This is a NICU parent.
So is this.
Here are a few thoughts I have on being a NICU parent:
- Spend every moment you can with your baby.
- Sleep when your body makes you sleep.
- Go home to sleep and end up crying for an hour about the little one you left at the hospital.
- You meet a stranger while washing your hands to see your baby. You don't make small talk. You ask, "How early was yours born?" or "What's your baby in for?"
- Ask the nurses every question you can think of. But really, you have no idea what's going on.
- Sleep in the waiting room (Yes, I've slept on that couch where the man in the first picture is sleeping).
- Sleep when you hold your baby (until the nurse comes in).
- Sleep when they close the NICU for 1 hr and a half.
- Sleep in the McDonald charity room while a family of 10 wait in there with you.
- Sleep when you wait for food to come at a restaurant.
- Put up with any sort of restrictions you get put on you, like this:
Yes, Phoenix is in isolation. We must mask, gown, and glove before we see her.
We can't go anywhere else in the NICU.
But there's really no complaint to be given.
Because this is worth it:
And because your baby is not the baby that was born at 23 weeks and is in the corner fighting for their life.
And your baby is not the baby that's been in the NICU for 5 weeks.
And your baby is not taking major step backwards, like suddenly developing a diaphragm problem the day they're supposed to go home.
And you don't have other kids at home that you have to divide your time between- your newborn and your other kiddos.
This is worth it.