When I was informed about having an emergency cesarean, my biggest fear was having our baby stay in the NICU, since I was only 34 weeks along. Once she was there, I was anxious to get her home as soon as possible but I had to wait till the doctors thought it was safe for her to go home.
Words can’t describe the feeling of seeing an empty crib after coming home. I was a mother again but I couldn’t celebrate it whole heartedly.
Apart from dealing with my own recovery, I had to also deal with the agony of not being able to hold or nurse my own child.
Here I am mentioning a few tips for fellow mothers,if at all they are ever in my situation.
1. TALK & SHARE
A hospital is not a very happy place to be at and since you are already recovering from your surgery and dealing with your child being in NICU, you will be going through a mountain of emotions and several thoughts would be crowding your head.
Talking about these with someone close to you will help you a lot. Don’t be afraid of letting out a cry if you feel like.
2. MOMMY CARE
While you are making trips to the hospital to care for your newborn, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. You cannot help him/her if you are falling apart.
From my experience, the first few days after a cesarean are very crucial. Take a breather as often as you can, as you will need a lot of energy to take care of your baby. Don’t spring back into action or try to do all your chores by yourself as this will only prolong your recovery.
3. VISIT YOU BABY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Though it sounds difficult but spending more time with your newborn while he/she recovers in the NICU is in your and your child’s favour. Doctors suggest the same since the more time you spend with your newborn, the sooner you start lactating.
4. ASK QUESTIONS
When you have a baby as tiny as mine, you are scared to even hold them, even if you are a second time mom. The doctors and nurses are available to guide you, so ask as many questions as you can think of regarding nursing, sleep, vaccines or whatever else comes to your mind.
Since my daughter’s sucking reflex wasn’t developed, she had to be fed through the syringe. I had absolutely no knowledge or experience of doing that. In such scenarios, Try to take over the feedings from the nurses with the doctors permission. Practicing it in front of the nurses will prepare you to do so at home all by yourself.
5. TRY NOT TO PANIC
Easier said than done.. I know.
Did I panic.. YES!!! AND HOW!!
It’s normal to freak out in these situations. I would panic every time my daughter would throw up milk or not poop or pee less or lose weight. But reminding yourself that it’s all temporary and will get better can help ease the nerves.
A month has passed since our daughter was born and though it was full of speed bumps, I have not missed a moment of enjoying myself with her.