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How to cope when you leave the hospital while baby is still in the NICU?

I am being discharged in the morning & am having a really hard time coping with the fact that my lil guy has to stay here until Thursday (at the earliest, it may be longer). My husband swears up & down that he'll sleep in the ER waiting room if he has to just so he doesn't leave...but IDK I just can't wrap my head around the fact I can't take him home with me! I've been spending every moment I can with him in the NICU & I'm also feeding on demand now...but wont be once I'm discharged because I live about a half hour away from the hospital...& he's eating every two hours...& I just don't think I can do this! I don't want to abandon him either, but I can't be driving back & forth 20 times a day...& I'm really going crazy over this! Is there anything I can do to cope?? Any advice?? Please??

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Asked by WannabeMommy87 at 6:18 PM on Oct. 18, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 4 (38 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • Have you talked to the hospital social worker? They may be able to get you into a hotel for cheap/free so you aren't so far. Is there a Ronald McDonald house connected to the hospital? Really the best thing you could do would be to talk to the social worker and find out what they can do to help. That's what they're there for.

    Hugs, hun. My youngest was born premature and spent nearly 2 weeks in the NICU. Its not easy but this too shall pass.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 6:23 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • Do you have a ronald mcdonald house near? I agree, talk to a social worker and they may be able to help you. While my son was discharged with me he went back into the hospital 5 days later and we were 3 1/2 hours from home so there was no way I could go back and forth. So they put us up in a hotel for a couple of nights until they had an opening at the Ronald McDonald house and we stayed there for nearly a month until he was on step down and I was able to room in with him.

    Big hugs mama, I know it's hard and stressful having your little one in the hospital.

    Answer by KalebsMommee at 6:26 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • Both my boys spent time in the NICU, I however was able to stay in the hospital, with my first they gave me a room, with my second he was in an amazing NICU where each baby had their own room, and there was a bed in the room for me. Regardless of the situation having a baby in the NICU is hard. I can't imagine being in your shoes, and think the above poster's idea is a good one, if I were you I'd be doing everything in my power to find a way to be able to stay with, or at least closer to my baby. If you need someone to talk to feel free to send me a message!

    Answer by dedicatedrider at 6:27 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • If there is no place available for you to stay, go home, get cleaned up and go back to the hospital. Surely they have somewhere for you to pump? I would go home once every 24 hours to clean up and rest a bit, I am so sorry you are having to go through this, but is sounds like he is going to be okay>talk to the staff and see if they have a visitors room. Godd luck!

    Answer by kimigogo at 6:31 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • its ok mom i went thru the same,but i left mine 5 weeks and the day i was leaving i asked what was the longest i could stay and they said 10 pm and i did.its very hard to leave your child, the first thing you think to yourself is "will my baby think i forgot him/her" truth is we have to take this one day out a time,its part of being a mom ,this will not be the first or last time you will hurt,and that is the part that really stinks,i cried so much i showed up at the nicu at 1 am and all these stupid random times as if i was busting a move on them,like i was the inspector,you will go thru so many feelings and you will cry ,but God can help you,dont worry you can totally cry out to him,i remember saying"God you are all i have i promise without idk how i would do it" it sucked but you can do it,was i deepresed,yes! was it normal ofcourse,but i made it,my advice is that you visit friends as well as your baby,dont stay alone.

    Answer by BUSYLOVINGHIM at 6:33 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • aww that's so sad! pump and commute.

    Answer by staciandababy at 6:38 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I am sorry, I know how hard it is. My son was in the NICU for 8 weeks and I lived 400 miles away from the hospital. After I was discharged the hospital had a camp ground where I could take my camper up there and be at the hospital within a few minutes if I had to be. I would check with a social worker to see if they have anything like that, I remember they also had a hotel for patiences and their familys too. When my son was in the NICU they had a support group that would meet every few days and you where able to talk to other mom's and dad's who had children in the NICU, it really seemed to help knowing there are other people in your postion. So I would check to see if they have any groups also. Good Luck and I hope everything goes well!!

    Answer by saysha100687 at 6:44 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I would stay at the hospital. I've stayed with a nursing baby without going home from the hospital at all for as long as 3 weeks. I did that as a single mom with no family to help.

    Answer by Gailll at 6:47 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • It's rough. What I did was to concentrate on getting my energy back after the pregnancy and labor and delivery. And I stayed at the hospital with the baby as much as I could. I also did some more preparation such as stocking up on groceries and freezing casseroles so they'd be ready for when the baby got home.

    Answer by Bmat at 7:13 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

  • I honestly don't know what you're going through, and I'm so sorry your baby is in NICU. One of my best friends had to leave her twins in the NICU for 11 days once she was discharged. Luckily, she lived only 15 minutes away, but she was at the hospital all day until they kicked her out. She pumped as much as she could at night, and she told me that she actually caught up on her rest. She said having the twins in the hospital was a blessing in disguise because she was able to recover and rest before they came home (she also had a 2 year old) and the hard work really started. I hope everything works out for you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:09 PM on Oct. 18, 2009

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