Holding Your Baby
When I was pregnant with my first son, I remember reading how important holding your baby was right after birth. It is the time you get to bond with that human that has been growing inside you. You can look into each other’s eyes for the first time, touch skin to skin, and connect.
It didn’t work exactly like that for me.
My son had his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, and my doctor had to use a tool to help pull him out. He was then taken directly to the nurses to make sure he was OK. They then wanted to take him to the NICU, but I protested. I wanted that bonding moment. I wanted to see who had been living with me for the past 9 months.
So, they let me hold him briefly. I got to look into his eyes and tell him that I was his mommy. That I loved him. Then, they whisked him away.
However, it was only a brief time we were apart. I didn’t realize how lucky I was for those few moments, and how my second birth experience would be even more difficult.
I wasn’t awake during the twins’ birth. I didn’t get to hold them right away. In fact, I didn’t get to hold them until well past a week after their birth.
No Holding Your Baby
When a baby is born extremely premature, they need an environment that is similar to the womb they should still be in. This means low stimulation. This means there is no holding your baby.
That moment you are yearning for after all those months is taken away from you. Even though it is the best thing for your baby, it doesn’t make it any less hard on the mother.
Every mother just wants to hold and bond with their baby as soon as possible.
I remember wondering if my babies would still know me, and if our love would be just as strong. We were missing those critical moments.
That’s not to say we didn’t get to bond in other ways. I still got to touch their tiny hands through the holes of an isolette. I got to talk to them, sing to them, and read them stories in a whispered voice.
Soon, I was able to change their diapers and take their temperatures, all while they stayed in that little warm box. It might have been just a small substitute for holding your baby, but it was still amazing.
Today’s mom knows the pain of not holding your baby right after birth. She also knows the fear of the unknown that comes with the NICU. In fact, her sweet baby is still fighting his way to get home right now.
I’m so honored to bring you Aiden’s journey so far, as told by his mom, Cindy.
1. Tell us about your baby.
My son’s name is Aiden. He was born on January 10th, 2018 at 26 weeks gestation. Aiden was 1 pound 8 oz at birth.
2. Do you know what caused your premature birth?
He was born so early due to pre eclampsia, which turned into HELLP syndrome.
3. How long was your NICU stay? What was the hardest part?
We are on day 90 of the NICU.
Aiden has had the following problems during his stay. He has had a grade 2 brain bleed, renal failure, 4 blood transfusions, sepsis, severe ROP, and he was on the ventilator for 2 months.
The hardest part so far was the phone call saying he was in renal failure, and me having to drive an hour after getting that phone call. I was freaking out the whole way down the highway.
The other hardest moment was when they told me I could not hold my son.
4. How are you and your baby doing now?
Aiden is now on CPAP, so he has not had a bottle yet. At 90 days old, we are hoping soon.
Thank you so much to Cindy for sharing sweet Aiden with us. I’m hoping that the rest of his NICU journey is uneventful, and that he will be home very, very soon.
Please leave any supportive comments or questions below.