how to help a friend with preemies?

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waitingimpatiently614's picture
Joined: 02/17/09
Posts: 386
how to help a friend with preemies?

hi ladies! i was hoping to get some advice or insight from you all.

my best friend just delivered 26w6d twins last week. the baby girl is pretty stable, although oxygen sats are still not great even with constant vent. the baby boy is developing a lot of problems and complications...collapsed lung, super high bilirubin, low kidney function, and now today they were just told he has a grade 4 brain bleed. they meet with the neonatal neurologist tomorrow to discuss baby's prognosis. my friend is worried doctors will start advising that they withdraw care. also, she and her husband's relationship is very strained so it is hard for them to make decisions together (they were having problems before the twins were born, but this NICU stress is really taking it's toll). her momma instinct tells her to give the little guy every fighting chance, and if he eventually has severe disabilities, she will find a way to cope with that.

i just feel so helpless in my attempts to support her through this. i live on the other side of the country from her now, so all i can do is give her lots of messages of love via cards, text messages, emails, etc., with no expectation that she respond unless she feels like talking in that moment.

is there anything that people said or did for you while you were a NICU momma that was helpful or anything not helpful that i should avoid?

thanks!!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

Big hugs! It is a stressful time. If you have the money and desire you could send gift certificates for eating out or gas cards to ease the financial stress so that would be one less thing to worry about. Other than that just offer your support.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I got irritated with people continually asking when my daughter would come home. When I first told people I would say how she was doing and what we were waiting for for her to come home and the NICU staff wouldn't say anything until we were very close to coming homw. It made me depressed when they asked EVERY day and just re-enforced that she wasn't home. On the same thought though, I did like when people asked how she was doing.

26w is really early and they do have a long road ahead Sad I like the idea of gift certificates for restaurants near the hospital/gas cards. Those are things that would help Smile

a10derlady's picture
Joined: 09/20/11
Posts: 337

This is really hard on a mother. When my LO (born at 23 weeks 2 days) was in the NICU I fought constantly with myself. She would do wonderfully one day and the next she struggled and fought for life. There were so many days when I would ask God to just take her home so she wouldn't struggle anymore. I felt helpless and shameful. I felt like it was my fault because my body let my baby down.

As a friend the only thing you can do is listen and just be there when she needs you. Try not to tell her everything is going to be alright. Just be an ear. But being pregnant yourself, you have to also know when to back off a bit so that it doesn't get you down too. Just find your limits and stay within them.