September is NICU Awareness Month. This month was designed to honor the families experiencing a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit and the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who care for them. We reached out to a couple of brave Max + Moose mamas and asked them five questions about their experience in the NICU. For the next five days, we will be sharing what they had to say.
What was your favorite part about the NICU?
The nurses, respiratory therapists and doctors that became family. The NICU was truly our home for 194 days. In addition, when I meet other moms that have had a child in the NICU, there is an automatic unspoken connection. Other NICU moms just get it. (Jenny Saunders - @OurLifeAfterNICU)
The staff was by far my favorite. They love on the babies admitted with their whole hearts and truly try to make sure you feel heard, involved and cared for as a parent in such a scary, new and seemingly endless journey. (Kamri Pitchford - @hellakidsinhere)
The people, hands down! The staff, the nurses, the doctors. They were all so amazing! The staff was always so friendly when I would come in in the mornings- help me find the little heating pads. The nurses are who you interact with the most, they are amazing! And only the best of the best work in the NICU, Im not making that up. They are so knowledgeable- use their knowledge! Whether its about your babies condition, babies in general, anything. They love to talk! The doctors were so sweet and made us feel like max was their only patient. They understand you’re nervous and anxious- your babu is in the NICU. But you will always remember that team that cared so well for your baby during that difficult time. (Alyssa Andrus - @max_and_moose)
Besides leaving it (I know, I'm so funny), we were also incredibly blessed in regards to our NICU stay. Our son, Maddox, was born September 6th, 2017, days before Hurricane Irma was scheduled to hit Savannah, head on. The day after he was born, Savannah was placed under a mandatory evacuation, and Maddox, as well as, all of the other NICU babies, were transported via ambulances to Atlanta, GA. Being that I had just given birth, and that everything within an 8 hours drive was booked by Floridian's and fellow Georgian's alike, we had absolutely no where to stay and I was determined to be with my son, even if that meant sleeping in the hospital parking garage in Atlanta. Fortunately, we had so many angels looking out for us, and the same hospital our son was being evacuated to, opened up their doors and let us stay in their maternity ward. They gave us shelter, food, and even money to cover the 5+ hour trip, and we were able to spend SO much time with our son that we otherwise, wouldn't have been able to. Yes, the NICU is such often such a scary and stressful place, but it also is a place that can be filled with so much love and kindness from absolute strangers. The support in this community is so strong and for that, I am forever grateful to be a part of it. I only hope that I can give the same love, support, and advice to other present + future NICU mamas, that former NICU mamas gave to me. (Tori Casanova - @toricasanova)
In retrospect I find myself grateful for the structured time in which I got to know my baby and my postpartum life. As much research and preparing as I had done prior to giving birth, I had very little hands-on experience with babies. Olive came home from the NICU at two weeks old and I by then had experience in her general care and troubleshooting her cries. The nurses are happy to share their experience and tricks for consoling all manner of woes! (Casey Yost - @caseyfromaway)