NICU Awareness Month

I was never the type of girl to dream about my wedding as a child, I was the kind of kid who always dreamed of being a mom. I could not wait until I was old enough to have a real life baby doll. I envisioned my water breaking and calling everyone that my child ( one, because I never thought twins were an option) was on the way , my whole family in the waiting area, my mom and husband in the room cheering me on, and my newborn baby just minutes in to this world being laid on my chest.

As per my last blog, no need to re- hash all of the details, but none of that happened. What made me the most upset was the fact that I had to be put under for my children’s birth and did not wake up to them. My little kiddos were in the NICU. Now, I was blessed considering the fact that my boys decided to come a whole month early and there were no clear signs of complications. They were both a great size and measure closed to 12 pounds total. All of that was great news to me and their health comes first, so they were where they needed to be. But then it hit me … the first women to hold my babies were strangers. I went a whole day without seeing them due to complications with me and NICU appointments, and all I can think about was how someone else was feeding and changing my child. Luckily I had comfort in knowing my husband was able to go up there and love the babies for the small amount of time he was allotted , something was better than nothing. He was also able to take pictures to send me while I was in recovery. Another very strange thing for me to accept, I was texted a photo of my children the same way all of our friends and family were, I felt like I was looking at someone else’s children. I also was dying to think that my babies spent 8 months together in my womb and were immediately separated to enter different NICUS.

The next day I was cleared to go see my kids from 10am-12pm. They were in two different rooms due to Anthony needing just a little more help with his breathing and eating. When I finally got up to see Nicholas, I was bummed to see him laying there with dried spit up down the side of his cheek. I understood that the nurses were busy and my child was not the only one in there , but again , if I had my babies , being I was their mother , there would have been a different kind of care. When I held little Nicky for the first time I was hysterical crying, I finally have my first born in my hands, and he was beautiful. As I sat there and cried and cried , the nurse kept checking in with me, giving me the impression that I was borderline mental. On top of that she jumped right in to telling me there is a hotel I can stay near by to be near the kids once I was sent home. It was so hard to hear I would be leaving the hospital without my babies. All of that worry that she gave me and Nicholas graduated NICU and joined us in the room the next day.

When I went to see Anthony, he was in another room that was more private and it was a completely different experience. I absolutely loved the nurse. She greeted me with a huge grin and was excited to tell me that he was off the CPAP. The day before, my husband showed me a picture of him connected to tubing, and already in one day I was able to see him without anything! She was positive and warm, and I was happy to have Anthony in her care while I wasn’t around. As a mother you just want love for your children, I did not know this nurse a day in my life and yet I can tell how much she loved her job, and how she loved my son.

My sons were strong and resilient since day one, I only had to see them one time in the NICU and then they came to join mommy and daddy. The staff at Long Island Jewish Hospital were able to monitor my boys and get them back on track with their main priority to get them to be with their parents as soon as possible. It was hard for me to be away from my children on their first day of their life, so much so that I still have not mustered up the courage to leave them just yet for something as simple as a nap. I commend strongly , the moms that have to leave without their children, moms who have to accept long NICU stays for them, and for the mothers who have to go a long time before they can hold their child due to medical needs. I was on the better side of things and yet I still felt pain. Lastly, big shout out to the nurses, who care for all of the babies needs as if they were their own.

P.S. when I saw a picture of Anthony hooked up to the CPAP, I could not help but cry that I was not allowed to be there for him. I knew he was going to be okay, so I found a little chuckle in the fact that it looked like he was about to go snorkeling.

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