Only a NICU Parent…

August 17, 2012
I found this spot-on list on Baby Girl Bown, absolutely loved it, and wanted to share…
(I tweaked it slightly to better suit our Life after NICU audience.)

Only a NICU Parent

Would be excited about…
  • increased feedings.
  • 5 grams of weight gain.
  • O2 levels.
  • an inch in length.
  • seeing the eyes of a 4-week-old for the very first time.
  • poopy diapers
  • graduating beds.
  • going to the intermediate nursery.
  • dread walking out of those doors to go home to sleep.
  • 10:00pm or 5:00am phone calls to let you know your little one did something good/new.
  • going to the hospital (hey, we get to see our kids!).
  • CPR classes (they’re coming home soon!).
  • outgrowing clothes.
  • hearing your baby cry for the first time, weeks old and crying just as hard in joy.
  • the fear of seeing their child for the first time.
  • that Brady’s are not referring to the Brady Bunch.
  • what CPAP means.
  • the pain of not holding your child for days
  • the workings of an isolette.
  • what each beep means.
  • how important kangaroo care is (to baby and mom/dad).
  • that a parent’s job is to fix whatever hurts their child – and know the pain of realizing you can’t.
  • what a PICC Line is.
  • just how important surfactant is, and what it is for that matter.
  • and understands the realism of adjusted ages.
  • what it feels like to cry the first time you see your baby in a crib.
  • the agony over sending birth announcements. 
  • how amazing tiny fingers feel clenched to your hand.
  • the pain of hearing a woman in her third trimester complaining about her pregnancy, and wondering that that would be like.
  • and finally understands the metric system.
  • there are no choices in the NICU – you have to be strong. 
  • cracked and bleeding hands from washing them so much and coating them constantly with hand sanitizer.
  • how hard it is to trust 100+ people you have never met before care for the child for whom you have waited a lifetime.
  • what it’s like to argue with each other over who changes the diaper – because you both want to – its a chance to touch your baby.
  • every inch of their NICU, what walls they cried against, what nurseries they ‘lived in’, what shifts each doctor, nurse, therapist, and staff member works.
  • that you will be a germaphobe for at least the next 2 years, people will think you are weird, and you will know you are literally saving your child’s life.
  • 50 nurses by name, and their kids’ names.
  • can give better directions to the cafeteria, gift shop and parking lot than the employees.
  • that every day in the NICU makes you one of the lucky ones.
  • just how important each new day is and how much significance a new day holds. Sure, every day to a parent of a healthy, full term baby means a lot, but we go in not knowing… and that is scary.
What else would you add to this list?