Support. It’s one of those things we all need at different times and in different ways. For preemie and micro preemie parents, all kinds of support is necessary and welcomed. Having moved away from all of our family and friends in North Carolina, I had no idea what type of support we would have in Florida. We knew our family and friends in NC would be supporting us through prayers, calls, texts, and visits when they could. Shortly after Emerson was born, I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of support we received right here in Tampa.
I mentioned the support we received from our NICU in my previous post, but it’s worth mentioning again here. From the front desk ladies to the medical staff to the other NICU families we met, we received a wealth of support. Seeing a warm smile on Ms. Deb’s face as we walked into the NICU each day was like therapy. She would ask how we were doing and we would share updates on Emerson as well as us. One of the things she always reminded us of was that we should be getting rest.
The NICU social workers put together support groups for the families where we were able to meet other NICU parents. I’m still in touch with those moms today, and we have been amazing support to each other. It was so important to have this type of support because who better to help lift each other up than someone who is going through the exact same thing. I’m so thankful for the moms I met and still keep in touch with. We even share pictures of our little ones, and it’s amazing to see everyone’s progress.
Outside of the NICU, our local friends were here for us in ways we never would have expected for them to have known us for such a short amount of time. Same with our church family. Prior to Emerson being born, we began going to Champion City Church. It was a new church, less than a year old at the time, and I found out about it from a mailer sent to our apartment. We had only been to about two services before I ended up getting admitted to the hospital for my extended stay. While in the hospital, I found the pastors on Facebook and decided to write a message to them explaining our situation and asking for their prayers. Thank God I did because we received so much support from the pastors and the church throughout our entire situation. We took Emerson to church for the first time two Sundays ago, and it was such a blessing to have everyone meet him and see the miracle that he is and how much their support helped us.
We truly cannot thank everyone who has supported us throughout our situation enough. There will never be enough words to express how much it meant to us. If you are one of those who prayed, called, texted, visited, provided a meal, shared your own preemie story, or provided any other act of support to our family, we thank you.
If you are a fellow NICU mom currently living in the NICU, my suggestion is to be open to asking for help and support. It’s very hard to do, but people can’t help you when they don’t know what you need. This is extremely important if you are like us and don’t live near family. There are amazing people out there who want to help you, but you have to remember to be open and let them.