Relationship, Preemie, NICU.
Your partner is your biggest source of support when your baby lies in the NICU. It is important for you to make time for each other during what could be the most difficult time of your life. As hard as this may be, carving out an hour for each other every day when your child is NICU will make your relationship stronger in the long run.
Here are 7 ways to protect your relationship while your preemie is in NICU:
1.Eat meals together. Relationship, Preemie, NICU
In NICU, you will get a chance to eat meals together. When it comes to meal time during the day, take your time to eat together without your smartphone. Engage in conversation and detach from the fact that your baby is in the hospital.
2.Understand that you cope differently. Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Men and women are much different and react differently to stressors. Understand your partner and allow them to react in a way that feels natural for them. Do this without judgement and be as supportive as possible.
3. Celebrate each milestone. Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Celebrate each milestone that you and your baby achieve. Go for ice cream when they drink their first bottle. Get a takeaway when they can breathe unassisted. Celebrating these little victories will bring you and your partner closer together.
4.Don’t neglect special occasions. Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Our two year wedding anniversary fell while our children were in the NICU. We made time to get our favourite Thai restaurant take away and ate it in the hospital. It was only a small thing but we made sure not to forget to celebrate the special occasion.
5. Manage Stress – Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Having a baby in NICU is extremely stressful. You have to do everything that you can to manage stress. Sleep well, eat well and get enough exercise. Reading and meditation were two things that helped me to cope with our twins being in NICU.
6. Be constructive with conflict. – Relationship, Preemie, NICU
You will more than likely fight while your baby is in NICU. This is completely natural. If you do fight then make the conflict as constructive as possible. It is imperative that you resolve the conflict and settle your differences as quickly as you can. You have much more important things to worry about.
7. Use the difficult time to nurture strength – Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Look at this time as a life lesson. It will help you to understand what is important in life. Your family is the most valuable thing that you have. Using this time to nurture a stronger relationship will mean you come out the other side with a closer bond.
8. Empathise with each other. – Relationship, Preemie, NICU
Empathise with your partner. Understand how difficult it is for them too. Take your time to listen and help them in every way possible. Every day is different, some days your mood is better than your partner and vice versa. If you are having a good day then use it to help your partner.
These are some of the valuable lessons that I learned from being in the NICU with twins. Some of the days in NICU were the hardest that I have ever experienced. You will learn more about yourself and your relationship when you have a preemie. In the end, it will bring you closer together.
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