how to support sil - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-27-2010, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sil recently gave birth at 27 1/2 wks along. my niece was only 2lb2oz, and is expected to have a long nicu stay. she and my brother are separated and have been for quite a while. we also have nothing to do with my brother, so get little to no updates on the baby's progress as sil is obviously very busy backand forth to th ehospital and caring for their other dd who is only 16 months. not quite sur ehow to support her at this point, as we're an hour away from her and nearly 3 hours from the hospital. we do send messages on facebook, but like i said she's very busy right now. also, i know there isn't much she probably needs for the baby right now, but what sort of gifts would be good for when the baby eventually comes home? she lives at home with her parents, so they're doing a good job of keeping her fed and making sur eshe has help with her older dd.
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#2 of 4 Old 07-09-2010, 11:14 PM
 
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Coming in a bit late -- don't frequent this forum very frequently so sorry didn't see it sooner.

I think although her parents are obviously helping SIL a lot, it would still be nice and mean a lot to make a gesture like bringing some single-portion home cooked meals that she could bring with her to the hospital and reheat in the microwave, single-portion snack packs (don't have to be home made) that she can keep in her bag and grab a bite when pumping or in the car. Healthy things rich in fat and nutrition, calorie-dense (like nuts). I know I had a hard time just taking enough food in when I was so busy going back and forth from home to NICU, although my situation was a little different because I had one twin at home so I had a newborn with me 24-7 as well as one in the NICU to run back and forth to.

I don't know if everyone else feels the same but the other thing I appreciated at the time was tiny tiny preemie outfits. Even if they don't really need to wear clothes in the incubator... it made my baby look like an individual to me and not another number in the NICU. It also hid how skinny and small they were. I don't know when they can start wearing clothes if born so young--mine were born a lot later, 34 weeks--but for me it would have been a nice gift. Even just a little tiny hat. In fact maybe that's best for a preemie this young because it's something they can and need to wear without getting in the way of the nursing staff and all the cables attached to their little bodies.

Poppan ~ twins born April 2007
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#3 of 4 Old 07-09-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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I have to agree with pp that providing meals to her family would also still be a good gesture, perhaps even asking if you could watch the older DD that way the grandparents can visti the child.

I would also think that store gift cards/gas cards would be appreciated. I know when my son was in the hospital the gas alone was eating us alive especially if youhave to travel. Plus addl expenses like lunches, groceries and what not tht you dont think about but add up when you have someone in the hospital.
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#4 of 4 Old 09-10-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyrwmn View Post
sil recently gave birth at 27 1/2 wks along. my niece was only 2lb2oz, and is expected to have a long nicu stay.... also, i know there isn't much she probably needs for the baby right now, but what sort of gifts would be good for when the baby eventually comes home? she lives at home with her parents, so they're doing a good job of keeping her fed and making sur eshe has help with her older dd.
Ditto the above suggestions, plus how about a care package and a visit? Moms especially in the NICU feel isolated and alone. Visit her with a bag of goodies, healthy snacks, magazines and fluff books to read to keep her mind busy when she's overwhelmed, a small shawl or blanket to cover up with so she can nap in the NICU, maybe some of those pink foam ear plugs to drown out the blipping monitors. These are all things you can definitely do now. I love the idea of finding little preemie outfits. A lot of times if it's a large hospital with the a level 3 nicu, the gift shop will have the small sizes. Otherwise, it's hard to find them unless you go online. Regular 'preemie' sizes won't fit a micro preemie like that (I know, been there).

When she comes home, and this is especially important, be sensitive to her mania about germs. The NICU trained her to wash, wash, wash her hands all the time to keep germs away from her immune-compromised baby. She may ask you to use hand sanitizer, often, so just smile and do it on your own before she asks. She'll love you for it! I hated to have to ask everyone because invariably there would be that person who took personal insult to it (I'm not dirty!). Ugh. These are the little things that help a nicu mom so much though. You could even run interference and ask others to use the sanitizer! My cousin did that for me once and I was just so tickled. You're so thoughtful to want to help out. Good luck!

Mom to 2 healthy micro-preemies, Aubrey and Beau
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