Preemie mom shares her story: Dear NICU mommy

Photo by Raul Angel on Unsplash
Photo by Raul Angel on Unsplash

Preemie mom Angela Wade read Michelle Tito's letter to a NICU nurse and it touched her deeply.

Michelle is mother to five precious preemies - read her heartfelt letter here: Dear NICU nurse

As a NICU mom herself, who gave birth at 29 weeks and spent 3 months in NICU, the open letter resonated with Angela. 

Inspired, she wrote this letter to the mothers who spend days, week - even months - in the NICU.

Read her beautiful letter below:

Dear NICU mommy,

During my seemingly healthy pregnancy, I ended up in the hospital on bed rest for three weeks after my membrane ruptured at almost 26 weeks. I gave birth to my son at 29 weeks, weighing a mere 1.28kg’s.

I met amazing mommies through my experience, who even delivered earlier than myself, with babies weighing even less. And although each experience is unique, it is also very shared amongst the NICU families. 

A journey no one can begin to describe to someone on “the outside” and so you begin to lean on those around you on “the inside”. I would strongly encourage this because they fully understand what you are going through. 

After 3 months spent in the NICU, I am still very close with some of the mommies today (almost a year and a half later!). 

Also read: Mom of eight shares her transformative birth experiences at a government hospital

I saw some moms fall into depression, succumbing to the helpless environment of being a mom to a preemie - feeling guilty and useless.  Feelings we all have. What did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I carry my baby full term? Why me? Why does my baby have to go through this? It’s just not fair. 

Not being able to take your baby home like all the other “normal” moms. Not even being able to touch or hold your baby and comfort him. Every day seeing your baby hooked up to all the machines, wires and feeding tube.

Jumping every time a machine beep or your baby desats. Feeling scared and hopeless at every setback.

But then there are the good days:

  • The first time you do get to hold your tiny baby in your arms.
  • The first time they take off the oxygen mask and tiny “goggles” over his eyes and you see his tiny, perfect face.
  • The first time he looks at you and seems so content.
  • The first time he grasps on to your finger with his tiny little hand.
  • The first time you get to change his nappy and clean his belly button.
  • The first time you get to dress him in the incubator, even though he doesn’t need to be wearing clothes. 
  • The first time you get to bath him!
  • The first time you see his perfect little face when they are changing the feeding tube and how you can’t wait for it to be out for good.
  • The first time you get to give your baby a bottle and watch how determined he is at sucking, and even though he doesn’t finish the small amount of milk, you realise how resilient he is.
  • The first time you get to breastfeed and look down at your perfect baby and feel needed by him.
  • The first time you move to High Care and even though the journey is still long, you can start to see the end.

And finally, the day you get to take your baby home after endless days spent in a place that became home to you.

Also see: Paternal leave is more important for moms than dads study finds

You may feel like he “grew up” in this home, but in actual fact he was growing on the outside where he was still supposed to be growing on the inside, and this was the BEST place for him to be, even if it didn’t feel like it at times when you were too exhausted to even just be.

My words to you are to hang in there. Be positive, be strong and be patient. Your baby needs you more than you may feel needed.

Remember, this time is so special.

Think of each day you get to spend with your baby there in the NICU as bonus days that you get to spend with him.

And remember that your day will come where you will be released to enjoy your baby at home! And after a year has gone by, although never forgotten, this experience will be behind you. 

You will take away fond memories with you.

I never thought I would get over it or that we would get through the experience. But we did! And today we have an amazing, healthy, strong little boy who made it

He is 17 months old now and such a little firecracker. I cannot thank God enough for my blessing. I am grateful to the amazing NICU staff and the friends I made through our journey.

I pray that you and your family have a positive outcome like us. Know that you are not alone. My wish for you is to take as much from this experience as you can and to embrace this situation you have been thrown into.

Hold on to the happy, positive and precious moments through your journey because that is what will carry you through. 

Love yourself and know that your baby loves you.

All the best,

Angela Wade (fellow NICU mommy) 

Chat back:

Share your story with us and we could publish it. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

WhatsApp: Send messages and voicenotes to 066 010 0325

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more: 

8 out of 100 babies are born too soon in SA: You can help

Tales of a boss mom

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 1533 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 6537 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
38% - 5179 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 497 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.