3.5 weeks ago, my friend had a baby at 30 weeks (normal gestation is 42, for those of you, like me, who had to look it up). Her family is all across the country, and we are fairly close friends. Her father came out for the first week or so, and her husband had a short amount of paternity leave.
I saw her husband last Saturday and I knew he had a bad cold by the way he sounded and the dayquil he was popping. I suspected that he would be banned from the NICU. Her father's gone back home.
I have been trying to walk that fine line between being available to/interested in my friend and her new little one and giving them room and not being pushy. I have offered non-specific "Is there anything I can do?" help, as well as specific "Would you like me to make some casseroles, or let the dog out some times?" help. She has expressed several times the desire not to be a burden, or turn into one of “those” moms who bores people with her baby (thusly, why she has not been updating something I could watch passively, like Facebook). We are close enough friends that we visit each other’s houses even when they aren’t “company ready” and her husband helped mine put up our biiig xmas tree, so not just formal social acquaintances.
Last night, she told me via text that the little one had been having very scary episodes of trouble breathing, and she has been there in the NICU all alone since her husband was too sick to be allowed near the baby. I told her she could call me at any time and I would be there and how sorry I was that she was alone for that. She said at the time that she was so emotional, she just couldn't get the words out. I feel guilty - that maybe if I had been checking in more frequently she wouldn't be initiating a request for help, but responding to an offer (which might be easier).
Have I really been doing the right thing by staying away? Should I be checking in more frequently (we talk most via txt)? What is the “right” frequency of unprompted “thinking of you” type texts?