Coping with having a baby in NICU or SCU during the Christmas period can be extremely difficult. Family and friends are visiting, celebrating and gathering together.
It can be very challenging and hard to have one of the family members in hospital at this time.
Some of our LLT families would like to share their thoughts and experiences of having a baby in hospital at this time. Hopefully some of their ideas or advice might make it that little bit easier for you if your baby is in NICU or SCU during the holiday season.
Don’t push yourself.
If you don’t feel like you can make it to every holiday celebration or can’t find the time or energy to address Christmas cards, don’t do it. People will understand. Take the time you need to rest, care for yourself and visit your baby.
Find enjoyment wherever you can. It is normal to be torn between a desire to participate in family traditions, and a yearning to be in the hospital as much as possible. Parents may feel guilty not only for spending time away from their child, but also for enjoying themselves. Enjoying yourself is okay. However, if you do not feel up to joining all of your family’s activities, enjoy one or two. Then, head back to the hospital.
Bring close relatives to visit your baby and have a little holiday celebration at the NICU. Find out how many people you can have at the bedside, and go open a few gifts with your baby.
Make some Christmas memories to share your baby with friends by taking photos or a video to send. Add a baby’s first Christmas hat or bib to the photo if you can. Hanging a small decoration for your baby on you Christmas tree can assist making it feel like your baby is with you in spirit and when hung on the tree in future years can remind you how far your baby has come.
Take advantage of any parent support services provided by your hospital. Talk with a chaplain, social worker or support group.
Start new traditions if old ones are no longer as meaningful.
Try to focus on the positives, every gram gained is a miracle.
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