Is it normal to be so scared?

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.

Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby dolphinjen » Wed Jun 10, 2009 01:31 am

Hi all,

My daughter is doing well in the NICU, that is what they tell me. She is no longer on any kind of oxygen other than just breathing room air. She is up to 12 cc's per feeding (gavage). They DC'd the bili light b/c her labs were low enough that they said she doesn't need it.

So why am I so terrified that I'm going to get a call telling me the worst? Is it my natural propensity to worry, I have serious anxiety issues. Or is it normal to worry this much when you have a little one in the NICU? She was a 30 weeker. Their survival rates are fairly high, are they not?

I'm just wondering if I'm going nuts. It's so hard to have her there and me be here at home. It feels so empty. Right now I want to get in the car and drive to see her, but I'm still not supposed to drive.

Today they put her to my breast for non-nutritive sucking, it was so wonderful. She didn't really suck, she just had her mouth on my nipple, and fell asleep. I love her so much already, this is so hard, I feel like I'm being a total baby about the whole thing.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby mikeys mom » Wed Jun 10, 2009 08:36 am

I think all your feelings are totally right being a nicu mom currently. As a mom to an almost 30 weeker also I have to tell you it sounds like she is doing awesome! However, it is still scary to have to be in this situation. Good luck! I will be praying for you and your family!
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby annes » Wed Jun 10, 2009 08:50 am

Jenny, I think it is pretty normal to worry while the little one is in the NICU. Clover was 35 weeks and overall very healthy, just eating issues and temp issues, and I was extremely stressed and worried while she was there. Parker was in for a month, forget about it, I was a mess, and he was very healthy just little. Hospitals are no fun, and when you get updates from the staff, they sometimes gloss over the good and tell you the not as good, because that is their focus. Lilly sounds like she is doing really well. Make sure to take care of you, also, the back and forth to hospital and home can really wear you down.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby jenn » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:03 am

Jenny, (hugs) I can relate to how you are feeling with your NICU experience. I have high anxiety too. I remember feeling the same way as you describe. That being said, I found that taking some long bubble baths and finding small rewarding tasks (like sending out thank you notes) helped me pass those long hours.
Though from what you describe, Lily is doing AMAZING! Kudos to you!! She leaps and bounds over where my jaidyn was at that point. I really think that Lily will be home and in your arms and loving care in no time flat.
Sending all my best!! Jenn
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby amandaoasis » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:35 am

Sounds normal to me! My 31 weeker was there for 32 days. Every time the phone would ring, my heart would fall out of my body.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby lilliputianmama » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:34 am

Completely normal. When both of my girls were in the NICU, every phone call would freak me out. I just kept waiting for it..and it never came. ((HUGS)) NICU time is tough.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby amanda » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:34 am

Jen -
I remember feeling that way too. One thing that the docs and nurses said emphatically was CALL! when I got overwhelmed and scared - not to sit and wonder - so I did. Once I gave myself the 'okay' to call I found that I really hardly ever did. I had a couple of really bad dreams after she was born and called to make sure she was okay (I even made my hubby drive me down to the hospital one night right after I came home)

You aren't being a baby - not at all.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby hols537 » Wed Jun 10, 2009 02:16 pm

I felt the same way - I used to panic everytime I saw the hospital on caller ID (fortunately, the first thing they always said was "the baby is just fine"). It's a scary time knowing the baby isn't "supposed to be born yet" even when they're doing so well. You also have the hormones messing with you. I called several times a day when Alexander was in the NICU and went whenever I could (I had friends and neighbors drive me at first). Hang in there!
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby dolphinjen » Wed Jun 10, 2009 04:41 pm

Thank you all SO very much. Your messages have brought tears to my eyes because they are so heartfelt and reassuring. I feel a lot better. It's so nice to have a place where people totally know how you feel.
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Re : Is it normal to be so scared?

Postby mlcoltrain » Wed Jun 10, 2009 06:21 pm

I lived in constant fear until my DD came home and then some after she came home. What made it worse was when my DD was born she was in a major hospital 2hrs from the small town I was living in at the time. I was such a mess I couldn't stay up where my daughter was by myself and my husband had to go back to work, so we were only able to go up on weekends to see her. The nurses were really great about me calling multiple times a day. It was very hard to leave her at the hospital but I knew it was the best place for her and they were taking great care of her. I too felt that whole empty feeling especially since we got so excited we already had her room completly set up, my husband would find me in her room crying when he came home from work. At that time is when I found this website and it was a great comfort to talk to others who had gone or were going through the same thing I was. Hang in there, it sounds like your DD is doing great!
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