Forgive me for coming to pick your brains, but I honestly need some help with this one.
I have a friend who is in the hospital with PROM. She's at 26 weeks and is holding steady so far, no labor, fluid level staying good, baby doing well. But the likelihood is that she will be having this baby early and the baby will spend some time in the NICU. We're all just crossing fingers that baby stays put for a few more weeks.
She is a first time mom, and really didn't have any time to plan or get ready for this baby before this happened (she's been in the hospital since 23 weeks).
What would you have liked to have done/ready/in stock when you had the baby? What are things that will be useful while the baby is still in the NICU, and when they get home?
Adina mama to B 4/06 and E 8/13/12 (on her due date!)
A good terrycloth bathrobe. Food or gift cards for food. Gas cards. Breast pumping stuff. Magazines and books. Hand sanitizer. General support and housecleaning.
At home- the usual baby stuff, there might be stuff specific to her babies health but who knows, now. And it is nice to get abby gifts early on- even if the baby is having problems after birth, it is nice to think optimistically about baby coming home, and it makes your house feel like you really have a baby. I know people sometimes hold off on giving baby gifts until after they know the baby is stable, but I think that is like holding off on giving the baby personhood status until you know they're here to stay which isn't how mom probably feels.
Do you live near her?
While I was on hospital bedrest, I was able to give a friend a grocery list and she went and bought the food (for my partner who was running herself ragged). Freezer meals are also great, and IME you can't have too many.
In terms of getting stuff ready for baby, I would just ask her if she would like you to buy anything (even with her credit card) or get anything ready in the house (prepping new diapers, washing clothes, preparing the nursery). Some women will really want to do that stuff themselves, but you can offer.
In terms of stuff for right now: subscription to streaming netflix, a shawl or wrap she can also use for baby when they are in the NICU. You could ask if you could bring her food in the hospital-I found the hospital food very unhealthy. A friend of mine sent a bunch of little inexpensive gifts and I could open one each day-it was a nice way to break up the time. If she's crafty, maybe help her find a project she can do in a hospital bed.
Blogging at http://chronicladybug.blogspot.com
Can you help her family get a nursery set up? We hadn't gotten one ready before our baby came and that was a big thing for me-- it really added to the chaos of being in the hospital before I was expecting to be. Even if you just show up at her house and clean the space they want to use for the baby, or help assemble a crib/cosleeper/whatever or changing table. If you're feeling spendy maybe buy a pack or two of Pampers NB, a couple onesies or swaddling blankets, or a few little baby hat towels? Depending on how she's doing/how far along she carries you could also try to get a few people into the hospital for a mini baby shower. I was also really sad I didn't carry long enough to have a baby shower. Not for the gifts, but just for the ritual of celebrating a pregnancy and looking forward to meeting the baby. Dr Sears also has a good preemie book, especially since she's going into this as a first time mom. Hugs to all of you-- it's such a scary time.
Mom to DS (3) and a new baby! Geeked to be married to my love