After a two week hospital stay I had an emergency c-section and gave birth to my beautiful baby girl at 29 weeks exactly. She weighed 3lbs 6oz and is currently in NICU. I have been holding together as best I can. I have had several crying spells and depressive moments but thankfully my loving partner is always there to give his hand or hold onto me. However, he goes back to work tomorrow. He works for an amazing company who told him to take the week off when they heard of our situation. I'm nervous about being alone in the apartment while he's at work since I can't drive for 2 weeks after the c-section. I've had family offer to drive me to the hospital every day to go see her which I plan to do but I know I'll also spend a lot of time home alone with my thoughts. Any advice on how to keep my sanity, not break down every minute of the day, and any other helpful tips would be greatly appreciated. Being a new mom is hard enough on it's own, being separated from my baby is torture. Thanks!
Re: New Preemie Mom
1) Absolutely take whoever is offering rides to the hospital up on their offers. However, you may need to let them know that you want some alone time with baby. I found it very exhausting and frustrating to try to arrange for everyone to hold them and feed them, etc. I was trying to "reward" them for being so kind to give me rides that I missed out on crucial bonding time with baby.
2) Stay as long as you can each day at the hospital. Get as involved as you can with feedings, diaper changes, etc. Even if baby is sleeping, just being there is good for both of you.
3) When you've had enough of the NICU, allow yourself a break without feeling guilty. The NICU can be a very isolating place and wears on you. A refreshed mama is the best mama.
4) if you are feeling up to it, keep yourself busy at home with organizing, arranging babies room, making easy meals to freeze, etc. If you are not feeling up to it, rest. Rest, rest, rest! The constant pumping (if you are), traveling back & forth to the hospital, and recovery from the c section will take it out of you.
Good luck, hang in there & congrats again mama!!!
I feel like we will eventually get into a routine, which might make it easier. Hopefully...
Unfortunately, this is a hard journey for all moms. I've watched many moms navigate this new and incredibly hard experience in so many different ways, there is no one right way. Hopefully you'll find what works best for you. 'Cause you need your sanity!!
My two cents would be: