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Survival Tips

  1. Congratulations on the birth of your precious baby!
  2. It is perfectly normal to feel upset and disillusioned at this time. Give yourself a break. As time goes by, you will all begin to heal.
  3. The thoughts you may be having (i.e. "The baby hates me." "I'm a terrible parent." "I feel like a failure.") are also normal. They too will pass in time.
  4. It's OK to cry.
  5. Give yourself time to rest - then get as much information as you can about your baby, esophageal atresia and TEF, NICU's and how they operate. Fear of the unknown will make this experience harder for you and your baby.
  6. Get to know your doctors, nurses, and staff. You will learn a lot from them. Talk to another parent who has "been there".
  7. Take care of yourself. Let yourself physically recover from this ordeal. Physical exhaustion will only make it harder to cope.
  8. Put your hospital visits on a schedule. For example, go every afternoon at 4:00 p.m. and use the rest of the day to care for your other children, and to keep your other personal and business affairs in order. Life must go on.
  9. Take time to have fun! Go to a movie. Visit friends. Do things that make YOU happy
  10. Follow the above and AVOID all the stress you can. This includes well- meaning but uninformed family and friends who can upset you with their insensitive comments and actions.
  11. Get involved in your baby's treatment. Bring some booties and toys to the hospital. Decorate your baby's isolette. Take pictures, lots of them! Provide breastmilk. Learn how to touch and hold your baby. Talk to your baby so he can hear the reassuring sound of your voice. Get to know your baby's own unique little personality.
  12. LOVE your child. Don't be afraid to give your heart to this fragile-but- tough little person. It is the most important thing you can do for both of you.