It’s hard enough becoming a mother, either for the first time, or adding another to your already balanced family life. For me, it was my first pregnancy, and after battling infertility and going through several rounds of IVF, I was finally pregnant, at the tender young age of 41. My due date was 12 FEB 2010, so you can imagine my shock when I delivered my son, all 2lbs 5oz of him the day after Thanksgiving 2009.
When your child is in the NICU, people say things to you without thinking about what you are going through. Someone told me “You think this is hard, wait until they are two” as I sat there watching my son being kept alive by a ventilator because he wasn’t breathing on his own. I was hoping he would make it to one, and would rejoice for him turning two.
The family in the room next to mine had suffered through losing one of their twins the day before, and that same day, another premature infant had become an angel, so everything is now put into perspective. And the really frustrating part… in order to get to the NICU in our hospital, you have to pass by the Labor & Delivery area, where all the other first time mom’s and dad’s are taking their babies home, but no, my 1 month old son is hanging on by a thread. Not what I expected for my first pregnancy and your emotions are definitely like being on a rollercoaster.
When they set me up for Early Intervention for my son prior to leaving the hospital, they also let me know I had counseling available for me included. I didn't need counseling, I was fine, I dealt with most things with humor and life would go on. Over 15 months later, I still see my counselor once a month as sometimes things hit me out of left field when I least expect them. Both of my parents passed away in 2005, and my husband’s family all live in the UK, I didn't realize how not having family around for support would hit me one day. What would my mom do? Why didn't I ask her these things? What was I like at this age? Things I will never know and am now sad that I didn't ask earlier.
If you think you may have PPD, talk to someone. Don’t keep it internally, it will continue to eat away at you, and we have to be there, for our beautiful little miracles. For more information and resources about preemies, visit It's a Preemie Thing.
Through my experience, I started my own company, It’s a Preemie Thing and our Facebook page has turned into such an amazing support group of fellow preemie parents that we recently launched our blog, http://blog.itsapreemiething.com. My son started with being swaddled in a Halo Sleepsack, and we still use SleepSacks at 15 months!