Mother's Day should be a joyous day to celebrate the blessings of being a mother, your children. But if you have a baby in the NICU on Mother's Day it could be a difficult day. It could be a day of joy mixed with grief and/or sadness. I didn't have a baby in the NICU on any Mother's Day but I was in the ante-partum unit on strict bed rest while I was pregnant with my son, Luke. It was a difficult day for me. I wanted to celebrate being a mom, out having breakfast with my family, going to the park, etc. My husband and son, Matt did bring me flowers and a card to the hospital and spent the day with me, but it just wasn't the same. I knew that my baby boy was going to be born too soon and he wasn't going to have an easy road ahead of him, if he made it at all. I was so happy to have been blessed with my son, Matt and to be expecting my new son, Luke, but I was also grieving what could have been, already grieving the loss of a healthy baby. It was not any easy day.
As I sat this week watching children nap, thinking about the things that project NICU could do to support families, wishing we had enough blanket to deliver before Mother's Day. Thinking about Mother's Day also made me think about what is was like being a mom in the NICU. I rarely got to change a diaper for Matt in the beginning. The nurses usually got that privilege.I never changed Megan's diaper (she had a colostomy and catheter). And, yes, I said privilege! It's something non-NICU parents take for granted. I read just today about a NICU mom that got to change her first poopy diaper. Her three month old daughter had an ostomy until just last week. That mom was so excited to change a poopy diaper! Matt had a feeding tube the first 3 weeks or more of his life. I didn't get to sit and cuddle while he took a bottle. Preemie babies can be very easily over stimulated and for a while you can only hold your baby for a few minutes at a time. Really, you just feel like you are not a mommy yet.
So I decided that we should and could do something special for NICU moms. It doesn't have to be anything big, just a simple recognition of their motherhood. I decided that we would send Mother's Day cards to each NICU mommy with a $5 Starbucks gift card. I just want them to know that they are not alone, they are valued as a mom. Truly, that's what every mom wants, right?
Want to donate $5 for a Starbuck's gift card for Mother's Day? Make your donation at www.gofundme.com/projectnicu and comment "Mother's Day"