New NICU mom

Just wanted to introduce myself. I delivered a wonderful baby girl at 25 and 4 weeks almost 3 weeks ago. My husband and I had done IVF and we are so great full for our little girl. We were not expecting the complication of severe preeclampsia and so early in pregnancy. She was delivered via C section when my liver started to be effected. I had a very traumatic 2 week hospitalization. Now that our baby is in the NICU, we have such up and down days, it is hard to stay sane. Our baby is going to be there for a few months and hopefully not longer. She is a peanut, small for dates due to the preeclampsia. Because of her size it is a challenge to get her weight up with the fortified breast milk, which she has recently been spitting up. She also is prone to dropping her oxygenation easily and is intubated with a breathing tube. What also makes this difficult is that I come from a medical background and am a practicing physician. I am on short term disability after my c section and have been trying to be with my baby in the hospital. I am so tired. My husband is so tired. I can’t seem to stick to the pumping regime. And I’m not producing a lot of milk. I also get depressed and it is difficult to make myself eat and drink fluids, all of which effects the quality and volume of breast milk. I am wondering how other parents coped during this time, what I and my husband can do to support each other and also be good parents. Any comments and recommendations would be appreciated. I am from the Chicago area as well, and would like someday to be better acquainted with any regional support groups that I can attend in person.


4 Replies

  • Hi and welcome to Share. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I'm sorry to hear all that you and your little one have been through. The NICU is a long, and difficult road to navigate. My twin girls were born at 25 weeks gestation in 2001. Today they are doing well, 16 years old and in their junior year of HS. The days in the NICU feel like forever ago, yet I still remember them very vividly. You truly have to take them one day at a time. Celebrate the good days, and use the good ones to carry you through the difficult days. I'm glad to hear that you're able to be off work and spend time with your little girl each day. She knows you're there and can feel the love you have for her. But please take care of yourself too. If you're not well you won't be able to care for her. Have you reached out to your OB for some support for your depression? Maybe seeing a therapist would be helpful. I wish I had done it sooner in our journey. I would encourage you and your husband to find some time to spend together outside of the hospital. Maybe you can have a dinner out 1x per week. As for your milk supply, yes all that you mentioned will impact it. And yes, we all know that breast milk is best for our babies, but if it's not enough, and/or causing you too much stress on top of everything else it's okay to switch to formula. I pumped for several months and built up a supply for my girls, but ultimately the stress of the entire situation caused my milk to dry up. Give yourself permission to say you've done the best you could and now it's time for a change. It's okay.
    I live in the western suburbs of Chicago and would be happy to communicate with you further. I'm active in our local Chicago Chapter of the March of Dimes and would be happy to provide you with some support materials. You can message me here if you'd like to talk further.

    Remember to take care of yourself, and rest. I look forward to hearing more updates your little girl.
  • In reply to Jrmiller25:

    Hi hun I have had 3 in scbu my youngest is my mirical he was born at 26 weeks and caught a infection twice NEC which can be fatel all you can do is what ur doing now support each other be with ur baby girl as much as you can touch her hand or the put ur hand on the top of her head they like that and talk to her I used to sing to my son tell him story's but for the breast milk I dryed up in 4 days and became very sore and could take the pain he got the few bits at the beginning but that's all next was given sma premature milk any time you want to talk just message me hun and come on baby girl you can do it sending hugs kisses and prayers hope it's helped u a little bit
  • Hey there, glad you here because we are all here to support you. It’s is beyond hard, this journey. I remember pumping and hating it sooo much. Its an emotional roller coaster and I know that stressful feeling all too well, the amount you must eat and drink to keep up your supply, be available for feedings, keep family updated, etc. you feel like your mind and emotions are in a million directions. You need to listen to your body though and think about YOU too. Is there a graduate parent support group attached to the NICU there? Be sure to talk to your NICU nurses and tell them how you are feeling too.

    We are all here for you!!! Please keep us posted on you and baby (and husband too).
  • Hello and Welcome to Share. Congratulations on your baby girl. I am so sorry that her arrival has been traumatic as opposed to the joyous occasion that it should be. So many members here have experienced the exhaustion that comes with the roller coaster of the NICU. Please do your best to take care of yourself as you watch over your daughter. Take it one day, one hour, one moment, one breath, one sip, one bite at a time. Sending you love and strength.