Notorious for having lousy birthdays, it was beginning to look like this one would be no different than the last few. There were just nine weeks to go in my first pregnancy. Well, not exactly my first, but my first that had made it this far along. That morning of my birthday, I woke up with a sudden jolt. My water had broken.
There were no Braxton Hicks contractions, but they kept me in the hospital on bed rest for four long weeks. At 35 weeks my son was born and we got to bring him home with us two days later without a NICU stay. With baby number two, I wasn’t as lucky. That time my water broke at 26 weeks and even on bed rest we lived in fear with each day that passed, hoping for more time in the womb. Yet we knew that a NICU stay would be inevitable. The doctors from the NICU came to see me within the first few days of my stay, giving me some idea of what to expect when I delivered. They even wheeled me down to see the NICU for myself.
Yet it all seemed so surreal and so scary. At 31 weeks I went into labor, with my hospital stay ending and my son’s NICU stay just beginning. The NICU is a lonely place. The faces are solemn and direct eye contact is averted other than perhaps a polite greeting or two. Everyone speaks in a gentle whisper, not wanting to startle the babies any more than the dinging of monitors are doing already.
Though our experience with the NICU turned out to be a positive one, it would have been so incredibly helpful to have a guide through our NICU stay. Having a premature baby is so incredibly scary. The first site of your child is jarring, covered in tubes with eyes taped closed and living in an incubator (or shell, as my older son liked to call it) rather than in your arms. Those first few days are simply overwhelming, not just while you watch your baby breathe for hours upon hours during the day but also when you leave your tiny premature baby in the hospital for the evening so you can go home and get some rest.
Two of my friends, both NICU mommies themselves, have just released an ebook for NICU parents. Megan and Elizabeth share their experiences in the NICU with their premature babies so that others can feel comfort when doing the same. Though the book is instilled with religious language (and I, myself, am not a religious person) it is done in a way of letting you know that you are not alone. The book can be read in chronological order or you can choose to read the pages that resonate with you on a particular day during your NICU stay. If you know a parent who is facing a NICU stay, this ebook might just put their mind and nerves at ease.
Note: I received a copy of the NICU Daze ebook so that I could write this review. Please note that there are affiliate links in this post. If you have any questions, please contact me at Jessica@FoundtheMarbles.com.