Friday, 2 March 2012

Helping parents feel like parents

I have not posted for a few days. Yesterday marked 3 months since our lovely little Erin was taken from us and it has been difficult. Writing this blog is hard and I have to feel 'up' for it. Today, though, I want to share with you some information about another wonderful charity I have come across on twitter.

Erin is our only child so everything about being a parent was new to us. We didn't have a lot of experience in dressing tiny babies or changing nappies and as all parents will know, it is a steep learning curve, but one we were very excited about. Erin was transferred to Alder Hey hospital straight from the hospital in which she was born and immediately put on intravenous medication and several monitors. This meant that from when she was about 28 hours old she was permanently attached to a number of machines. As I am sure you can imagine, this made changing her clothes far more difficult - especially for us as new parents who had not even had chance to fully master changing a wriggly baby without the wires.

This meant that we always had to ask the nurses for assistance when Erin needed her vests changing, as they were able to temporarily disconnect her from the machines. One of the most difficult aspects of being the mummy of a new baby who is unable to leave hospital is feeling so out of control. I wanted to do everything I possibly could for my precious daughter. I wanted to feed her, hold her, reassure her, take care of her.... I wanted to take her home and be a 'proper mummy'. I couldn't do all these things. At no point in Erin's life was I ever alone with her. I was her mummy yet I was never in sole charge of her - there were always other people making the big decisions. This was very hard and I found it very upsetting that I was not even able to change my daughter's clothing without asking for assistance.

Then, on about our 4th day at hospital my lovely sister brought us a present - some bodysuits she had found with velcro on them which were designed for babies in hospital. They were brilliant and they made such a difference - we were now able to dress our lovely little girl all on our own. When she was sick or had a particularly dirty nappy or on the occasions when she would do a huge wee on the changing mat when we were changing her nappy and it went all the way up her back (only happened once) we were able to change her clothes without asking for permission and help. This may seem like a small thing but it wasn't - it was huge. It made a very sad new mummy and daddy feel like a real and proper mummy and daddy and I am so grateful for this. When you only have 22 days with your most precious and beautiful little girl, these seemingly small things make all the difference - they really matter!

Given the difference that these baby-grows made to us, I was happy to come across a charity called Pop 'N' Grow on twitter. They make baby-grows with special poppers on the arms to allow easy access to cannulas/tubing for babies in hospital. As well as making it easier for parents to dress their own babies, these baby-grows also mean that babies who may not otherwise be put in clothing can be - helping to keep them warm and bringing them comfort. Pop 'N' Grow aim to supply all NICUs in the UK with their own stock of these special baby-grows. You can find out more about them here Please take a look and support them if you are able.

1 comment:

  1. Erin is beautiful. Thank you for sharing her ( and your story). I wish that no parent had to live in a world without their child/children. Sending you peace and hugs. Take care.