Meet Jessica, Preemie Parent Mentor
My preemie(s) was born at: 25 weeks and 5 days
Days spent in the NICU: 88 days
Current age of preemie(s): 22 months
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: Micro Preemie, PDA, O2 at Home, PT & OT at Home, Life After the NICU, Having Other Children/Siblings at Home
I want to reach out to other parents to show that there is hope. I want others to know that their feelings are valid and it’s important to talk about the wave of emotions they are dealing with. The NICU can seem like a scary place, but through all the ups and downs, there are many stories that are fortunate enough to have a happy ending. What I remember most is the relationships that were formed during our 88 day stay. The nurses became more than nurses to me, many of them are now lifelong friends. I also formed amazing friendships with two fellow NICU moms. We leaned on each other for support, even after our NICU stay, and recognized a need within our community to connect with other families going through the same thing. The three of us started a NICU support group at our local hospital to offer guidance and encouragement to families wherever they may be on their NICU journey.
What are 3 things that every NICU parent/grandparent should know?
1.Every preemie is different,
2.Don’t get discouraged by setbacks,
3. There are others who understand your journey and are here to support you.
Micro Preemie Support
The micropreemie journey can be like walking through a mine field for both preemies and their families. The moms and dads of the earliest babies celebrate not only the milestones, but also the minutes. Every hour in the early days is hard won. Every milestone met, a triumph. A micro-preemie parent’s courage and resilience may be tested to the very limits. The struggle may feel never-ending, but it’s important that parents know they are never alone.