My husband and I are sincerely lucky in that we are surrounded by family and friends that love and support us. I think this is something often taken for granted and not entirely realized until times of struggle. So when we announced that our much awaited son was in the NICU we had an outpouring of support.
Once I was discharged we had to decide how we would proceed. Did we visit daily or just call for updates? Do we go home or stay close to the hospital with friends and family? It was even tougher because my husband works nights (luckily from home) and I still wasn’t allowed to drive. We quickly decided that we would go every day, but we had to come home early enough so that my husband could sleep before work. We went every morning for his first two feedings of the day. We took care of changing him and switching the foot that the oximeter was on too. And we simply enjoyed being able to hold our baby boy as much as we could. An added bonus to the mornings, this allowed us to be there when they did rounds so we could chat with the doctor for an update on how our son was doing.
Our son was visited every day by grandparents who helped out with feedings and simply enjoyed snuggling him (I think he enjoyed it just as much). We were even given updates by each of our parents after they visited him if there was news. Close friends actually worked in the hospital and would be able to tell me if different levels were good or not. They gave me questions to ask that I never would have thought of, and urged me to push for updates when I felt we were in the dark. With so many ups and downs that he went through, we couldn’t have had it any better than to have so many eyes and ears focused on our baby boy’s progress.
And then we brought him home… oh the anxiety. I no longer had a screen to stare at to make sure his oxygen levels were where they were supposed to be. I missed having the nurses to verify that he was doing better. The first night i barely slept a wink because I was too afraid I would miss a sign that something was wrong. I kept every discharge paper in his diaper bag just in case we had to run back. My mom came that weekend and helped us adjust and allowed us to relax a bit. Even now we are constantly given the chance to run errands and have a date night without having to leave him with a stranger, and his grandparents still visit almost every week. Our little boy is loved and there is nothing more important than that. But more importantly is knowing that if we need anything, we are surrounded by people we can call on for help.