NWH Northern Westchester Hospital

NICU Support Group at NWH

NWH NICU Support Group offers a warm, nurturing environment to meet other NICU families, network with one another, share feelings, and ask questions about your NICU journey.  You do not need to have a baby in our NICU to participate. Join us.

The NICU Support Group at Northern Westchester Hospital 
every Wednesday, 10am to 11am
at Northern Westchester Hospital
400 East Main Street,
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
1st Floor Conference Rooms between the North Building and the Main Hospital, off the Art Gallery hallway

Click here to join NWH NICU Support Group on Facebook.

Questions? Contact Anka:  aroberto2@nwhc.net

Read about the journeys of some of our NICU moms.

The NICU mom’s support group at NWH started in the Spring of 2009 and has been a great place for me to go to talk to other people who understand how I feel and what I have gone through.  We got a lot of support from our family and friends, but no one could relate.  This group has been a nice place to go and vent to others who understand.
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My desperate inquiries for a support group with the Hospital to their NICU, Labor and Delivery, and even social workers were futile. By chance [I learned about] the NICU Support Group up at NWH.  The next Wednesday I summoned up the courage to go with [my baby], and that was one of the best days since our baby was born.

At the NWH NICU Support Group, I’ve found moms who understood my struggles and listened patiently, gave wonderful and pertinent suggestions, and showed me that there is a brighter day tomorrow. I’ve met so many moms who are at different stages of their journey with their premature child/children and it’s been a source of comfort to have a place for me to ask questions and to have an outlet for how I really feel about my baby‘s state of recovery and growth. I am truly grateful to Anka for starting this group, and I hope for continued success with this group because there are so many other NICU moms out there who need this support and just haven’t found it yet in their journey. Thanks!
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I feel truly fortunate to have delivered my two babies at NWH, which is the most caring hospital I have encountered. The doctors, the nurses, especially those in the NICU—enough cannot be said about their devotion and warmth.  It was those nurses that sent me to the NWH NICU Support Group when my daughter was in the NICU, all 3 pounds 14 ounces of her, with tubes in her nose to deliver oxygen, IV in her arm to deliver nutrients, a multitude of pin pricks in her tiny feet, and so many monitors on her that she was practically blanketed with them.  I cannot express how wonderful it was to meet all those mothers (and fathers) with their beautiful thriving children and wonderful words of encouragement and love.

The compassion and love in this group is truly amazing. The New York Times wrote that having a child in the NICU was often cause for post traumatic stress syndrome, as the NICU is reminiscent of a hospital in a war zone with all it’s beeping monitors and life and death issues.  It is true. The stress that couples with preemies go through is overwhelming. The guilt, the worry, the anxiety, the hope, the elation, the sadness. It is like a tornado sweeping through your life, laying havoc.

I had a friend who had a child in a NICU for 6 weeks in a different hospital, and she was given no emotional support and was so stressed her marriage almost broke up over it. I have had such a different experience. With the NWH NICU Support Group I have been able to share worries and receive hope and knowledge and advice and, surprisingly, much laughter from a group of people that understand in a way friends, however well meaning, cannot. The group is an incredible blessing.
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The NWH NICU Support Group has made me realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel to meet moms who come out the other side with stories of how their preemies are now thriving gave me hope. When I was in the NICU, although things were hectic and overwhelming, knowing the NWH NICU Support Group was there was very reassuring. It was not till I left the NICU with my baby that I had the energy to go, and I am so glad I did. It has helped me cope.
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My story began on November 15, 2003. When I got up to use the bathroom and bright red blood poured from me, I called an ambulance and they took me to Northern Westchester Hospital where I was supposed to deliver my babies in the following February.  Thankfully, the bleeding was stopped, but I went into pre-term labor..... the room turned into a scene from “ER” with doctors and nurses springing into action. Our twins were delivered shortly after via emergency C-section at just 27 weeks gestation and weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces and 2 pounds 15 ounces.

The twins spent 81 days in the NICU at Northern Westchester Hospital, and the first few weeks were an emotional roller-coaster..… it was indeed a proud day when I took my ‘proper little babies’ home after 81 days in the NICU – still on monitors as they both continued to have apnea episodes, but both successfully breastfeeding and looking so amazing compared to the babies that I had brought into the world almost 3 months earlier. Although we look back and wonder how we managed to make it through that tough time, we were so thankful for the caring and compassionate doctors and nurses in the NWH NICU and for our neighbors and friends in the community who rallied around to help us get through each day.

My babies turned 6 years old, and for the past couple of years I have managed to greet the fall with the enthusiasm and joy that I once felt. For the first few years after the twins were born, the leaves would start to turn and I would begin to re-live their dramatic entry to the world.  I would be melancholy and just couldn’t shake the feelings of dread that I had felt when they were born and so sick in the NICU. I was not really able to articulate my thoughts and feelings to my family and friends, and I think that this is where the NWH NICU Support Group comes into play. The parents who are part of this group are able to share their fears and emotions with other moms who really ‘get’ where they are at.  I wish there had been a group such as this available when my twins were born and I feel priviledged to be the ‘veteran mom’ of the group.  I truly hope that the great strides that my twins have made will be an inspiration to the many parents who are just embarking upon their journey.
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I have been involved with the NWH NICU Support Group from its inception, and have truly enjoyed meeting all the parents, and lending and receiving ongoing support.
The group is a wonderful mix of parents with current preemies in the NICU and seasoned parents who have been there and weathered the storm.  For the current NICU parents the group is not only a resource but a set of new friends who are there every week to listen and care.
It has become a forum for issues new parents face, specifically new parents of preemies, who have been faced with this additional challenge.

Even months or years after our babies are in the NICU, parents encounter medical issues, feeding issues, and social issues with our children.  It’s so helpful to have this diverse group of amazing parents.

 


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