It’s okay to worry that your baby might’t know who their Mum is. That they have been handled by so many strangers, and hooked up to Machines. But trust, me, they know you better than you know yourself. your smell, your voice. They’ve heard your heartbeat from the inside, they are in no doubt who their Mother is.
It’s okay to resent the Doctors and Nurses. Yes they do wonderful work, but they sometimes forget this is your first Baby, even if it’s their thousandth. They get to be with your Baby when you aren’t, they get to make decision which should belong to you, they got to hold your Baby before you did. It’s ok to struggle with that.
It’s okay to stamp your foot and say it’s not fair. You tried so hard to get it all right. No drinking, no smoking, not even any soft cheese. Why you?
It’s okay to be jealous of the Families being discharged. You know they’ve not had it easy, but why is it you are still here? it’s okay to watch them come and go and wish it was your turn.
It’s okay to stare at the heavily Pregnant lady, or the Couple with their new Baby leaving Hospital as you trapse through with your little plastic bottles of expressed milk for the fifth time that day. They didn’t steal this experience from you, you do not resent them, but it’s okay to look and wonder how things could’ve worked out differently.
It’s okay to feel utterly overwhelmed. What do all these long Medical words mean? What’s that noise? How on earth will you survived weeks and months in this hospital? how will your baby ever get big and strong enough to go home. But they will, trust they will.
It’s okay to feel angry, at the World, it shouldn’t happen to anyone, it shouldn’t have happened to you.
It’s okay to not want anyone else to hold your Baby when you get home, you have weeks of time they should’ve still been inside to make up for. There’s no rush, take your time, enjoy your cuddles, there’s plenty of time for everyone else’s turn.
It’s okay to feel the disappointment, that you didn’t get the Pregnancy and birth you hope for. That they will not wear their homecoming outfit (until they fit it in about four months time at least), and that nothing turned out how you imagined.
It’s okay to be afraid. Afraid they won’t eve go home with you, afraid there will be Medical issues yet to be discovered, afraid they won’t reach those milestones.
It’s okay to be a hygiene ninja. You can insist everyone antibacterials at the front door, you can ban anyone with a cold, you can insist on whooping cough vaccines. Protecting your tiny prem is what you were born to do, its okay.
It’s okay to not be okay, even after you get home. Once your Baby is gaining weight, and there’s no more Hospitals. It’s okay that if you close your eyes, and you still see the incubator and the blood, and the struggle is getting greater. It’s okay to get help, to deal with your PTSD. It’s okay to say; this experience has changed me and it’s not all forgotten just because I took my Baby home.
It’s okay to feel all these things. But I need you to trust me, that you are going to be okay; you and your Baby, your family. It might feel far from okay right now, but you are going to be okay and so much more xxx
Having a prem baby had a deep and lasting impact on my life, and I passionately wish to support Parents in a similar position. I have written a few previous posts about my experiences in the hope they will offer some support and insight to those on a similar path. Things not to say to Parents of a Premature baby, ways you can support a Premmie family, Born too Soon, and Breastfeeding a Premature Baby, are a few of them. Please do get in touch if you have any specific questions-I will do my very best to help!