Depression & Anxiety in the NICU

As you’ve probably figured out, the NICU is a hard place to be.

Parents have to watch their babies grow in incubators and must leave them behind at the hospital every night.

That picture perfect idea they had during the pregnancy is shattered and replaced with nurses, doctors, specialists, medications, surgeries, tubes, wires, machines, monitors, and the very high possibility that depression and anxiety will take a firm hold on their lives.

It’s no wonder why parents get sucked into the pull of depression while in the NICU; my husband and I did.

I can’t speak for my husband and what exactly he felt, but he was the one that suggested the two of us went to counseling so we could deal with it (which I am forever grateful for).

I can, however, break down what was going on in my head.

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5 Fun Baby Keepsake Items

It may not seem like it in the moment, with the sleepless nights, the incessant crying, the constant laundry piling up, and the never ending string of dirty diapers, but babies don’t stay babies for very long.

In the moment it feels like an eternity, but truthfully, their infancy passes by and before you know it, they’re toddling around and making mischief.

It’s important to me, to keep the memories of my son’s infancy alive; even from his NICU stay.

I have pulled together a list of 5 baby keepsake ideas to help you keep the memories of your little one’s baby days alive, too.

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How to Keep Your Relationship From Falling Apart in the NICU

Having a baby can put a lot of strain on a relationship.

Having a baby in the NICU adds even more strain.

Rarely do couples handle stress the same way, and they may tend to lash out at one another when emotions become too much and bubble over (or explode, in some cases).

My husband and I certainly don’t cope with stressful situations the same way, and having a baby in the NICU proved to be no different. The strain of the situation could have ripped us apart, but we managed to glide through relatively unscathed.

While I am by no means a relationship expert and I cannot promise what worked for us will work for you, here’s what we did to survive our son’s NICU stay.

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Breaking Free of Mommy Guilt

It seems like in the age of social media, the pressures to be the perfect parent are even heavier, and the help to achieve said perfection is more scarce.

Everywhere you click, there are articles about how you’re messing up your baby, reasons why you are a terrible person for not using cloth diapers, pressures to go to 100% organic and home-made food, guilt-trips to make you feel like you have to be a stay at home parent and home school your child if you want them to have any chance for success in life. It’s exhausting, and frankly, impossible to be the do-it-all parent.

I don’t use cloth diapers. Shame on me.

I feed my baby formula instead of breastmilk. How dare I?

I send my son to daycare so my husband and I can work full time. We’re so neglectful!

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How I Met Your Father

Dear Kaden,

Love is a funny thing.

It has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, or when you need it the most. It never seems to come when you’re looking, and it never seems to show up in the manner you had imagined.

It has a way of changing everything, and making you blind and deaf to everything but your sweetie.

Love can bring you to the highest levels of euphoria, and drop you to the heaviest, most crushing pit of despair and pain.

It is so unpredictable, but when you find it, my dear son, I hope you hold on and never let go.

When I found your father, it pulled me from the life I knew and dropped me into a whirlwind of unknowns (and I am sure by now you have picked up on the fact that I hate the not knowing, and it drives your dad crazy).

So how did I meet your father, and why did I uproot everything to be with him? Let me tell you the story.

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Share Your NICU Story on My Blog

In honor of September being NICU Awareness Month, I want to extend an offer to anyone that would like to share their NICU story, here.

Everyone’s journey is different, but I can promise you that someone, somewhere has experienced at least something that you went through.

I would love to be able to write about everything that happens in the NICU, but I just don’t have some of those experiences to draw upon.

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How I Told My Husband About My Pregnancy

I had always wanted to be able to surprise my husband with a beautiful, out of the blue pregnancy announcement. I didn’t know that we were going to end up needing medical assistance to get pregnant, and I didn’t expect my husband to be so observant!

Since we were actively trying to get pregnant, he knew my announcement was coming, just not when. He was determined that I was not going to be able to catch him off guard, and he was watching and scrutinizing my every move, just waiting for the announcement.

It’s so hard to surprise someone that’s expecting the news!

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5 Things to Understand About NICU Parents

Before I became a NICU parent, I had no idea what it meant to have a baby in the NICU. While we were still in the hospital, we had many people try and be helpful, but it didn’t always feel helpful. I know their hearts were in the right place, but sometimes it was more frustrating than helpful.

September is NICU Awareness Month, and in the spirit of spreading awareness, I’ve compiled a list of things you need to know about NICU babies and their parents.

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August Weight Loss Update

In July, I posted my 5 ideas to losing the baby weight (and then some). I decided that for accountability reasons, I’m going to update at the end of every month on my progress! I realize this may not be the most interesting read for many of you, but it’s my blog, and I’m going to do it anyway!

Okay that sounds like I don’t care about you all, and I care very much, but I know me, and I know I need to be held accountable or I’ll get lazy and slack off, so will you all please help hold me accountable?

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Make Time for Mommy Self-Care

When you become a mom, it feels like the weight of the world has been placed upon your shoulders and you’re expected to just deal with the burden alone.

At least, I feel that way sometimes. I especially feel that way because I’m the one that wanted a baby. I’m the one that started the conversation about having a kid. I’m the one that cried over every pregnancy announcement and baby shower invitation and birth announcement and onesie I wanted for my future littles. So it’s my own fault that I’m in this mess, right?

Well, no. It took two to make the baby, and it takes a village to raise one. Like, for real mommas, you may be the superest of supermoms, but you can’t do it alone.

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