When dealing with stress and unprecedented situations, we as human beings tend to forget about our own personal care. I was a NICU mom for the first time in 2008. Everything about the circumstances was new to me. I was so overwhelmed and focused on the safety and future for my twin girls that I forgot about my own well-being. I didn’t eat, barely slept, and spent 90% of my time in NICU or in the waiting room counting down until they reopened the doors. Worry and anxiety began to overtake my body. I lost a ton of weight. My blood pressure began to sky rocket, and I was growing sicker by the day. It wasn’t until the doctors came to me and threatened to reinstate me and place me on bed rest that I stopped and looked myself in the mirror. I was wasting away. If I kept going down that path it would have eventually lead to me being hospitalized.
I needed to take care of myself in order to be there and be strong for my girls. I had to develop a schedule. I had to set aside times to eat, time to sleep, and time to spend with my girls. I presented the schedule to my mom and asked her to help me stay on track. She assisted me in staying on schedule so that I could get back to a healthy state and that enabled me to do more for my babies.
Your journey may be overwhelming and new to you, but never neglect yourself. You can’t be strong for your baby if you allow yourself to fall sick from stress and worry. Develop a support team to help you in staying on a healthy path. Be the fighter that you want your NICU baby to be and never lose hope.