Parents often describe their baby’s hospital stay as a roller coaster, with many ups and downs. It is normal for babies to have good days and bad days. Knowing about this in advance can sometimes help.
Having a baby in the SCN is very stressful. Parents often experience shock, disbelief, helplessness, anger, guilt, grief and sadness. All of these emotions are normal and it is important to find ways of expressing them possibly through journaling or sharing with friends, family or a professional helper.
Moms and dads might not be feeling the same emotions at the same time. This may be difficult for the other parent to accept. Remember this is a stressful time for all of you!
Seek support through this difficult time. Have lunch with a friend who is a good listener or speak with a social worker. When friends and family offer to help, accept it. A warm meal or help with your other children may make a difficult day a little easier.
Take time for yourself.
Take care of your spiritual needs, too. Hospital chaplains are available seven (7) days a week.
Take care of yourself. Eat well and get as much rest as possible. Your baby needs you well to take care of him or her.
Participate in our Family Integrated Care (FIC) Program to learn as much as you can about your baby and be as involved as much as you would like in their daily care.
Be involved with your baby’s care. If you want more information on your baby’s medical problems, ask your baby’s nurse where you might find some.
It can be difficult to keep your family and friends up to date on your baby’s progress. Let others help you. Try calling just one person who can update everyone for you. Don’t feel guilty using your answering machine or caller I.D. to screen your calls.
Take lots of pictures to capture all those special moments. If you are having problems taking a picture with your baby’s eyes open, try turning off the overhead light. Shielding your baby’s eyes might help as well. Putting your camera up to the glass of the isolette/giraffe can cut down on glare.
Keep mementos or tokens to remind yourself of how much progress your baby is making.
Make your baby’s bedside feel like home. Bring in a family picture and a picture of your baby’s room at home to place near the bed, where your baby can see it. Drawings from their older brothers, sisters or cousins can brighten up a bedside.
Recognize that you have gained a new appreciation for life. You may be able to see many miracles all around you that some people take for granted.