Really? He’s Lucky? Seriously?!

Last night, I was rocking Jack while watching Twilight (DON’T judge–I was curious), and he had fallen asleep (as most men do who are forced to listen to Robert Pattinson lie about how beautiful Kristen Stewart is, and vice-versa).

One of the many people that come in to do random things in Jackson’s room tiptoed in, and as she was leaving, she paused, turned around and said, “I don’t know how you and your husband do it, with one of y’all staying here every night. It’s amazing how many parents don’t stay, or don’t come, or even call. It’s sad. Your little guy is very lucky.”

So much ran through my mind as she left the room.

1) HOW SAD IS THAT?! I mean, really, how sad is it that she felt compelled to tell us that Jackson is lucky? That it’s great he has parents that care about him enough to make sure he’s never alone in a scary place where people poke him with needles, and strangers randomly put their hands on him to assess him? That breaks my heart to know he’s lucky. He shouldn’t be lucky. That should be the norm. It makes me want to walk around and pull all these hurting, abandoned babies out of their cribs and love all over them.

2) SHAME on these other parents. They don’t deserve to be parents. I don’t care if their baby is just slightly premature and needs a few days to stabilize before going home, you BELONG WITH YOUR BABY. Even if you’re in a wheelchair from a difficult delivery, at least drop by and snuggle them so they smell their mommy! They need to know you were there, loving them, as much as possible. Those first few weeks are essential for bonding.

3) At the very least, call, my GOD. Each day Justin and I switch out after 24 hour shifts, we give each other the run down on the kids. “Jackson had trouble keeping his oxygen up today, so watch out for that later,” or, “Sydney wouldn’t settle down for a nap, so I bet she goes to bed early tonight.” Kids change, and things happen very quickly. It’s your job as a parent to know what’s up with your kids, so you can know what they’ve been through, what works and what doesn’t… and how can you exist not knowing how your newborn handled the day?!

I know that some parents don’t have the luxury of staying with their kiddos every day of a prolonged stay in the NICU, but she implied that some of these babies basically have no one caring about their well-being. Nurses only have time to cuddle babies so much; usually, if their cries are not causing any of their vitals to drop, babies are left to cry it out. And, while I’m a proponent of CIO later on, that’s not a tactic that should be used on newborns.

Just… sad. Jackson is never, ever, EVER left alone up there. Ever. Between me, Justin, my mom, or my dad, there is always someone who loves him a great deal sitting by his crib, making sure every breath he takes is safe, and that nothing unexpected happens to him alone.

I will say, he is a very lucky boy to be incredibly loved by so many. I do agree with that. ❤

6 thoughts on “Really? He’s Lucky? Seriously?!

  1. Hannah @Supermommy!...Or Not says:

    That is incredibly sad. I know that some parents just aren’t able to be at the hospital all the time with their little ones due to jobs or having other kids, but if you are able to, I don’t know why you wouldn’t be. I refused to leave my baby alone in the hospital too. I was there most of the time, but when I went home to get a little sleep or to see my other kids, my husband or my sister-in-law were there to stay with him. It definitely wasn’t easy, but I couldn’t fathom leaving him alone to cry.

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  2. Christina Flores says:

    Wow! I agree that your son is ‘lucky’ but I can’t agree with your #2. My daughter was in the NICU for 5 months, and there was no way we could be with her 24/7. We have 4 others at home, and we both work full time, I work at night and my husband works during the day so that we have the opportunity to homeschool our children, one of whom, besides the baby, is special needs. We have no other support system who was willing to go and sit with our daughter, so while we visited with her every day and called often, she was indeed alone for much of the time. Yes, she was an ‘unlucky’ one, but does that truly mean that we don’t deserve to be parents?

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    • Rachel Engel says:

      Absolutely not, that’s not at all what I meant. You clearly couldn’t be there, but you did your best and visited and called when you could. This nurse was telling me there were babies whose families didn’t care. No visits. No calls. No interest. That’s what breaks my heart.

      I know we are definitely lucky that my husband’s job allows him to take off and be with us, and switch off to be with our toddler, but you were doing the best for your family. I’m sorry if you felt like I was directing that point at loving parents like you!

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  3. Erin says:

    Your entire family is very lucky! My son was in the NICU for 8 months; during which time I stayed with him 10-12 hours a day, my husband would visit him every day before and after work and we would spend our entire weekend there. I was lucky to be able to quit my job to be with my son as much as I could. However, any NICU doctor or nurse will tell you, you have to get some sleep. You are no good to your baby without it. Since my husband had to keep his job and work every day, he was unable to pull night shift at the hospital. We do not have family in town, so that was out of the question. But we still considered ourselves very lucky. W didn’t have to split our time between other children, as he is our only, and again, we were lucky enough to be in a situation where I was able to leave my job. So many people do not have this privilege and with other children at home, the idea of spending the night at the hospital is out of the question. Most people can’t abandon their jobs and children to stay at the hospital 24/7. It breaks my heart and deeply angers me that you would pass such harsh judgement without knowing the situations of other families…so, please, for all of those families out there with sick children who aren’t as LUCKY, YES LUCKY as you…just stop. I assure you, you are not a better mother than any of the rest of us who have had a beloved child in the hospital.

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    • Rachel Engel says:

      I promise, I am in NO WAY insinuating that those families don’t love their children. What this nurse was conveying to me was that there are babies that have no one visiting them, and no one calling about them.

      I completely understand that we are lucky that my husband’s work allows him to be with us, and that we can be with him at all times. What I truly meant, and maybe I didn’t put it into words the correct way, was that the nurse seemed to imply that there were many babies that were lacking any care at all. No calls, no visits–nothing.

      That’s what breaks my heart. Not the families who are busting their butts managing work/jobs/children/no extended family and call and see their babies when they can. It’s the babies who are virtually abandoned. I can’t wrap my mind around that.

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  4. Amber says:

    My almost one year old had a liver transplant 4 months ago and we too were the “lucky ones.” My son was never ever left alone in a hospital room. The part of the hospital we were at, kids stay for weeks and months and it was heartbreaking to see kids/babies alone all week only see see a parent for a few hours on a weekend. We have made sacrifices to be able to do it and I realize not all families can make it work but some families didn’t even seem to try. I wanted to roll my kiddo into those rooms so I could take turns cuddling with them!

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