how to deal with guilt

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby sandy » Sat Aug 14, 2004 10:44 am

Yes...I remember putting our hand on our DD's little head; the doctors said that she couldn't handle any more stimulation than that...oh that brought back memories.

~Sandy/DD born via emergency C at 35 wks/1 day June '03 due to Severe PE/class III HELLP

CAUGHT THE EGG!! Estimated hatch date: 3/13/05; scheduled C at 39 weeks...or earlier if needed.

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby maxs mom » Fri Aug 13, 2004 09:30 pm

The worst day of my life was when I had to leave little Max at the hospital on the day I was discharged. I had an emotional breakdown, and I only live 15 mins away from the hospital. It is the hardest thing a mommy has to do, especially after such a horrible birth experience. Alot of the other woman covered most everything I was thinking about, but I wanted to add a few things.

I spent a lot of time in the NICU, I saw that other parents couldn't be there as much as me, some coming once a day, some coming a couple times a week, some coming once a week. Families came from all over. The best you can do is talk to the nurses often, let them know how concerned you are that you can't be there, they will pay extra attention to your little one. Also, ask about getting a primary nurse, she/he can be someone that always checks on your daughter when they are on, and sometimes they can be assigned to her. Our hospital allowed each baby to have one primary and two seconday nurses, and we used all three, it was great. They were really protective of Max.

i want to tell you it is a great thing Morgan is on oxygen only, Max had weak lungs and was intubated for 10 weeks, it was awful. And to be starting on BM, right on!

Spending so much time at the NICU was partially a little crazy, I got really worn down. I would say the number one time you need to make a special effort to be there is on Morgan's bad days. She will definitely know her mommy is there (they say they can smell you from 50 feet away). Max definitely knew his mommy and daddy. And we were always there on his bad days, and I 100% believe that this got him through his rough times. On his bad days we would sit quietly by his bedside, with one hand cupped on his head and one cupped under his feet, and think only positive thoughts. I know this positive energy helped him 100%.

I wish you the best of luck. Remember to be strong for your little one, she needs you. And feel free to email me if you ever want to chat or have questions.

Kara (34)
DH, John (36)
Max, 1/20/03, 25 wks, 1lb. 3ozs. (IUGR), severe PE

#2 is on the way, EDD 4/18/05 (seems so far away!)

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby aimeejane » Fri Aug 13, 2004 11:21 am

Hi Michelle,

Congratulations on Morgan's birth! She's just about the same size as my first. [:D]

It must be so difficult to be so far away. Do you have a relationship with any of the other military wives in your community? I'm wondering, because I remember my mom getting lots of support from other wives when I was growing up. There's the Officer's Wives Club (OWC), can't remember the name of the enlisted version. (Oops! Sorry...could it be as simple as EWC? LOL) Maybe they could take turns driving you up once a week (or more!). I know I'd do it for a friend of mine. Heck, if I lived in OKC, I'd be making up a bed for you right now.

Either way, though, little Morgan will know who you are, and she will appreciate you every second you're there with her. The times in between won't be lonely for her, as the NICU staff are so loving and supportive, and she'll feel right at home. Please keep us updated! I can't wait to hear how she's growing and progressing!

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Ds Nicky - 3/24/00 (28 wks - eclampsia)
Ds Kalen - 7/10/03 (36 weeks - preeclampsia)

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby momathelete » Thu Aug 12, 2004 09:30 pm


Congrats on your baby girl! She will be home with you in no time at all. In the grand scheme of things anyway. I bet every day feels like a lifetime now. Gosh, when I look back at my two stays there, it does become blurry. The first time I was there constantly, but for the second, I could not be there since I had another one to take care of. Gosh, the guilt is bad but there is nothing you can do. Since I have been through it now, I would do it a little differently. I think I would have eased up on the visits. They just about exhausted me, trying to juggle so much at a time. Think of the nurses as the most expensive babysitters you will ever have. They are great and they understand most circumstances. I bet if you left a note, they would save the firsts for you. For my first, they bathed my son and told me when I came in. I think my first thougtht was -well, at least he had someone who was experienced to do it. I didn't have the most confidence in my ability to do it at the time and I was quite releived. Now, I think that is bad! See, we all have such crazy emotions going on. YOu are the mom and your baby will know you since she remembers your voice from when she was in the womb. Babies can't tell time and their reference isn't accurate to realize that a long time has passed. Well, that is my opinion.

Anyway, you are doing great. You are concerned for your baby, you are reaching out and you are going to be a great mom!!!

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby hannahsmom » Thu Aug 12, 2004 08:40 pm

Michelle - I'm so glad there is a Ronald McDonald House there. We lived an hour from the hospital where dd was born so we stayed at RMH off and on for 4 months. I received sooo much support from the other parents at the house. It was truly amazing to have other parents going through the exact same thing I was going through. Please consider staying there. My dd was born at 26.5 weeks. I, too, felt terrible leaving her in the NICU, but I had to put my trust and faith in the doctors and nurses. They ended up being my angels on earth. I agreed to all treatments they suggested, and Hannah turned out just fine. I just had to trust them. I also thought dd would bond with the nurses instead of with me - but the only thing the nurses did was spoil her rotten! [:p] I must say she deserved it, though. You are in my thoughts and prayers and email me anytime.

Best wishes!

Mommy to Miss Hannah Rose
26.5 weeker born 8/24/01
severe pre-e & IUGR
1 pound, 1 ounce
12 inches
Miracles do happen!

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby 5miraclez » Thu Aug 12, 2004 03:09 pm

That's great that your baby is gaining weight and doing well. I just wanted to add to everything that everyone else has said. Try not to feel guilty about leaving her. I've had 4 preemies now. It doesn't get any easier leaving them but I think by the fourth I realized that the baby was still going to love me and bond with me despite me not being at the bedside everyday. My earliest spent 7 weeks in the NICU and we live an hour away from the hospital. We also only have one car and my husband had to work. It was near impossible to be there for more than a couple of times a week. I felt so guilty but he is now a happy and healthy 3 year old who loves his mommy and doesn't have a clue about how much time he spent away from me.

Have the nurses save the firsts for you. We put up a sign next to the bed that just stated when we would be there and to please save the first bath, first feeding etc. for mommy. I also called in every day and just talked to the nurse. Sometimes I would call a few times a day to just check up on the baby. The nurses totally understand.

Hang in there and Congratulations!

DD 4/1/00 35wks severe preeclampsia
DS 7/9/01 29wks severe preeclampsia/HELLP, placental abruption
DD 12/8/02 31wks severe preeclampsia/HELLP, polyhydramnios
DD 6/7/04 32wks severe preeclampsia

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby jenn » Thu Aug 12, 2004 03:03 pm

Well Ms. Morgan- kiddo' you got spunk! Go fighting spirit!!!
Jai wiggled her fingers under her nose canula and pulled it out as well. Is'nt that amazing what they can do being that small?!
Your b/f, how wonderful! May that continue to go well for you guys! I know that takes serious effort.
I'm jealous of this "Parent's Hotel" you speak of. If only that was aval. to us when we needed it.
I'm happy it's there for you and DH during this time.
Know we are here for you anytime you need.
In fact feel free to e-mail me anytime you need:

You are an amazing mom to have a baby with this spunk!
She'll be in your arms snuggling in no time!
Remember that good things come in small packages ;o)
Mine is now a 3 1/2 yr. terror!
Sending love an prayers!

Jennie (24)
Shad DH (29)

Jaidyn 1.24.01 (30 wkr)
2lb. 12oz.

Natalia Rosse
Due Thanksgiving day!
Natalia's web page

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby mlcoltrain » Thu Aug 12, 2004 02:28 pm

Thank you all for your well wishes. Morgan is doing really well right now, she was 705grams (@1lb 9oz) and 14inches at birth. She is up in weight to about 875grams. She was put on the ventilator shortly after birth but only for a day or so, she has since been back on it 2x, but again for only a day or so, and one time she even pulled the tube out herself. Right now she is only on oxygen and holding her own. She has been getting a few ounces of breast milk every couple ours through a tube down her mouth into her stomach, this is the 2nd try on BM and so far she has been tolerating it better this time. It's tough to leave her, I kept telling my DH that she is my baby, I should be allowed to take her home... but I know she is in the best place for her and when she is ready she will come home.

There is a Ronald McDonald house near the hospital and a Parent's Hotel (with only 7rooms) just outside the NIC. And we will be utilizing them more when I am ready to stay by myself. The hospital does have the kangaroo care program, but as of now Morgan is too small, but as soon as she is bigger we will be doing it.

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby wcarder » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:29 am

Hi, Michelle.
I had a thirty weeker who spent five weeks in the NICU. Luckily, I lived close by, but I remember meeting a number of parents who were in similar situations to yours and trying to imagine what is would be like to have to make those choices. honestly, I can't imagine, and I am so sorry you are in that situation. The SW is a great place to look for answers. Also, does your nicu promote kangaroo care? Maybe your morgan is too tiny right now, but when mine was in the nicu, I would just hold her on my chest, skin to skin, for as long as I could. They would close the curtains around her isolette and darken the lights. It is suppose to be really great for bonding and infant development as well. It is so hard to share your baby, and have to leave your baby, and not be able to bring your baby home. You absolutely have to do what is best for you, emotionally and otherwise. I do not at all think that she will hold it against you, nor will it hinder your relationship with her as she grows older, if you are unable to be with her every moment. Guilt is a hard thing to deal with, and I know you must be dealing with so many more emotions, as well. I wish you luck. Congrats on your little morgan. I hope she gets big and comes home quick!
DH ~ Ryan
DD~ Kenzie Celeste, 30 weeks GA, severe PE

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Re : how to deal with guilt

Postby deerhart » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:25 am

another things some hospitals do is offer rooms for parents of babies in the NICu to stay in. I know when Mason had to stay the hospital discharged me but told me if I wanted to stay the night they would provide me a room at no charge.

Most places will have some support and help for parents with children in the NICU, the suggestions above of contacting them are great!


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