and it seemed like everything was ok, but now they've found that the baby has something called CMV. This is usually asymptomatic, but for him, the doctors have said that he will likely have hearing loss, liver and bone marrow problems, and decreased IQ. He will likely be in the NICU for a few more weeks until he can eat on his own and regulate his body temperature and platelet count.

I responded to her email with an email to let her know that I'm thinking of her and praying for her as they determine the best way to take care of their sweet baby, but what else can I do? They live in a different state, but I think I can ask another coworker who lives there what restaurant she likes and send a gift card. Or would a BRU or Amex gift card be more appropriate? I'll also have to think about what to write in the card. Please send T&Ps for this sweet family.

Re: How to help coworker with special needs baby

  • My DS1 was in the NICU for 9 days, they thought he may have had CMV, but he ended up being diagnosed with a genetic disorder.

    Passes for prepaid parking, if they have to pay at their NICU
    Gas gift cards
    Unscented lotion
    House keeper
    Meal delivery service
    Gift cards to the hospital cafeteria or to restaurants right by the hospital
    Texts to check on her.  I remember being so emotional in the NICU.  My baby wasn't a preemie so I felt so weird being in there.  DS1 was 9 lbs so he was 2-3x the size of most of the babies in there and I could hold him all I wanted.  He wasn't on a ton of monitors, never stopped breathing.  But unlike all those tiny babies, we had no idea WHY we were in there.  

    As for tips as for what to write in the card
    1) Congratulate her.  It's still a baby who is still a joy.
    2) Don't say you feel sorry for her
    3) Unless your baby has special needs or has spent time in a NICU, don't say you know exactly what's she's going through
    4) Don't completely ignore the situation either.  Glossing over it made me feel like everything was so trivial.  I refused to put DS1 in the church nursery until like 3 months.  I had to give him up every night to some nurse I never even met for 2 weeks.  Even now I struggle with leaving him with others because of this.  
    5) Don't use the words "super hero", "you're so strong" or any other euphemisms.  We're not supermoms and we're not any stronger than most parents.  If you spent a few weeks on this board you would see us all post at some point about losing it.

    None of these tips are a call out against you or meant to be snarky.  These are real things that I experienced that drove me nuts and would love to prevent someone else from experiencing.

    I'd keep it simply. Say congratulations on your new baby so-and-so.  I was so scared to learn s/he had to go to the NICU and I've been praying ever since. If you ever need anything please call, I'm here for anything, even just an ear to listen.  etc.

    To my boys:  I will love you for you Not for what you have done or what you will become I will love you for you I will give you the love The love that you never knew
    Maebbthetwinkies&Vivi[Deleted User]JoJoGee
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