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?