Posted by Cressie Baerg on 3/7/2019 to Parent Resources
Right off you may be asking yourself, "Why would she be writing about PTSD on a Preemie site?" We often hear about PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome) in regards to combat situations on the news. However, for families who have spent time in the NICU, they would say it was combat. They were there fighting day in and day out for their babies' survival! After I read several stories about parents' various NICU experiences, I realized that this is an issue that many preemie families are dealing with.
First of all, many parents do not have a clue that they are going to experience the ride of the NICU! They are just beginning their pregnancy journey and the joy it brings. Perhaps they may have only recently found out if they are going to have a little boy or girl. The nursery plans are forming, and Mom is just trying to embrace the changes in her body. Life is getting exciting! The hope of the new life growing inside and the reality of a little one joining the family is building in anticipation. Then suddenly, a doctor's visit or an emergency event occurs and she finds herself in the hospital. Doctors are talking about c-section, placenta previa, placental abruption, incompetent cervix, and many other medical terms that one may have never heard before. One begins to ask and wonder, "Why me?" "What did I do wrong?" Along with many other questions all spinning around in one's head. Meanwhile, there are a million sounds, people, nurses, social workers, billing paperwork, lab techs coming in to poke the mom; who can't get out of bed, even to pee! Ugh – the world starts to spin out of control and your stuck right in the middle of it thinking, "What happened to that happy little world I was just reveling in?"