Sadly, this year many parents will be spending Christmas on the neonatal unit with their premature or sick baby. This can be a very difficult time, as some may only be able to spend a couple of hours with their babies.
Many of our volunteers know what it’s like to spend time on the unit during the festive period, and have some messages to the thousands of parents that will be by their baby in hospital this year:
Carla: “Christmas isn’t about where you spend it, it’s about who you spend it with. Wishing you a very special Christmas.”
Erin: “We will be thinking of you all”
Emma: “I know this isn’t how you would ever wish to spend your baby’s first Christmas, but I promise it will be special because you have your babies you love.”
Clare: “I regret not spending more time with my twins on Christmas Day, but the staff made it as special as possible. As strange as it is, that’s your life until your baby/babies come home and it’s natural to be with them wherever that place is. Try not to feel sad, embrace it as your little world for the time being. It makes the second Christmas so much more special."
Angie: “Over Christmas I soon realised that amongst the machines and times of uncertainty, there was so much love, joy and peace. Enjoy every second with your very special gift, your baby. Capture this precious moment forever.”
Karen: “Try to enjoy your day with your baby. Do what feels right and if that means leaving the unit for Christmas dinner then that’s fine, and nothing to feel guilty about. The normality of doing this was actually a great comfort to me. Equally if you want to stay with your baby all day don’t feel pressure to do anything different. There is no right or wrong. Finally, make sure you take pictures of your baby on their first Christmas. I didn’t and it’s something I wish I had done.”
For those of you who will be on the unit this Christmas, Bliss is here to help. If you need support or someone to talk to just call our helpline on 0500 618 140 (see here for Christmas opening hours), or visit our Netmums forum.