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If I had known what I know now.. NICU and Mom-less


My name is Danisha Keating, AKA Dr. Danisha Keating, (PhD, not MD.. You know, "not a real-real doctor, just a doctor... I can solve literature problems, not medical ones...Don't ask me about your bump.. Ask me about my research :p).

I am both excited and nervous to share my story with you but I want to break this up into a few posts because... it's a lot! If you follow me on social media, you will mostly see posts about foster care because that is also part of my journey, and stems into the conversation we will have tonight.

September 29th, 2022, I had my daughter at 33 weeks and 5 days. I was in the hospital for 9 days before we had her, and she was born healthy but she had a hard time eating. She went straight to the NICU so I only held her for a split second after delivery but not again until hours later. You guys know all too well the NICU journey, so I will spare details on that.

After 12 days she came home and we were raising a little girl who needed her mama... And her mama needed her mama... but ya know.... Abandonment and all that jazz.

Having a child really made me reflect on how precious children are, and how vulnerable we can be in these moments. I remember my birth mom trying to make contact with my siblings to see what I needed. She sent a gift and food but it felt tainted. I know.. It seems sweet, but it was too much for me to handle.

Backstory: I have not been with my birth mom since I was 13 years old, I was 33 when I had my daughter. I was put in foster care 3 days before my 16th birthday and aged out at 18. When I tried to get help from both of my parents, they told me to leave, and a bunch of horrible things. In 2015, I took in 5 of my siblings and became the guardian of them overnight. Throughout the last 8 years, my birth mom made it known how she felt about me. So, now we are in 2022 with the "I love you and I'm proud of you" texts that leave your skin crawling because the year before, you were sent nasty texts... I knew it was not a good idea. My birth mom often used horrible situations to try to get back into my life, just to ask for me to help her with money, places to live, or downright cusses me out for not being a better daughter... I know, it's sad. So I have to be careful.

In the moment of having high blood pressure and having my daughter early, and having her in NICU, I wanted my mom.. but not the mom I was raised around. I wanted the mom who I saw on the TVs. The loving mom. The mom that fought to get to the hospital, held me while I cried, got up with the baby while I slept... but I did not have that and as I sat in the hospital bed, I realized I could never have that.

To be honest, I have told myself multiple times that you can't miss what you don't have, but I have realized in this last year that you really can.

I felt mom-less. Again. But I know my baby needed me and I know that I needed to be careful with my heart so that I could be the most present mama for my daughter who deserves it.

But there are so many times in the last year that I wished I had a mom. And that's ok. We deserved having a good mom too.

And I realize that someone reading this, may also feel that same way. You may have not grown up with a good mom or the relationship is strained, or even maybe your mom is no longer here with us. Whatever the situation is, I know you can relate to this feeling. And I am so sorry.

I often wish I could be the mama hen of others and join you in your story. If you do need a friend, or a mama ear, I am here for you! I am here if you ever need to talk through anything NICU, Mom-life, Mom-less world, Foster care, or business life.. Whatever you see fit, friend, I am here.

Follow me on social media!

Your Friend,


P.S. I know this was probably a jumble but that's ok. Sometimes words don't need to make sense. Here's a picture of my little Harper who is now 15 months old!

NICU Mom and her preemie baby

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