Life in the NICU can be so lonely, but it can also be an incredibly unifying experience. Becoming a NICU parent means your journey into parenthood may not look much like that of friends whose babies went straight home from the hospital. That's why Boy Meets World star Danielle Fishel Karp recently opened up about how NICU life changed her...and how she bonded with other moms who have walked the same road.
"You never fully leave the NICU, you leave a part of you behind," Fishel Karp told TODAY. "So any time I meet another NICU parent, I just feel like, we connect on a level that you just don't with other people. You just can't fully imagine what it's like to have a kid that needs that kind of care until you've experienced it...It's a club you never want to join, but if you find yourself in it, it is one of the most compassionate clubs that you'll ever be a part of."
Last year Fishel Karp welcomed her firstborn, Adler, and the birth experience wasn't what she had imagined.
"The night I went into labor, my OB/GYN performed an ultrasound and noticed there was fluid around Adler's lungs. We were absolutely shocked," Fishel Karp shared during a speech this week at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
The new mom recalled how the hospital's staff helped her family through the experience of seeing baby Adler in the NICU. She shared how hospital staff made signs with Adler's name and encouraged Fishel Karp to take care of herself through the difficult experience. But it wasn't just the hospital and NICU staff that pulled her through it: Danielle also shared the ways in which connecting with fellow NICU parents, even months after her own son's stay ended, helped her.
What Fishel Karp is saying just illuminates the importance of connecting with fellow moms, especially moms who have been in your shoes. So let this be a lesson, mama: Reach out to fellow mamas, especially when you know what they're working through in their lives. Because it can make all the difference...to you and to others.