Manage episode 286464204 series 2857625
Today Zoe speaks to Sam, aka The NICU Mummy.
Sam started blogging last year to offer an alternative voice for those who have experienced something other than the norm in pregnancy, birth and beyond. The blog is for those whose babies have spent time being cared for in a NICU in some way.
They discuss Sam’s journey as well as some top tips of how you can support a friend or family member if they find themselves in a similar situation.
- Sam met her partner when they were just children and they became a couple at 15. Not long after they were married Sam fell pregnant quite quickly. They had a scan at 20 weeks and the sonographer gave them the news that they couldn’t quite see all the baby’s diaphragm, they then had to come back to the hospital the next day so see a foetal medicine specialist.
- It was then they found out that their baby had a rare developmental issue where they had a lesion that then affected their heart. They were referred to great Ormond street (GOSH) which is a specialist children’s hospital. They didn’t know what would happen when baby was born or even if they would get to the end of the pregnancy.
- Sam’s father in law drove them to and supported them with appointments at GOSH. This was so helpful to them as well as offering a third ear for the things they were being told and advised.
- At 39 weeks Sam was suffering with SPD and was on crutches. Her consultant allowed her to be induced because of this. Their son was born a day later and was taken to NICU straight away as he was unable to breathe on his own.
- After having more scans, their son had to be transferred to GOSH for surgery.
- Sam now recognises that she didn’t know anything about NICU care or units until they needed one, a common theme amongst parents of NICU babies.
- In her second pregnancy, Sam felt like her concerns and worries were truly listened to and she received good care. She originally opted for a C-section but changed her mind when Covid hit as she did not want to be in hospital longer than she had to be.
- When Sam’s friend became pregnant she offered lots of support and advice to her. Her friend said that she was giving so much good advice and tips that she encouraged her to make the information available to everyone. Especially as Sam has experienced things that a lot of people haven’t. This is what led to her starting her blog and social media pages.
- Sam’s top tips for self-care whilst having a baby in NICU is to eat, do something for yourself and to not beat yourself up for the time you are away from NICU. You are only human and you have to do what’s right for you and for your family.
- Sam wants parents to know to allow themselves to feel how they want to feel, not how they are ‘supposed to’, especially in the early days.
“Don’t tell people when your scans are”
“It was handy to have someone who was almost impartial in a way”
“I think that’s just what I had to think to get through the pregnancy”
“For me I don’t think it matters how long you are in there for, it’s a really, really tough place to be”
“I just needed to feel like I was being heard”
“If I could help one person, or make one person feel like they weren’t alone then it was worth doing”
“There’s no rulebook on how you should deal with that situation or how you should cope”
ABOUT THE GUEST
Sam, The NICU Mummy
ABOUT THE HOST
Devoted mother of two (and a big hairy dog), UK trained midwife, doula and personal trainer, specialising in pre and postnatal fitness.
Zoe was born in the UK and before moving to Dubai in 2013 and worked as a midwife in central London, both in a birth centre and a very busy NHS hospital.
Although late to the scene, Zoe is an aspiring athlete having won numerous triathlons and representing Great Britain where she placed within the top 10 on the world stage.
With her husband James, the couple will soon be launching their cloth nappy company, Bop & Bee, where they hope to inspire families to swap a few disposable nappies a day for the more planet friendly option of cloth.
Zoe’s goal is to share her knowledge and experience, tell real life stories, manage expectations and open up those often difficult conversations.
Zoe’s own motherhood journey has been full of twists and turns as she put everything on hold and went through numerous miscarriages and rounds of IVF.
Instagram : @zoecresswell_me
Facebook: Zoe Cresswell
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