Thursday, November 18, 2010

NICU Socialising

The first two and a half months of Maddy's life, we hardly talked to any of the other parents in NICU. I think maybe partly it was a language barrier thing - I don't speak Cantonese, and at the time, Bernard wasn't speaking Canto at the hospital at all (something he decided to do so that the nurses would speak English to us both instead of only talking to him in Cantonese). Also I'm not the world's most outgoing person so I don't usually initiate conversations with others.

It seemed like after Lana's birthday though, there was an influx of English speaking couples from different places in the world and so for the first time in this whole NICU journey, we've been chatting more with the other parents up there, sharing our stories and even finding common ground. 

I've always felt strongly for the new parents and new bubs up there - so much so that I wrote this post about "The New Kid" just a month ago. And even though we're the NICU veterans up there (107 days now), it still is nice to have that camaraderie with other people going through similar things to us. I hope that it helps them a bit too!!

One of the couples up there had their baby here three months early - they were actually on vacation visiting family here at the time and are now waiting for him to get strong enough for him to go back home.

Another couple moved to Hong Kong two months ago and immediately she began to have complications, so she has been in and out of hospital for the past two months until her son was born two months early - now they are still back and forth from the hospital every day. 

A third couple's twins were only in the NICU for a week or so - they were born not as early as the other bubs, and with less complications. But I loved what the mother said to me (paraphrasing, since I can't remember word for word): "When we first came up to NICU, everything was a bit new and scary, but then we looked over and saw your daughter sitting up in her chair so happy and smiling and it helped us to know that everything was going to be OK".

It's been really good the past three weeks or so, to meet these other parents and hear their stories. I wish them and their little ones all the best through their individual NICU journeys.


  1. Glad to hear that you are enjoying sharing stories and that others are seeing Madeline as a ray of hope when they first come to the NICU! Just read your other post too! We will be praying that the 23rd brings good news with the CT scan and that Maddy will be able to come home soon! Before Christmas would be soooo wonderful! We are thinking of you and keeping those prayers going!!! Hugs!!!

  2. I remember the feeling well when I met my daughter for the first time in NICU. I had a C-section but insisted that I was allowed to walk up to the NICU to see her. It really was a strange and scary feeling. Everyone there was so serious (and sad). Like you, I was there everyday, but unlike your hospital, mine didn't allow us to 'chat' to other parents, which to me, was absolutely absurd!!!

    At that time, I had this urge to go around the ward and help every parent take a picture of them with their babies (only one parent is allowed in at a time, so it was really difficult to take photos). I was lucky as I knew one of the doctors who helped me take videos & photos.

    It was a time of frustration and fear, but I really think there is a reason for everything, and God only gives special children to special parents who can look after them well.

    You are a great inspiration to us all, Nicole!