Hi all! Recent new mom here of preemie twins born at 34 weeks on 4/16. I have gotten a tremendous amount of love and support and am so grateful the babies are overall doing well.
BUT.....if one more person says "well at least you get to go home and get some rest before the babies come home", I will probably punch them. First off, leaving the hospital after a tremendously difficult labor experience without the beautiful babies that were born from that experience results in a different kind of pain and loneliness that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. There is no "at least" in this situation. Second, I am not at home resting like you all think. I pump milk 8 times per day. By the time I clean up supplies and package milk, that leaves a little over 2 hours before I have to do it all over again. Then I have to bring the milk to the hospital every day, which is a two hour roundtrip drive. And then while I am there, I hold, feed, change, take temperatures, and do anything else I possibly can to bond with my babies that are being cared for by wonderful strangers around the clock. Third, the feelings of guilt and not being able to see them enough and worrying about their health overwhelm my brain. I dart straight up from sleep in the middle of the night sometimes because of worry. (Not so fun with healing c sec scar by the way). So, no, at least I am not getting any rest at home.
Thanks for hearing me out. I needed to say this soooo bad. Anyone else out there with good -intentioned people just saying the wrong things to you?
Re: What NOT to say to parents of NICU babies
I am a volunteer at my nicu now so I hear a lot of preemie stories. Trust me when I say it does get easier. I was in the same boat as you almost a year ago. Pumping 8-10 times per day. Transporting the milk on each trip. Going to NYC to visit my baby when I lived in NJ. Waking up from horrific anxiety and worry out of a dead sleep (if I could actually sleep). Feeling horrible guilt and failure- you name it. Feeling resentment towards preggo ladies and term babies. We spent 76 days in the nicu and he is now a crazy cruising happy as heck, almost one yr old. It will get better. Stay positive and do exactly what you are doing-being a mommy at the baby hotel until they come home. Kangaroo as much as you can and sing to them. Music is great therapy.
For now join preemie support and awareness, life after nicu, preemie babies 101, and nicu ptsd on Facebook. You will receive tons of info and support, plus hear some amazing stories of little miracles. Topics like yours come up a lot, so it will feel like home.
People who have never had a premature birth or a nicu experience will never understand. Things that seems "okay" to say to someone, might not be okay to say to a preemie or nicu baby mom. Just keep up the good work because your doing everything right.
Message me if you want to chat some more.
Hang in there though. I feel your pain so badly. It was by far the hardest thing I ever had to go through! Nobody will ever understand unless they've been through it....
I also hate "maybe he'll come home tomorrow" or "why don't you just pop him into the diaper beg and bring him home". Those make cry instantaneously.