Not all heroes wear capes. Mine happened to come in scrubs and cargo pants. But they swooped in like superheroes do, saving the day just in the nick of time.
Ben ended up in the NICU by accident- literally. He was full-term, probably huge by NICU standards. What was a boring Saturday morning at home turned into mayhem when my husband took a fall down the stairs with Ben in his arms.
By surprise we entered the NICU world and family. That’s what it is- a different world, a family. A badge of honor for our babies.
The NICU changes you. It starts to happen while you’re there, planting a seed that slowly blossoms over the months following your stay. It’s good and bad- there are milestones achieved, but there are also memories of watching your child go through things that you can never unsee.
And then, there are the people.
The faces of the NICU. The warriors who fight right alongside you, doing everything they can to save your child’s life. Explaining to you, again, what is happening to your baby. Patiently listening when your frustration gets to the point that you cry irrationally and snap at them for not being able to see the future. They’re the army in scrubs, fighting tirelessly and lovingly for our children.
The NICU team is the one who teaches you that you can touch your baby again, or for the first time. They teach you all the skills you need to care for your medically fragile child on the outside of the walls of the safe haven of the hospital.
I remember you all. Your caring touches, your life-saving moments. I think about each one of you every single day and am thankful for you. The NICU was the worst time of my life, but you kept me sane and you brought our baby home.
To the heroes in scrubs, cheers to you. Thank you. I think of you often. I think of you when my son meets a milestone. When he runs down the street. When his million-watt smile and his joyous laughter fill a room. I said thank you when we left the hospital, but I didn’t really realize what you had done. It was just the beginning of our journey and of a life given by your caring hands.