On February 11, 2020, our son came to the world, prematurely in the 26th gestational week. To this day, he is hospitalized in the intensive care unit of the neonatology department.
After giving birth, I tried to spend as much time as possible near the incubator. Although I couldn’t take my son in my arms, I tried to talk to him so he would get used to my voice. He made a great progress. When the moment came that I would be able to cuddle my son, a situation arose that still plagues Slovakia today. Due to the epidemic measures and the need to vacate the beds for potential COVID-19 patients, I had to vacate my bed at the gynecology department on March 17, 2020 and go home – without my baby.
This news was overwhelming for me, as it was a big milestone for us at that time. Our son was already breathing without support. It was going to be a matter of a few days before I would be able to wrap up my son and do kangaroo mother care.
The decision of the hospital management left me helpless. There was nothing that I could do, despite me urging the department to revoke that decision. Me and other women in the same situation had to pack up. For one last time, we could visit our children in the neonatal ward.
Leaving the hospital was very exhausting, mentally. You are leaving your beloved child with the feeling that you would not see him for a long time. Will he still recognize me as his mother after a month? Won’t this break the beautiful bond between us? Will he make it by himself in the hospital?
Instead of a hug, I went home empty-handed only with my head full of questions. Each single day without my baby was taking my strength away and significantly marked my mental health. Today, our tiny baby is already in a bed. Right now is the time when he is becoming more and more receptive and when he could be breastfed.
He has been in the hospital together for 11 weeks, of which 6 weeks by himself. Is it really necessary to take such measures and separate mother from her child?