If Your Grandchild’s In The NICU, It’s Time For You To Be the Best Parent/Grandparent You’ve Ever Been
Last November, I announced that I was going to be a mammy, again. My oldest daughter was pregnant with our second grandchild. Although she was having normal pregnancy symptoms and everything seemed to be going just as it should, about midway though the pregnancy we realized this pregnancy was different.
Not all pregnancies are created equal
It turned out that my daughters placenta and umbilical cord weren't functioning properly and our baby girl wasn't getting enough nutrients to grow at the rate she should have been. So, my daughter had to be admitted to the hospital at 28 weeks, until she delivered the baby.
We had hoped for 32 weeks before she delivered, but prayed you every day we could get. Our Violet was born a week later at 29 week, 2 pounds, 2 ounces, and 13 inches long. That is when our NICU journey began.
How is Violet doing?
My second granddaughter is a little rock star. She is doing remarkably well. Better than anyone could have imagined. She has been breathing on her own the entire time, with the occasional help from a tiny baby C-Pap. Violet has continued to gain weight and be very alert.
Even though she is doing great, she still has a long road ahead of her. I can't say enough about the superior care my daughter and granddaughter have received at the Deaconess Women's Hospital. The Tristate is incredibly lucky to have such a world class hospital in Newburgh, IN
It's a surreal feeling to have a baby in the NICU
When you are unable to bring a newborn baby home, it sometimes doesn't seem real. It's so very hard for mom and dad to leave the baby in the hands of others and go home to continue life. The stress is overwhelming. There is a deep hole, a piece of the family puzzle that is missing and it's the job of the grandparents to help alleviate some of the stress.
If your new grandchild is in the NICU, DO these things
- Offer to watch the other grandkids so the parents can visit the new baby in the NICU
- Offer to drive new moms to the NICU (if transportation is a challenge)
- Offer to cook meals
- Offer to clean the house/do the laundry
- If you’re internet savvy, offer to start a caring bridge for them
- Keep in touch with phone calls, emails or handwritten notes if you live far away.
- Keep an eye out for postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect either parent.4 Help them know when it's time to get help from a doctor or therapist.
DON'T do these three things if your grand baby ends up in the NICU
- Get upset if you can’t visit the baby
- Get upset if you can’t hold the baby
- Ask a ton of questions about the baby’s condition or prognosis.
Love, pray, be patient, support, love, be empathetic, breathe, love, repeat.