Most of you already know that November is always a hard time for me. November is Preemie Awareness Month and it’s also the month that Little One cannon-balled her way into existence. Every November, I get really weepy just thinking of what we went through and how some days I thought we would never leave the NICU with our baby. There were days when I was nervous going to the NICU, not knowing whether Little One was having a good or bad day.
Who knew that I’d ever have to know what “CC” and “Q” meant. CC is a liquid measurement of volume. Little One was fed by NG-Tube (nasal gastric tube). Q is used for “every”, for example: “Little One’s feeds are given Q2” or “Meds are administered Q6”. Meaning, Little One is given her milk every two hours and meds every six hours. Low-flow, ROP, desat, tachypneic, and other terms used in the NICU were words that became common to all the parents of preemies in the NICU with us.
It was surreal thinking of a tiny 980 gram baby having to undergo so many tests and even a lumbar puncture (spinal tap).
Having just given birth and having to commute to and from the hospital every day and at the end of the night having to leave your baby in the hospital is not anything I’d ever wish on anyone.
I’m thankful that we developed the friendships we did with other NICU families and with the staff at Mount Sinai’s NICU. The doctors nurses, RTs, and staff were fabulous. Though we had our friends and family, unless you’re not living or experiencing what other parents of preemies are living through, you just cannot fully understand what it’s like. I appreciated the “Oh, don’t worry. She’ll be fine”, but the truth was, we never really did know if she would be fine or not.
I couldn’t have survived those rocky first few months of Little One’s life in the hospital without our NICU family. We were there for Little One’s first Christmas and for New Year’s. It was so lonely, depressing, and emotionally draining to be separated geographically from family and my husband for the holidays. Hubby was able to spend Christmas Day with us, though he had to travel 6 hours in horrible Winter weather to be with us.
The staff and our “second family” (everyone in the NICU) took such great care of not only Little One, but of US. This is why each month, we donate to Mount Sinai. However, this year, I would like to make a special donation to the NICU for helping us through some challenging times.
With November being Preemie Awareness Month (and Little One’s birth month), and the Holidays coming up, I want to do something for other parents who will be spending their Holidays with their babies in the NICU this year.
My friend and I will be putting on a concert with all the proceeds going towards helping families in the NICU at Mount Sinai. My friend’s husband is part of an amazing band called Rural Roots and they will be performing for our concert.
It’s so heartwarming knowing that our community reaches out and helps those in need. I remember when people on the Island heard of Little One’s early birth, the love we received was enough to make us cry. Some of the ladies on the Island knit tiny hats and booties for the babies in the NICU, others made blankets, and donated other things.
I just want to give back to those who were there for us when we really needed the love and support. Four years later, and we have a happy, healthy little girl. We realize how blessed we are and would like to offer some kind of support to other families who are going through what we went through.
Thank you, everyone at Mount Sinai’s NICU and to the Perinatal Parent Association/the Parent Advisory! A big thanks to Rural Roots for performing! We appreciate you sharing your amazing music with us. They’re a great local band. They play an eclectic mix of music from a variety of musical genres.
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Time: 7pm – 11pm (doors open at 6pm)
Location: Tehkummah Triangle Club
Tickets: $10/person, children free
Contact: christine (at) lifeonmanitoulin (dot) com
There will be food and refreshments for sale, and a silent auction will take place. Islanders, we hope to see you at the concert. Come and enjoy some great music and fun times…and remember, it’s for a good cause.
For more information about Preemie Awareness Month, visit the March of Dimes. I realize this is an American site, but raising awareness re: premature birth is very important in Canada as well. To learn more about Mount Sinai Hospital’s Perinatal Parents Association, click here.
To read our story, click here.