Jennifer Degl and Joy Degl (New York, USA)
by Jennifer Degl
Waiting for weeks or months to hold your baby for the first time is heartbreaking. Most newborns are in their mothers’ arms within minutes of birth. I had to wait a full month.
Every once in a while I would get to stick my freshly sanitized finger inside the incubator for a few moments, and those encounters helped to ease my burning need to bond with my new baby. Still, it wasn’t enough.
For the previous three nights, in anticipation of kangarooing, I had been showering for the second time in a day and wore a button-down shirt.
Finally, when Joy was thirty-three days old, a nurse popped the magical question, “Do you want to kangaroo?” Those words were music to my ears.
“Of course I do!” I replied.
Although it only lasted only ten minutes, the kangarooing experience was almost beyond description. This remarkable bonding moment finally allowed my mothering instincts to get to work calming and snuggling my baby. I got to feel both her heartbeat and her breathing for the first time. Our nurse was amazing, and made it seem like holding your baby on your chest, tucked into your shirt, with tubes and wires attached to her, and machines beeping like crazy, was a natural thing.
Jennifer Degl from New York, is the mother of Joy (23 week micro preemie born in 2013), Author of FROM HOPE TO JOY: A MEMOIR OF A MOTHER'S DETERMINATION AND HER MICRO PREEMIE'S STRUGGLE TO BEAT THE ODDS and founder of Speaking for Moms & Babies, Inc. www.speakingformomsandbabies.com
Jenn is a leader advocate for preemies and families in the USA.