To moms staying at the hospital with their sick babies,
You are so much stronger than you know.
Every day you suit up with a smile no matter how much you are crying inside. You are skilled at using your weapons, the ability to inflict comfort and reassurance done with the gentle stroke of fingers on baby’s face, a softly song lullaby, or warm embrace to let them know they will be alright.
While you feel small and helpless watching your baby hooked up to machines, with IVs and feeding tubes, you are still the biggest thing they need and just being there to soothe and comfort is the way you are helping.
And know that even despite when tears turn up and trickle down cheeks with the curl of the bottom lip with that look in baby’s eyes that they are not feeling well and need you—and the sight of this makes you break down in tears yet you still manage to hold it all together— most moments means you are strong as hell.
Nothing can break you down because you are strong for baby.
You are a warrior.
Having a child sick or in pain to the point of needing medical attention is one of the hardest things a mother can experience. The worry if they will be okay. The guilt of if they could’ve prevented it.
It wasn’t so long ago you were at the hospital, you in the bed with the baby in your arms just born. Healthy and perfect. Now how the roles and scenario have changed. And this is a hard thing to swallow.You gulp it down because there is no room for denial. You take action and remain firm in your decisions no matter how much you doubt yourself.
The sleepless days and nights and lack of contact with anything or anyone outside that hospital room alone can drive you in zombie mode. Yet you still remember baby’s latest temperature, heart rate, etc. even though you don’t even know what day it is.
And you might think you look rough because you rely on your partner and family to bring you fresh clothes. This often means not your best looks but to the rest of us you look put together and indestructible—even with that messy bun hair. This is all because you refuse to go home even just for an hour. Baby needs you so where baby is you will be.
You are resilient.
The fact that your mind remains sharp in this cloudy state is amazing. So your amount of positivity and tenacity even when thick in the battlefield as baby fights off foreign bodies. But you know that baby is a fighter.
Despite the emotion of it all—and it is emotional, to say the least—you put on your armor and are tough as nails to be strong for them. This means even when they are screaming crying when watching a procedure or an IV get put in. When if they ask you if you want to leave the room you refuse because your mental game is mightier than your emotions.
Mothers find a way to hold it all together and still be a superhero—even though they cannot save the day. These are the strongest kind of moms, the ones that have to sit back while their babies might be suffering.
Then there is the lack of sleep. A word foreign to all moms with newborns, but this takes on a whole other meaning for NICU moms. Sure you have help in the middle of the night thanks to the nurses, but this doesn’t mean any peaceful sleep because of your baby’s current state. And even if you could sleep it’s impossible not to stop staring and watching the baby.
And when you finally get a two to three-hour stretch to rest it’s time to get up and pump again so baby has nutrients and you don’t milk loose supply. But with some voodoo magic, you wake up after that cat nap feeling like you got a full night’s sleep and spend the next few hours alert with wide eyes again staring at the baby.
Breastfeeding moms in the hospital, you are the real MVP.
You worry about supply and staying well-fed and hydrated when you have no appetite and get frustrated that no matter how often you pump you still produce a little.
Then there’s the discomfort of pumping for some, the work and energy it takes. And just when you finally finish it’s almost time to pump again. You feel like a milk machine and hate it but hate the thought of not being able to nurse. You trek on. There is no way you would’t.
You are a warrior.
Having a baby in the hospital is something no mother wants to experience. The sound of cries echoes in the hallways at any given time, a reminder that some family could be having it worse.
The emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows of your baby also plays tricks on morale.
You are able to stay positive even though you are experiencing most mother’s worst nightmare. Warriors like you can endure this hardship even though, boy, is it hard.
Just know mama, that they are getting the care they need and that hopefully, it will get better. They are in the best place. You are doing great no matter how tough the day might be and how little control you have.
Soon baby will be on the bend. These lucky moms find routine, establishing their relationships with the nurses to become a team.
You can maneuver wires and tubes to be able to scoop their baby into their arms for snuggles like a boss. And you now know enough medical jargon to explain in-depth the experience at home.
And soon you will be home.
With a little medicine and a whole lot of love, recovery is upon the horizon. Just take it one day at a time.
Hang in there. Your tenacity and strength are not overlooked. We salute you, Queen.
You are a warrior.