long story short, a friend of a friend had a 34weeker about 10days ago via csection.
They live about an hour away from the hopsital so they are now living in an RV in the hospital parking lot, husband is communiting back and forth to work while mama stays with baby. The friend that introduced us lives across the country and I don't think they have much support close by.
I'm trying to fill in as best as I can, I imagine it's a tough way to start out.
Since I don't know them that well, not sure what I can do that's very personal but I want to help with what I can.
I made some food, got some preemie clothes (and washed them), some tea, a magazine.
I'll take another round of food every couple days.
what else would be helpful?
thanks for any ideas!
But the simple fact that any sort of help was being offered was a great gift
Food is definitely good. Hot meals, if you have the time an energy. A couple of things you might suggest she look into, if she hasn't already--some hospitals with NICUs provide hot meals to new nursing moms. There should be some sort of patient liason that she could ask about this. If she's pumping, she may be able to store her milk at the hospital instead of trying to keep it in the RV. Or you could offer to store any excess. This might not be an issue yet, but it could be down the road. If you're close enough, you could offer to check their mail, or offer to let her do laundry at your house if it is closer to the hospital. Some hospitals also have low-cost or free housing for parents with children admitted into the hospital. If it looks like it's going to be a longer stay, you might suggest she check into that. Then she would have laundry facilities, etc. on site.
It's such an overwhelming experience, don't be upset if she doesn't take you up on anything. Keep offering. It means the world.
I think you've chosen wonderful items. I think the food is the best thing... perhaps some pumping supplies if she's expressing breast milk for baby? Or something to do while she's pumping.. an audio book perhaps? (I haven't read the other replies so forgive me if this is redundant.) When my daughter was in the NICU, my friends sent me a box from Omaha Steaks and it was the most wonderful thing I could have been given. To not have to worry about something as simple as dinner really had a tremendous impact on me. I'll never forget it.
The stuff you're doing is great. Is there anything she needs around home? All those day to day chores that no one is doing right now add up, and since the baby was early, they may not be set up at all with nursery furniture or carseats or anything.
That said, given what you're doing already, I might just suggest that to other people.