Celebrating Mother’s Day early
When you are a new mum, your first Mother’s Day can feel huge. This day is special but can also be incredibly difficult for mums of babies born too soon or sick. No two mums are alike and with over 90,000 babies born sick or prematurely in the UK every year, there are many new mums, mother figures and parents where Mother’s Day is a surprise and happens during a challenging time.
Raising awareness of neonatal care and the challenges of life at a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is close to our hearts. This Mother’s Day we hope you will join us to raise awareness of all Ickle Pickles and everyone celebrating or struggling this Mother’s Day.
We asked our very own Felicity to share her experience when her first Mother’s Day came early:
“My son Franklin was born on Sunday 9th February 2020 after being admitted due to reduced movement. About an hour after Franklin was born he was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as he was showing some difficulties with his breathing and he also wouldn't feed himself. I cannot thank Queen Alexandra Hospital enough. The level of care we received was beyond excellent and after 9 days we were discharged. As excited as myself and my husband Will were, we were also so nervous to take our tiny baby home.
We were discharged on Tuesday 17th February 2020, the day seems like a bit of a blur. I remember coming home and introducing Franklin properly to his big brother Alfred and we enjoyed a day with just the four of us. I was quite anxious to introduce Franklin to people as I was reading more and more about COVID so I only introduced him to a handful of people before we went into lockdown.
We celebrated Mother’s Day at home and I remember it being a lovely day. My husband Will, Alfred, and Franklin spoiled me. However, I couldn't stop thinking about the families still in NICU with their babies. I felt so blessed to be home and have some normality (well, as normal as you can be in lockdown).
I remember when Franklin was in NICU, I went into autopilot mode: everything seemed like a blur and I didn't really take the time to look after myself. I had so many emotions going through me. I obviously felt happy because we had another beautiful little boy, but I felt angry that his life had started off in this traumatic way. I felt guilty that I had Alfred (my eldest son) at home who was only 16 months and I wasn't spending any time with him, the list goes on.
My message to any mums who are celebrating their first Mother's Day early:
I know this isn't what you had in mind when you imagined your first Mother’s Day but know your premmie baby is a fighter and so are you.
I urge you to accept offers of help. When Franklin and I were still in the hospital, my best friend cooked Will and Alfred dinner. I remember it was Valentine's day and it's something I will never forget. I would also recommend speaking to other mums within the neonatal unit as they know exactly how you are feeling.”
With our Peer Support Groups, we are there to listen and help new parents of premature or sick babies. We organise regular coffee mornings where we offer support, coffee, cake, and a chat. These support groups can make all the difference and provide invaluable resources to those who may be feeling lost and overwhelmed. Our groups provide a safe and welcoming environment where families can ask questions, share their stories, and find a supportive community.