Sunday, December 20, 2009

Celebrating Christmas in the NICU

Christmas in the NICU can be a very challenging time for NICU parents. Instead of being able to wrap gifts and decorate a tree, they are spending hours in the NICU worried about the health and well being of their new baby and trying to survive this major life challenge.

Understandably, it may be difficult to get into the holidays spirit and wish others a "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holiday."

This quote from W. C. Jones, may be a way to help NICU parents shift their perspective to be better able to cope with Christmas in the NICU:
The joy of brightening other lives,
bearing each others' burdens,
easing others' loads and
supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts
becomes for us the magic of Christmas.
I have always found that focusing on others who may be even in a worse situations when I am feeling blue about my own circumstances helps to lift my spirits.

This quote sounds like NICU parents, NICU staff and generous NICU volunteers all pulling together during the holidays to brighten each others' lives and ease each others' burdens. It is possible that despite the NICU surroundings, NICU parents can still create a festive atmosphere and share the holiday spirit. The recent article on Tips for Celebrating and Coping with Christmas in the NICU that I wrote for Type-A Mom provides a lot of helpful suggestions for coping with Christmas in the NICU.

NICU Parents need to remember that this is the first Christmas you get to celebrate with your new baby, even if it is in the NICU. There are many simple ways and simple things to make that holiday season special for your family will help you to create some happy memories of your baby's first (NICU) Christmas.
Wishing NICU Parents everywhere a happy holiday.

A related article is on the Type-A Mom site under the NICU section of Mom Stages.

More on Holidays in the NICU

Dyer KA. 2009. Tips for Celebrating and Coping with Christmas in the NICU.
Type-A Mom.

Dyer KA. 2009. Giving Thanks Even when Thanksgiving is in the NICU. Type A Mom.
Dyer KA. 2009. Encouraging Message: The Full, True Thanksgiving Comes from the Heart. NICU Parent Support Blog.
Dyer KA. 2009. Being Thankful at Thanksgiving in the NICU. NICU Parent Support Blog.

Image: Nick. Goodchild. Christmas Tree. Royalty Free Use. 

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