I’ve been looking for a mom’s group since we got out of the NICU. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I had gone to one, and it was really nice to get out of the house. In doing this research, I found that the only hospital groups I can find meet during the day during the week. What about working moms? The others I have found are located indoors and mention bringing your baby with you, which preemie parents can’t really do. If I wanted to go back to that group I attended a couple weeks ago, I have to find someone to watch Little Miss Minion while I go.
I’ve contacted the leader of the NICU parent group from our hospital to ask if there is a graduate group that I’m not finding, but I think I might have to start my own. I can’t be the only preemie parent in town who is desperate for a support venue.
This presents some logistical issues. The most pressing is a location. Somewhere outdoors would be ideal, allowing plenty of ventilation and cutting the risk of contagion. Somewhere with seating, perhaps a pavilion, would be great. We would need year round restrooms, especially for little kids. If applicable, we would need the area to be wheelchair accessible. And then what happens in the winter?
I thought about a home group meeting, but that brings up the question of contagion again. Having several people plus kids in a house would be a small version of daycare, and is unacceptable in terms of risk for passing illness.
I think having a Preemie/NICU support group is a very important thing for those of us who live it every day. Normal groups just don’t work for us. Aside from the physical inability to bring our babies with us, the information and experiences are so vastly different from our own that it becomes more harmful than helpful. Listening to people complain that their child was weighed immediately following their full term birth and there was a two minute wait before they were able to hold the baby just grates on my nerves. I personally had to wait an entire day. Mr Minion waited until the next day because she wasn’t strong enough to be out of her isolette and moved around that much. Other people have to wait days, weeks, sometimes months. We need a group who understands the journey. And no matter what people say, nobody really gets the NICU experience unless they have been there.