Tag Archives: NICU

My Mother’s Day established a new Mother’s Day tradition

Mother's Day Tradition

I had a seriously eye-opening Mother’s Day. It was intense and emotional, but also pretty transformational – what I did first thing in the morning on a day all about celebrating moms is definitely going to become a Mother’s Day tradition for me. But first, let me back up and tell you how it all came to be.

You see, I was approached for the Cape Town Embrace campaign, and I wrote about it a few weeks back. I wrote all about how even with all the love, support and help that I had as a new mom, it was still so daunting, so scary. And I encouraged all of you to take part in this idea of visiting moms on Mother’s Day. We’d reach out and encourage them, make their day a little brighter and generally just welcome them to the mom tribe. But there was one problem. I had no idea which hospital I’d be going to or what it would be like. So I felt like a total hypocrite, telling everyone to do this and not even sure how I would manage to do it. Well, the amazing Sharon from The Blessed Barrenness stepped up and organized for us to visit Charlotte Maxeke hospital on Sunday morning, and I was blown away. Continue Reading

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World Prematurity Day – An open letter to Harley’s NICU nurses

nicu-nurses-header

Dearest sisters,

I came around for a visit to the NICU with Harley yesterday, wanted to show off just how big she’s gotten. I wanted to show you all how far she’s come, how much she’s grown. I brought a cake and snacks and whatever else I could think of that would be nice for the team, a nice treat for all of you. But nothing I could buy, nothing I could give you could ever compare with what you gave to me. It was so wonderful seeing you all, taking pictures of you with an almost-year-old Harley – even if she did cry in all the pictures.

Growing up, I remember seeing donation tins for The March of Dimes. They used to be next to the check out counters in the drug stores in New York, and I would always look at them, but never really noticed what they were about. In fact, even last year I didn’t really pay attention to this day. I was already a mommy blogger, and I saw some of the other moms writing about it, but I don’t think I even read the posts. Oh how times have changed. Continue Reading

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Why I’m a part of #CarseatFullstop

#carseatfullstop

In the same way that I hate being told what to do, I hate telling other people what to do. Parenting is hard enough without people making judgements about our parenting choices. BUT, there is one notable exception, and that’s when it comes to a child’s safety. If you choose to feed your kid from the boob or with formula, I don’t care because either way your little one is getting fed. If you choose to have a nanny or send your kid to creche, that’s also your choice and I have nothing to add to the conversation. However, if a child is in danger, we all have a responsibility to speak up.

The world is full of scary things. I recently saw a video where a little one was almost snatched, just a couple steps away from her mom, or how about the recent uproar about the Stanford rape case? Babies can get sick and end up in the NICU, a place I hope Harley never ends up in again. Sometimes, there’s nothing we can do to prevent the horrors – it comes down to luck. However, when you get in a car, there is something you can do to protect your precious cargo, and a frighteningly small percentage of parents do it. Continue Reading

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The perils of the vaccine debate

baby vaccine

Last week, Harley finished off her first batch of vaccines. She is sorted until she is nine months old, when she gets the next round, but at least now she is protected against polio, TB, diphtheria and hepatitis. She only had one bad day following her inoculations, one time when she came down with a fever and generally felt miserable. One poorly day compared to the risks of diphtheria? Sounds like I’ve come out ahead!

Harley’s next vaccine includes her chicken pox shot. I have vague memories about there being some issue with that one – something I heard when I was a teenager or something about kids who got that vaccine as babies ended up contracting chicken pox as adults when it was far more dangerous. I wanted to read up on this to see if it was just the dawn of anti-vaxxer stuff back then or a real concern, but thanks to all the anti-vaxxer sites out there, I can’t trust anyone who claims to be a source. I like to think of myself as informed about medical things, especially for my little one, but here it’s become pretty much impossible to read up on things without taking everything with a grain of salt (which isn’t a bad way to take all things read online anyway). Continue Reading

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Being “normal” as a preemie

breaking the normal mold

I was not expecting to have a preemie. It was not part of my plan, but it was medically necessary. After I got home from the hospital, I started reading up on preemies, and it was pretty scary stuff – there were so many articles and books about the challenges that are common for premature babies, and I was feeling so sad for my little princess. It was hard enough to see her so very tiny, filled with tubes and sensors in the NICU, but the idea that her struggle would continue long after she was home… it just broke my heart.

When she was still in the hospital, I remember a physiotherapist came in the one day and started chatting to me. She explained that premature babies do eventually catch up, but that you need to adjust for their age – instead of sitting by six months it would be six months from the due date, etc. That wasn’t so bad, and that’s how I thought of Harley for a while – as her real age and her “adjusted age”. But I’m not sure I need to keep doing that. Continue Reading

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