To all the parents in NICU this Christmas
The mum, dad or family member currently sitting in the NICU ward by your baby’s side wishing them to be home for Christmas.They had a good week last week, things were looking up, surely just one more week and you would all be home?
Celebrating your first Christmas with your NICU graduate, getting to grips with your new baby whilst making your festive lunch and opening presents, breathing a sigh of relief that you were now finally home.
As a family, you were in the place where you all belonged, it wasn't meant to be though was it?
There have now been a few setbacks, the test results didn't come back as they should and further action is needed over the next week.
The next week, which is Christmas.
The stark reality is that you will be in NICU over Christmas.
No amount of knitted Santa hats, tinsel on the display boards or the mock turkey dinner in the canteen will ever make it feel like a real Christmas.
You feel sick just walking to the NICU, seeing everyone do their Christmas shopping in town as you drive to hospital.
You may not even want to celebrate, just keep focused on your normal daily routine.
To you this year it is just another day, another day you will hopefully be closer to bring your baby home.
Your social media feed is making you choke back the tears, how is this fair?
It should be you who is bringing their baby home and taking them to see Santa for the first time.
But it isn't, you will once again you will be making the trip up the hospital to sit for hours on end by your baby's incubator.
I wish I could make this better for you, I do, this is likely to be one of the hardest times of year to have a baby in NICU and not at home by your side. When pictures of happy families are everywhere.
After this year, each year that passes will be more special, this time next year you will be feeling a million times better than you are now.
If you feel down, depressed, angry and you resent every single person who has got their baby home, it is okay, it makes you normal.
You may not even feel grateful you get to spend Christmas with your baby, as you are in this setting.
Where you are not alone with your baby, where there are always lights and noises, and a million strangers in the same room.
This is one year out of many, this is temporary, this time next year, this will be your time.
Your time to get back what rightly belongs to you, your family. That will be your closure.
For now, if the sight of tinsel makes you sick, don't bother with it, rip it down.
It may not feel like it but this is your Christmas too and you can deal with it however you want to.
If we break it down, Christmas is a mere 24 hours. It is 24 hours closer to your goal. To bringing your amazing baby home.I know you didn’t ask for this, none of us did, and it is something that will never leave you even when you are not in there anymore.
You will always be a NICU parent, and so will I, it is a club that you have now become a member for life.It also means you have the support of the thousands of other lifelong members, and we do not forget you no matter if it is Christmas or not.
Many of us will help, will support and try and make your Christmas as normal as possible, you will appreciate this a lot more in the long run. We will never see you as ungrateful, we know how hard it is to process.
I am a NICU Mum, and I am thinking of you, it doesn't count for much but I am.
I will be by your side whilst you scream, shout, cry and wonder what you did to deserve this.
It really isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for you right now is it?
It is Christmas, and I am here for you.
From one NICU parent to another, you, your family, your baby and all the staff working with you, we will be thinking of you.
NICU MUM X