What’s LOVE Got to Do With It?

 

mamalouge-logo

 

EVERYTHING!  Caring for your baby is more than singing ABC’s, pumping breast milk, checking the car seat to make sure it’s buckled correctly, avoiding exposure to everything harmful, or maintaining a soft calm environment.  Caring for your baby has everything to do with LOVE.

 

Showing your baby love from day one actually helps in their overall development, especially with preemies.  I can tell you first-hand just how big and powerful love truly is even for the smallest of us.

 

Our sweet Demi was born at just 27 weeks gestation.  The early arrival gave her access to immediate housing at the River Oaks NICU.  She was super small.  Weighing in at a solid 1 pound and 14 ounces, Demi was in for a long journey of development, weight gain, and a host of tests and probing.

 

We must have asked a billion questions during her expensive 2 month stay at the NICU.  It was hard watching her lie in that incubator and feeling so helpless.  I remember the guilt, thinking, “What kind of mother am I when I can’t do anything for her?”  I was feeling the depression of not being able to take her home and love on her the way I imagined it would be.  It scorched our hearts to watch the nurses stick her with needles, adjusting her feeding tube or dropping liquid in her eyes.  I understood it was all for her benefit.  The nurses were doing what they were trained to do… to get my love angel big and strong and ready for home.  Still, it was too much to stomach.

dem1

 

 

We never missed a single day.  It didn’t matter to us that it was the weekend…like clockwork, Ignacio and I hauled our laptops into the NICU and spent eight to ten hours just sitting with Demi in her suite.  It felt like nothing…like we were doing nothing, but we were everything we needed to do for her.

 

One of Demi’s nurses told us the best thing we could do is show her love. I didn’t quite understand at first until Demi started watching us.  Her eyes would move with our movements and she seemed to know us not only by our smell, but how we felt to her. We hadn’t noticed, but coming to the NICU every single day and staying all day with her gave Demi a boost in her development process.  She began gaining weight faster.  We noticed that she made eye contact with whomever was talking to her. Her personality was big and bold.  Even the nurses nicknamed her “Miss Priss.”

 

We held her, talked to her, sang to her, changed her diaper and eventually changed her clothes.  We just wanted to be near her.  I needed her to feel me close to her… to know that we love her.

Poppi Dean holding Demi Jade

Poppi Dean holding Demi Jade

 

 

 

Demi’s health continues progressing. I know we had great doctors and of course we all were praying, but I got a little curious and so I did some research on how love affects newborns. Here’s what I found:

 

  • Love gives your baby a sense of security
  • Affects behavior and thinking capabilities
  • Build future social relationships
  • Teaches your baby how to feel and how to handle those feelings
  • Responding to the needs of your baby encourages impulse control and the development of conscience
  • Gives your baby positive attention

 

Demi with TT Sherneka and TT Megan

Demi with her Aunts, Sherneka and Megan

 

Darcia Narvaez, psychologist specializing in moral development in children had this to say, “Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development.”

When I first read this, I was like… WOW! That’s exactly what we’re doing.  I worry so much about her development and her interaction with others, but that’s just me being a mom. I want to be sure that I’m doing all that I can to help her grow into the beautiful, intelligent, healthy and loving being I know she was placed on this earth to be. By-the-way, Demi was released from the NICU a full monthly early than anticipated.

It’s not just me and Demi’s Dad, we have so many family and friends who pitch in healthy doses of love every day. Some call it spoiling… we call it loving. You see love truly is a verb and we’re making sure Demi is surrounded by nothing but love and those who have her best interest at heart.

So to all you wonderful mothers out there remember your baby needs more than LeapFrog, breast milk, safety precautions, and a peaceful environment for strong development.  Our babies needs security, comfort, and most of all… LOVE.

Blessings.

Demi and Daddy

Demi and Daddy

 

_____________________________

MAMALOGUE is LSherie’s true stories of mommy life with a preemie.

Follow Demi Jade on Instagram and SnapChat @iamdemijade

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien