erika-alonzo
erika-alonzo
Erika
Baby - my definition of perfect.
from Guatemala, works at Charity Founder.
Was online 3 days ago.
Read more about me
My little boy John was born at 24 weeks in 2014, he spent 127 days in neonatal care. He was very sick and had a very bumpy neonatal journey. During John's early weeks on the unit I was desperate to talk to other parents who had been through what we were going through. I met lots of parents who were still on the unit, and we all supported each other, but I really wanted to talk to someone who had already been through the neonatal journey. I wanted a bit of reassurance that life might return to some form of normality. John came home on oxygen and spent quite a lot of time back in hospital, I found this really difficult and became anxious and felt quite isolated. I was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and my mental health really suffered. I was lucky enough to have a good support network who encouraged me to seek help. I also used holistic therapy which had a huge positive impact on me, with time I started to recover. John grew stronger and we started to enjoy him. In 2015 I set up Spoons as a private support group for the parents I had met on our NICU journey. I started to volunteer on the unit and talk to parents about my own experience and they joined the group. With the help of friends, I set up a community support group and began fundraising for the neonatal units at hospitals. Spoons really took off - the peer support side was amazing and the feedback from parents was fantastic. Parents had a platform to keep in touch with friends they had met on the unit and speak to other parents online. The families were fantastic, and were keen to get involved with Spoons and give their own time back to help others. I have a background in support services and am passionate about improving mental health and well being. I really wanted to support parents who were facing their own challenges in neonatal care and so I took up a counselling course. We registered Spoons as a charity and have never looked back. Spoons exists because our worlds were turned upside by having a baby in NICU, we have been able to turn our negative experience into a positive and I am very proud of this, I am proud to be part of Team Spoons.