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Stress of NICU Leads to Appreciation

By admin

One Katy family gets by on the support of their friends

It’s been almost three weeks since our triplets were born. They are small, but they are doing well. The doctors are happy with their progress and that gives my husband and me a lot of hope for the future. However, it is obviously a stressful situation for our family. If you know of someone with loved ones, especially children, in the hospital, here are a few things you could try to help lighten their load.

First, offer to drive them to the hospital. Parking fees are tremendous. There are times that I am paying $15.00 just to park. When you drive your friend to the hospital, you are making life easier. I know that the hospital my triplets are in offers a monthly contract which is a much better deal. Perhaps you could do the legwork for your friend so that it is one less errand for her to do while at the hospital. That will free up some time for her to spend with her sick family member.

 
Second, don’t push your friend to talk. This may sound rude, but my husband and I find it difficult to tell the same news to so many people. We are grateful others are interested in how the boys are doing, but it is a very scary and emotional time for us. Repeatedly sharing the same information with various people who call to check on us adds to our stress level. As a friend, is there a way you could help shield the family from these calls by setting up a Facebook page or by distributing the information to an e-mail list approved by the family?
 
My last tip is to offer specific help to the family. There are certainly jobs and responsibilities that are currently falling by the wayside in our household. We try to keep up with grocery shopping, laundry, and healthy meals, but there is only so much time in our day between commuting to the hospital and work. It is wonderful when some friends call to offer to drive our son to school for me or when I hear there is a meal ready for us. Don’t feel that you have to do all the work–our good friend, for example, simply set up a calendar for others to sign up for meals, driving, and even cleaning. It is a truly humbling experience, but these offers have really made our lives easier these past few weeks.
 
I hope this blog shows that while families in crisis sometimes are too busy or strained to answer calls and e-mails, we do value offers of friendship and help. Please don’t be put off by our lack of communication. We are sometimes just struggling to stay afloat. We do appreciate all that others do for us. I would love to hear how you have been helped by others when your family has gone through such an experience.

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