1. Words of wisdom to new moms -It is okay to say it is hard! It is okay to ask for help! And it is okay to not love it all! I held on to so much guilt from delivering early, to being exhausted, I was guilty all the time! I tried to stay positive because I felt lucky to be pregnant and lucky to be a mom, but you can feel both! Your feelings are valid. Another piece of advice would be to take it all in. I feel like the past 6 months have just FLOWN by and I am so grateful that I really took time to soak in the beautiful moments with my babies and will continue to do so, even as life gets busy. Take time for yourself also! Ask for some help to watch the baby/babies and take some time to do something that makes you feel great. You don't have to either be you or be a mom, you can be both.. the best version of yourself and the best mom!
2. The NICU is such a difficult place to be - There is no doubt in that! Some "hacks" or things to make it a little bit easier are to make friends with the nurses. I felt like when I saw a familiar face, it put me at ease and sometimes talking about something other than weight gain, feeding tubes, poops, and baths felt good! A great nurse made all the difference. I also found that decorating your part of the NICU helped! Bring in a little sign with the baby's name, bring in your own blankets and swaddles. You are their mom and you can still be their mom and take care of them while they are in the NICU.
3. Coping while being in the NICU is hard - A lot of it feels like a blur to this day. Once really great piece of advice I received when I was in the NICU and felt like I had lost hope was to measure success by the week, not the day. Sometimes it feels like things are getting worse instead of progressing, but sometimes the baby just needs to have a little step back before a leap forward and that's okay! If you measure success week by week, you will notice SO much improvement and growth.
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