Rebekka - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )
What was your NICU experience like, did you feel like you got the emotional support you needed?
Rebekka - posted on 06/30/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )
What was your NICU experience like, did you feel like you got the emotional support you needed?
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Shannon - posted on 01/21/2011
My daughter had to stay in th nicu for 6 weeks. The staff was amazing. They answered all my questions and even was there if i needed a shoulder to cry on. Having to leave my daughter there was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I knew that she was in good hands and she needed to be there to become the healthy baby she is today. I sometimes want to go by there and tell them thanks for everything that they have done.
Elizabeth - posted on 01/21/2011
I have to say that my NICU was wonderful! They took great care of my baby and me too! I did kangaroo care at least once a day unless Christen was not up to it and Dad did Kanagaroo care once a day too. The hardest day for me was the day that I left the hospital. I got readmitted 2 days later and again one month later but the nurses worked with me to make sure that I could come over from the neighboring hopital to see my baby. March of Dimes was also great. They hosted training classes and even scrabbooking. I did not want to go at first but the moms that went were able to support one another. We are still together today. You do need to be an advocate for you and your baby and be sure to ask lots of questions also if your NICU allows primary nurses that always have your baby when they are on, try to get one assigned. It was great to know when I was not there, I knew who was taking care of my child. The doctors and nurses were great! Sorry for those who did not have as great an experience.
Iysha - posted on 01/20/2011
I absolutely LOVE the Hospital I gave birth in and that includes the NICU. I had wonderful nurses and felt like we got royal treatment the whole time....which doesnt always happen....especially since I'm super young looking and wasn't married and had Medicaid insurance. I remember one nurse gave me a baby name book to help pick out a middle name for my daughter. Another gave me a chocolate frostie because I was upset with my fiance and stuck in the hospital...chocolate makes things better, right? and she even took the time to sit with me and talk about what was going on, sharing her personal experiences. The doctor that was working with my daughter was always cheerful and remembered me and my mom a year later! The NICU staff made it a point to give me extra vouchers for the cafeteria too...oh how I loved that hospital food!! I still went there even after my daughter was out! lol. I will NEVER give birth in another hospital as long as I live!! Especially if there's a known chance I will be having another preemie...everyone was great and treated us with a great deal of respect.
Rebecca - posted on 01/20/2011
Our NICU staff were absolutely amazing and I think it helped that some of the staff were former classmates of mine. I felt better knowing who was holding my daughter when I wasn't able to.
Shannon - posted on 01/09/2011
I am so grateful after hearing some of your stories. My daughter was in the nicu for 7 weeks and I went everyday. The nurses actually incouraged me to hold her and do kangaroo time everyday unless she was having a bad day and they always came over to me when I got there to fill me in on everything, weight, feeding etc. They were amazing. Even the head doctors knew me by face and knew kira was my daughter, they had about 25-30 babies everyday but they seemed to make sure they really knew parents and babies that were there for more then a few days. I always went home feeling informed. It was a 30min ride each day, and I want to have my next child their preemie or full term versues the closer local hospital. I give all those NICU credit for what they do everyday, they truly are amazing. I am sorry for those with bad experiences and hope if you are ever in the preemie world again you have one like mine.
Sophie - posted on 01/08/2011
My twin boys were born at 28 weeks and spent 7 weeks in the NICU. We have and older daughter who turned 5 during the time the boys were born. Our hospital had a music therapist who saved me! She would take my daughter to the music room and allow me time with the boys. She also allowed me to cry with her and feel like I wasn't crazy. At the end of our stay a nurse asked if I felt the music therapist made a difference and I said yes! There was an issue with the nurses because her slot caues one less nurse in the rotation. The hospital was well staffed and the babies were well cared for. Overall I felt good about our experiance. The social worker did ask me once if I needed any support but I had already connected with the music therapist. The music therapist also worked with the boys. She would come in and play soft womb like sounds for the boys. I felt at the time that it was a nice break for them from all the hospital noises.
Christine - posted on 01/08/2011
It will completely depend on the size of the hospital where your NICU is located. My twins were first born in a large city hospital where the capacity in the NICU was 70 babies. They were only 32 weeks when they were born, but needed only minor breathing support (no oxygen), and help feeding. While there were always a ton of people around, it was hard to find time to bond with my girls because it felt like you were constantly in the way. After 1 week there my girls were eligible to tranfer to my community hospital where there was also a NICU. At my local hospital their capacity was only 17 babies, and during the 3 weeks that my girls spent there, they were never fully at capacity. I found that to be the biggest difference. Their nurse was only in charge of the two of them, so their needs were always attended to while I wasn't there. Anytime I wanted to be there, I could, and I didn't feel in the way. I was able to do everything for my girls, which made the whole experience feel less clinical. The nurses spent time working with my husband and myself teaching us good bathing techniques, what to look for during feedings, etc. I felt that when they finally came home at 1 month old, we had a leg up on carinf for them. So my best advice is if you have options to choose from, choose a smaller NICU, where personal attention can be paid to your child. It really made a difference for us.
Monica - posted on 01/07/2011
My NICU experience was pretty good, considering the whole having to leave your baby behind issue. My oldest child was a 27-weeker, born for no discernible medical reason (we were both healthy, no BP problems, no sugar problems), so I was already petrified at his being born. The NICU staff was VERY understanding and caring, for the most part. The only dark spots were when I was told I could come see him shortly after birth, and the doc that was trying to place his umbilical line barked at us to come back later (it was giving him trouble, and he was frustrated. He apologized later), and the one nurse who was WAY too rough with my tiny 2.0 lb baby (I told the charge nurse that I'd tear that whole place down if I saw that woman near my son again, and for the remainder of his time in the hospital, I never saw her again, not even with someone else's baby.) We stayed for 74 days, and most of that time was calm and pretty happy.
Serlena - posted on 07/28/2010
I loved all the support we had and the staff became our family and we still keep in contact with them. I asked a lot of questions and they were very good about allowing me to discover and experiment with our baby. To allow us to discover and learn about and from one another. They allowed me to do kangeroo holds and just do new techniques that really helped with his development.
Schmoopy - posted on 07/28/2010
My NICU experience wasn't the best. The room where my baby was kept was an "open air" nursery - all the beds were in one room. There was NO privacy! That really bothered me.
As far as emotional support, I got none. But I didn't really want any. Still, nothing was offered to me, and I think it should have been.
Even if it's offered in the beginning, people in a NICU situation are so overwhelmed, they may not hear the first offer or realize they need it. Or it may not occur to them that they can ask for it later.
The docs and nurses were proficient, as far as I knew. But I had no frame of reference - I had never been in a situation like that before!
All in all, I hated ever minute of it.
Rebecca - posted on 07/23/2010
I cant believe that some of you mummies had horrible NICU experiences! That is really sad. My daughter was born at 31 weeks and was in the NICU in RPA Sydney Australia for a month before progressing onto the next step in the nursery and being in hospital for a total of 9 weeks. Its true that unless you have experienced it, you can't really understand the feeling of seeing your baby but you cant hold them or feed them or the feeling of leaving the hospital yourself and having to leave your baby there. The nurses and doctors at my daughters NICU were awesome and I loved all of them. They were all really supportive and we will never ever forget what they did for her. They also encouraged keeping a journal which I wrote in everyday and have kept for her. I made a couple of friends with other mums in the nursery whom I keep in regular contact with. It really is a special experience to be mum of a prem, Im sorry that you havent felt that :(
Tracy - posted on 07/22/2010
I can't imagine making it through our time in the NICU if it hadn't been for the wonderful staff. We had our twin boys in Springfield, Illinois. There was only one nurse we had an issue with. The other nurses and my husband and myself had no problems getting one of the twins to eat. The night nurse said he would not eat for her. When we came in the next morning, they had put in a feeding tube. The charge nurse took the tube out the next afternoon after we talked to her about the fact that he ate fine for everyone else. Having your child in the NICU is a very stressful time and unless your child has been there, it is not an experience that you can relate to (even though people try).
Serena - posted on 07/22/2010
It was the NICU nurses that made me actually really appreciate the work nurses do. I'm sorry for all the mommies with bad experiences at such an important and stressful time. There were a few nurses that I didn't care for much and hoped they didn't have my baby when I would walk in but overall they were absolutely great. They all knew my daughter cause she was the best dressed in the NICU (their words not mine...but I won't argue :) )
Emily - posted on 07/17/2010
My daughter was in the NICU for almost 3 months. We had an absolutely wonderful team of nurses (as well as in progressive care!). In fact, I still keep in touch with 2 of my daughter's nurses! The receptionist in the waiting room was also wonderful!
Katrina - posted on 07/16/2010
Absolutaly terrifying! I went int labour at 29 weeks though they halted labour until 30t2 but it was 5 days of hell even in the wards! Some of the nurses were great but others werent. I only had one doctor I could get straight answers from and no one really explained things to me and it was made harder by being away from my family and partner since I was in a different island!!! Most of the support I got was from other mums at the ronald macdonald house where we stayed but not much from the hospital. You would think they would have people to talk to you and explain things before you hae the baby!!! and after the baby is born. I was clueless for the first couple of weeks until I was able to start asking questions and talking o other mums. It was horrible. I'm preg again and expecting another NICU baby and am glad I know the drill this time as it will be less stressful! the worst was they kept spelling Abby's name wrong and some nurses didnt even speak english well! The constant change of staff was stressful as you didnt know who was looking after your baby until you turned up and I only had two nurses who were known to me who returned to care another time for Abby. Not a very positive experience over all!
Wanda - posted on 07/16/2010
The staff at our NICU were fantastic. There were 2-3 babies per nurse. Our son had a primary care nurse who was in charge of him every time she was on duty. She treated our son like her own. I got to know a lot of the staff, they all knew the babies by name. They were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us. We were made aware of the resources available to us. We were consulted about every decision. It's a terrific NICU, I'm participating in their Walk for Women & Babies next month to help fund raise for the new NICU.
Misty - posted on 07/15/2010
Our NICU staff was fantastic! My daughter was a 24 weeker and we spent 142 days in the NICU. We quickly realized that they were her voice when we could not be there for her, they treated her as there own child! We are still extremely close with a lot of her nurses (my daughter will be 2 in October), they even came to her first birthday party last year! We were truly blessed to have met such a wonderful group of ladies!!
Tori - posted on 07/15/2010
I love the NICU where my son is at because they are all very nice and the neonatologists actually will stop us and talk to us if they see us walking in the halls, our baby's primary nurse is actually our neighbor and my sister in law works in the NICU, I would not go to any other NICU in our area even though I know that there are two more highly recognized NICUs in our area.
Jess - posted on 07/13/2010
The worst thing about NICU is there is no privacy, you don't get those quiet alone times with your baby to bond and just whisper sweet nothings to them ! I found that a lot of the more experience nurse's expected you to earn their respect and trust with your own baby. It was very annoying !
And when you bring them home people don't understand why you can't just hold them all the time or change them as soon as they do a poo. Some of my friends think I was a bad mother when we brought Ava home because I would see her with a poo'y nappy and just leave her to sleep. The hospital were very insistent that we were only to wake her at feeding time and everything else could wait until then !
They loose weight every minute they are awake ! People who haven't been through this just don't understand.
Amalie - posted on 07/13/2010
oh sherron I know how u felt I was told many time's sorry we don't have the staff for u to hold your baby right now...I soon learnt to take charge an with in 2wks of her being born I'd go down to the n.i.c.u an walk in an say hi everyone Im taking my baby out for a hold we both need it. I didn't ask anymore but she wasn't on oxygen only central line tube feed an lipards..(fat)
Id get her out knowing every eye was on me put her on my chest skin 2 skin an cuddle for half hr 3-4 times a day I boarded at the hospital as it was 2hrs from my home she was finally moved 40mins away again I boarded with her very hard wiith 3 other kids at home but I really feel thats why she came home 9wks later even thoe she was only 1700grams they could see there was nothing I couldn't handle with her so they were confident we'd be fine.. And we were shaneeka will be 1yrs old on monday..
Charley - posted on 07/12/2010
i had my baby in savannah ga at memorial medical rated one of the best nicus in the usa his nurses were all great all the docs how they treated me and my fiance and our parents were great they actually took care of me 24 years ago when i was born so my mom had flash backs but informed me when they induced me that the nicu was great
Diann - posted on 07/10/2010
I am so sorry for all the horrible experiences! I can't imagine going thru all that with your baby in the hospital! The worse thing for me was the night I was released and my daughter was not. No one knows except for other mom's who have to leave the hospital without their baby! The nurses and doctors in general were very kind, supportive, informative....at the time, there was a baby who's family lived about 1 1/2 hours away with 3 older kids. They did the every other day thing and then on saturday/sundays rotated bringing kids up. that was before the big HIPA laws and there were 4 of us in the same room, each baby could have 2 visitors. However if no one else was there or just me they would let the whole family be there because they had such little time together. They gave each baby's family a NICU book similar to a parenting book - they gave me 2 because my daughters father was traveling on the east coast for work. ...I did run into the not being able to hold her, but it was for reasons such as she had dropped weight. in the beginning i was limited to brief 10 min 2ce/day, one time another baby had a major emergency so I held her about 45 min, they felt horrible because it is a lot of stimulation. There was one night all 4 babies lost significant weight because there was a lot of commotion while they were trying to put an iv in one of them - noise, lights....you don't think of those little things but they matter! I am still in touch with one of the nurses and this was 11 1/2 years ago!
I agree to journal. there's just so much that you can never remember, plus you're overtired, stressed, healing,
But overall I had a very good experience all things considered. Would I want to repeat it - not really but at least i would know what to expect!
S - posted on 07/05/2010
I am absolutely horrified by some of the experiences other mothers have had in the NICU. I would say my experience was 95% positive. My daughter was in the NICU for 94 days after being born 16 weeks early. Most of the staff was excellent, they kept us apprised about every change during the day even calling our cell phone. Even though I worked and went to school at the time I made a promise to be at the hospital every day, and I was. The nurses and doctors were willing to answer any and all questions as well as provide additional reading material.
The only negative experiences I had were with two nurses. I HATED being told when I could hold my daughter and having to clear it with them in advance. There were a few times we were cleared to hold her and then denied last minute for often bizzare reasons. I will never forget New Year's Eve. We'd been denied holding her for several days and I was cleared to come in and hold her that night, of course when I got there I was denied for yet another absentee reason. We quickly began to realize sometimes we were denied if the nurses felt they were too busy doing other things.
I will admit that I think our daughter received excellent care because I was a BULLDOG in the NICU. I kept a journal every day, where I wrote down her meds, weight, fluid intake and ANY changes so there were several times when I corrected a nurse who tried to give wrong meds, fluids, or left her unbundled, etc. The charge nurses knew who i was and that I would not tolerate B.S. I went home and researched everything they told me every day and would confront them when given false information. Doing my own research enabled me to note a day or so before the nurses when she was getting sick which helped ensure she got meds early before it completely wiped out her immune system. By the end we had a great working relationship, they knew to come to me with accurate, factual information and that I would not tolerate substandard care.
Overall, it was stressful and there were many days I broke down in tears but i'd still say it was a positive experience. I would caution any moms currently going thru it or who may deal with it in the future however to keep a journal because people do make mistakes, and unfortunately many times they cover them up. Everything was checked 3 times before given to my daughter because they knew they would answer to me.
Jess - posted on 07/05/2010
NICU was horrible for us. The staff were rude, they never knew any of the babies names, we never had the same nurses twice. We were lied to, they did stuff to our daughter without our consent, and the stuff we did ask for they didn't do and then said it was our fault because we hadn't asked or hadn't filled out the right paperwork * which they have to give you * It was a nightmare. We were there all day everyday, never missed a single feed and they just looked down on us so much for no reason at all ! They threatened to get a restraining order on us when we insisted that we wanted to take our perfectly healthy daughter home, and when we said we were calling our lawyers and they let her go home they accused us of taking drugs and gave our details to child welfare. They chased us for 6 weeks non stop and when they finally sent out a staff member we were cleared straight away. Such a heart breaking experience !
Pip - posted on 07/04/2010
I spent a month in hospital before delivering my twins at 30 weeks. I had 4 other kids at home 2 hrs away that I didn't get to see much of. I had major surgery and lost my uterus having the twins. I wasn't allowed to drive for 12 weeks after the operation so me getting myself to the hospital was impossible. My husband took time off work and we agreed to do the 4hr return trip every 2nd day to see the twins and take in milk. Then concentrate on the other kids, do shopping, washing and general house stuff the days we didn't go down. (the kids needed a fair bit of love and attention after having me gone for so long). Every time we went into the NICU we would get disapproving looks, like we weren't there enough. I felt I was constantly defending why we weren't there every day and that I did live 2 hrs drive away and had 4 other kids who needed me and a home to keep operating. My experience wasn't supportive at all. However at 9 weeks old my boys were transfered to a local hospital 40 mins drive away I went in every day and what a difference it was. The staff respected me. It was a pity the city hospital couldn't get there heads around the fact I was doing my best, every 2nd day was all I could manage. It made me even sadder than I already was being judged by them because of my absence. It was hard enough going through so much trauma we really needed a little understanding... However I am eternally grateful for the wonderful job they did in helping my little men.
Amalie - posted on 07/02/2010
I had very mixed emotions the staff in our nicu were so busy some times they had 19 babies to 5-6 nurses they'd ask how we were do we need to talk but I really think if 1 of us did they really didn't have the time... In saying that I adored them well most we had one that was a real cow one night while in the parents room breast feeding she stormed in an turned the tv off saying Im not listening to that shit there was 3 of us in there I said is she joking an got up turned it back on an closed the door on her..She'd turn the stereo up at 5am an sing... I think she was on drugs sorry to say but there was nothing normal about her.. I borded there with my daughter for 9wks an ended up with post tramatic stress disorder... An depression...I never once saw a social worker step foot in the nicu..but I was told they were there
Lynn - posted on 07/01/2010
The staff at the NICU was incredible!! We were there with our 3rd son born at 33 weeks. He was in for 3 weeks and they were all very supportive and helpful throughout the whole process. they even allowed our two older boys to visit him. We still keep in touch with the nurses there.
Liz - posted on 06/30/2010
The staff in the NICU were very helpful when my kids were there. I had my b/g twins at 33 weeks six days, six weeks early. My son was born with underdeveloped lungs, and the staff was amazing with him. My daughter had weight gain issues, but both are doing well now.
They just turned two years old June 8th, and you could never tell they were preemies.