Meet Jessica, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 30 weeks
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: feeding difficulties, G-tube, PDA, pumping support, IUGR, placental insufficiency, respiratory support, coming home on oxygen
When I think back to my NICU journey, I am flooded with memories – some that I try to forget, but mostly all of the good. I remember our nurses holding Noah while charting because he was demanding… our primary nurse telling me to stop focusing on the beeps and wires and to focus instead on my little man… asking the same questions over and over… the hugs from our primary nurse and doctor on surgery days… nurses praying for him before surgery when I couldn’t hold it together… and those who brought us a meal, those who checked in on us, those who prayed for us constantly… The NICU can be a scary place but I do really remember the good.
My advice to new parents of preemies is find the good in your situation even if it’s a small glimmer and hold onto it tightly. Preemies really are the strongest people you will ever meet, and you are your child’s #1 advocate. Trust your gut. When you don’t understand something, ask questions and push. At times you might feel isolated, confused, weary, or overwhelmed – sometimes all at once, but know that you were chosen to be the parent to your beautiful, mighty preemie. You may not feel it, but you are stronger than you realize and you are not alone.
I became a Graham’s Foundation preemie parent mentor because I wish I could have had a mentor during my own time in the NICU, and so I am very excited to begin my journey with Graham’s Foundation! The main thing that has helped me heal and find joy throughout this process is finding a way to serve others.