This week we share a very special story from a fellow pediatric nurse friend of ours, Sara Kaczkowski. She found herself on the other side of pediatric nursing with her baby girl, and she was kind enough to share her story with us!
Dear NICU Mama,
If you are like me, this is a title that you never imagined having. Even as a pediatric nurse, never in my wildest dreams did I see my daughter's birth story going in this direction.
You may have known before delivery that your baby would need a NICU stay, or like our case, it could have been a total surprise. Either way, it wasn't the "normal experience" that you had hoped and waited for. The one you hear everyone else talking about. You have to leave without your baby.
Sadness, anger, anxiety, frustration, fear, and a sense of loss from the time and experiences that I felt were taken from me were just a few of my many emotions. And in day's world, WOW. I can't imagine doing this without Kevin by my side.
𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕘.
Stronger than you'd ever imagine. And in those times where you feel weak, it's okay. Allow yourself that grace. Two years ago we brought Avery home. September 21, 2018. 37 days in the NICU. What felt like a lifetime in the moment seems so short now reading this. I thank God everyday her story was what it was and she came home with us. It can always be worse. I saw worse. But never be sorry for feeling what you feel. This your journey.
𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕒𝕝𝕠𝕟𝕖.
A friend of mine unfortunately went through a similar (yet very different) situation. It's like something you never hear about until you go through it, and then all of the sudden you hear about this happening to so many others around you. I like to think I helped her through some difficult times, but little does she know she helped me too. She introduced me to @dearnicumama. Dear NICU Mama was created in 2019 to connect past + present NICU mamas and send encouragement, positivity, hope, and strength. The podcasts, letters, stories, etc. continue to help me with my postpartum anxiety, even months (and now two years) after Avery was born.
A group no one wishes to be apart of, but you are. When you are ready, on your own time, accept the help and support from those around you and check out the magical community that @dearnicumama created. You got this. ♥
Thank you so much Sara and Dear NICU Mama! If you want to see more of Dear NICU Mama's mission, check them out on Instagram @dearnicumama
As always- like, comment, and share!
Jeri, RN, BSN, CPN