Thursday 23 December 2010

Starting Life in NICU

When I was a baby, my mum didn't really record things, I never had a baby book. When I found out I was pregnant I was determined to have a baby book, and keep a detailed record of my baby's firsts.

Unfortunately, when Joseph arrived at 27 weeks, all I felt was shock and as if my world had been ripped out from beneath me. Everything was recorded by the hospital, every breath, every mil of milk, every interaction. It was hideous. The last thing I wanted to do was to have more records.

I did go to Mothercare when Joseph was in hospital to get supplies, and also to have a look at baby books, they all seemed just so ridiculous. Nothing really was relevant to a baby who lived in a hospital. I felt sad, and as if I was the only person in the world who was in this situation.

Imaging my delight some months ago when I discovered this little business. I was reluctant, at first, to buy "Starting Life in NICU" as I had not recorded anything was it happened. However one of my Twitter friends showed me how to download my facebook record, and most of Joseph's milestones are here.

The book arrived today.

It is ringbound with large pages and lovely sections. It is designed with the special care baby in mind so includes things like "I am breathing: by myself/Oxygen/Cpap/Ventilator, I have monitors for..... I have IV lines for...." etc.

As the book progresses there are pages for NICU firsts, such as first cuddle and first time I breathed by myself, as well as my first bath. There are pages for follow up appointments and milestones.

For me, this book normalises our experience as a family, and turns it into something positive and as Joseph grows older, it will help me explain his start to him, and that it is something he can be proud of.

I only wish that it had been around when we were going through NICU as I think it would be a lovely gift for a parent going through this experience, or even a first birthday gift for a parent, so that they can look back on that time, and fill it out.

I am looking forward to going through my records and my photographs of Joseph and completing the book.

I can't promise that there won't be the odd tear stained page.

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