Once a NICU Mom, Always a NICU Mom

 This post may contain affiliate links.  For more information please see my full disclosure statement.

No one can really explain to you the way it feels to leave your newborn baby in the NICU.  Logically you know that she’s in the best place for her and being taken care of by amazing people (seriously, NICU nurses are walking angels).  But emotionally… it’s devastating.

But as the nurses constantly reminded me, she wouldn’t be there forever.

NICU Mom 3

And they were right.  54 days after she was born, the day after her due date, my baby girl came home.

What they don’t tell you though, is that the NICU experience never really leaves you.  Once you’re a NICU mom, you’re a NICU mom for life.  You’re part of a special club – a club no one ever wants to be part of – for moms who know what it’s like to leave a piece of their heart behind

I recently read that moms of preemies experience more stress and guilt than typical moms.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I certainly understand it.

For Miss O’s 4th birthday I shared her birth story and I’ll be honest, I still cry when I read it.  Her birth day was not the best day of my life.  Yes, I was happy and felt blessed to have a beautiful baby girl, but mostly it was just plain terrifying.

Most of the time our lives are completely normal.  If not for my girl still being a peanut (not quite 30 lbs at 4 years old), you’d never know she was as early or as small as she was.

But then, something happens.  Sometimes it’s just a little moment, like when we’re cuddling and I remember the days when I could only hold her for an hour a day.  I hold on a little longer then.

Other times its bigger.  Scarier.

A few years ago Miss O was getting repeated ear infections and her doctor recommended ear tubes.  It’s a simple procedure and very common, so I wasn’t all that worried.  Honestly, I was more worried about not being able to feed her in the morning than I was about the surgery.

The morning of the surgery we woke up early, put on some comfy clothes and headed out to the surgical center.  They Miss O put on a gown that was hilariously big on her and she was in pretty good spirits, except for having another ear infection brewing.

gown 1

Everything was going fine… until they came to take her away.

She had a sad, “I just want my Mommy” look on her face, but was otherwise okay.  I, on the other hand, was a wreck.

I held it together until she was out of sight.  Then I hightailed it to the bathroom in the lobby and found myself smack in the middle of a panic attack.

I wasn’t prepared for the memories that came flooding back.  Watching my baby be taken away by people in scrubs brought me right back to those agonizing 54 days and I was consumed by those emotions once again.

Of course Miss O did just fine with her procedure and by the time I had composed myself she was all done.  The nurse led me back to her recovery room where we snuggled while watching Sid the Science Kid.  The panic subsided and I brought my sweet, groggy girl home for a day of cuddles.

Those moments of panic are growing fewer and farther between as the memory of those days becomes more distant, but I don’t think they’ll ever disappear completely.  There will always be a little piece of the NICU with me.  All I can do is remind myself that it’s just a memory and do what I can to help other NICU Moms.



    • Creating My Happiness April 30, 2015
  1. Jennifer Gilby Roberts April 30, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness April 30, 2015
      • Anna Reices-Mallilo January 25, 2016
  2. Sue May 1, 2015
  3. Charlee May 1, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness May 1, 2015
  4. morningmotivatedmom May 1, 2015
  5. Sheena May 1, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness May 1, 2015
  6. Kayla June 16, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness June 16, 2015
    • Elizabeth December 8, 2017
  7. Allison August 12, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness August 12, 2015
  8. Angelina August 12, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness August 12, 2015
  9. Tori Douglas August 13, 2015
    • Creating My Happiness August 13, 2015
  10. thisgratefulmama August 14, 2015
  11. jdwilson11 August 15, 2015
  12. Rebecca August 15, 2015
  13. Gerri Youngblood August 17, 2015
  14. autumnhm August 19, 2015
  15. Pingback: August Grow My Blog Challenge Update September 4, 2015
  16. my2jacks September 4, 2015
  17. alex November 7, 2015
  18. New Crunchy Mom - Rebecca January 1, 2016
  19. Annie Beaunoyer April 9, 2016
    • Creating My Happiness April 9, 2016
  20. Andrea Mull May 10, 2016
    • Creating My Happiness May 10, 2016
  21. Michelle Ingle May 10, 2016
    • Creating My Happiness May 10, 2016
  22. DP May 11, 2016
  23. Rachel Hoff August 23, 2016
  24. Pingback: 6 Ways to Help a NICU Mom January 25, 2017
  25. Janani Viswanathan March 26, 2017
  26. Kay Handy May 11, 2017
  27. Brandee October 14, 2017
    • Creating My Happiness October 14, 2017
  28. Jessica February 7, 2018
  29. Amanda long February 21, 2018

Add Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.