With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend. We are starting to think about mums who will be spending Mother’s Day on the neonatal unit.
We all get that Mother’s Day is a special Day. A chance to spoil our mums, or be spoilt by our own kids. We celebrate with cute cards, gifts and nice meals out. But what is it like for mums on the neonatal unit? How does it feel to wake up on Mother’s Day and not have your baby with you? To know that your baby is being cared for by someone else when you open your eyes. Someone else is feeding them, changing them and doing all the things that is your role as a mummy.
We will open our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts on Mother’s Day and see photos of gorgeous gifts, flowers and beautifully worded messages. For a mum with a baby on a neonatal unit this is heartbreaking. We don’t want anyone to not have a nice Mother’s Day but we can’t help but feel hurt and bitter that we are being robbed of our Mother’s Day.
There is no laying in bed whilst dads and kids make us breakfast in bed. We have to get up, get dressed, get in the car and travel to the hospital to see our baby on Mother’s Day. We have to buzz through the double doors of the neonatal unit and wait for a stranger to let us in to see our baby. We have to take our coat’s off and wash our hands before we can go into the same room that are baby is in. We have to ask a nurse how are baby has been overnight, because we don’t know! We have been unable to keep popping in to sneak a peek at them whilst they are lay in their cots and plant a kiss on their sleeping heads. We haven’t seen our baby since the previous day, and it hurts.
Mother’s Day on the neonatal Unit will be spent changing nappies through the portholes of an incubator/ Administering milk via an NG tube and feeling like you have to ask to touch your baby. Some mum’s might not even get to cuddle their baby if they are still too sick or too small. It is heartbreaking and we know all too well.
Staff on neonatal units will do their best in Mother’s Day. They will try and make it as special as possible but their resources are limited and so is their time. This year we will provide a Mother’s Day gift to every mum on the neonatal unit at North Manchester General Hospital and the NICU at Royal Oldham Hospital. It won’t take the pain or sadness away but it make their day a little easier if they know someone is thinking of them. For mums on the neonatal unit, that means a lot! We need to not feel alone.
To all the mums with babies in hospital, and all the mums with babies in heaven. We are thinking of you and wish you a gentle Mothers Day.
You can donate today and help us support more mums in neonatal care