Thursday, July 15, 2010

Family of Strangers

I find myself wondering about other babies in the NICU, how they're doing and hoping they're each okay. There are many moments where you can feel a great sense of urgency from the staff as they rush to help a baby in need. Even though you have no idea about what's going on you can see that it's scary and leave praying that this baby will be okay. It's feels as though you are part of a family even though most are strangers we all share a common bond.

There is a sweet, very tiny, baby in the bed where Natalie used to be. Yesterday, while holding Natalie, this baby's alarms start beeping and his nurse immediately asks another nurse to call RT (respiratory therapist) who does not answer his phone. Seconds later the RT comes running around the corner, and three doctors are soon at this sweet baby's bed along with two nurses all working very quickly, calmly and quietly together to bring this baby back to a stable condition. I hear one of them say grab the orange bag, look over thinking what's the orange bag, to find out it's labeled very boldly "Emergency". This sweetness quickly becomes stable and after several minutes of standing over him just to make sure he remains this way each of the nurses/doctors and RT continue on to get back to what they were doing. While there tonight, I look over again to find one doctor, three nurses and two RT's standing over this sweet baby. Not sure what was going on but I worry about this sweet baby. He weighs 1lbs. 11oz and has been there for a while, not sure what he weighed at birth.

Mike was there the other night with Natalie and the nurses were preparing three isolette bed's (what Natalie was first in) all next to each other because there is a mommy pregnant with triplets and having contractions, she is 26 week along. That was a couple of days ago and so far no babies in any of the beds, praise the Lord.

We have had the chance to meet other families that are going through this NICU experience and a lot of the families we have not met but we find ourselves hoping and praying that each of them are okay.

More commonly though we find ourselves celebrating how well so many of the babies are doing. While feeding Natalie one night we overheard one of the nurses saying that it was almost time for a very special moment. There is a sweet baby that was going to meet his big sister for the very first time. Each of the nurses wanted to share this moment with the family, you could hear their anticipation and excitement.

Hearing the discharge video being played to the parents of a baby that has been there for a while or walking up to the NICU with parents who are bringing in their car seat because they are bringing one of their babies home. Hearing about all of the different firsts that happen, seeing father's coming too and from the NICU bursting with excitement to see their babies, big sisters and brothers touching their new sibling for the first time after weeks of waiting, nurses jumping and celebrating with parents over precious milestones, random hospital staff members asking about how your baby is doing because they've somehow heard your story. Mommy's who are exhausted, carrying at least three bags hauling butt to hold their babies, having multiple nurses stop by to see how your baby is doing, stories being shared of struggles and praises. All of these moments are special and common... the NICU is the hardest experience we have ever gone through so far but it's also the best.

Here I am a parent of a baby in the NICU, imagine what the doctors, nurses and therapists are thinking about when they're away from work, not sure if this is the kind of job you can leave at work. It takes a special person to work in the NICU.


  1. This is beautiful Jenn...your positive attitude amazes me and inspires me!!!!!!!

  2. I agree with Donna. While I celebrate with the other parents who get to bring their babies home, I am still working on trying not to feel jealous that it is not me. I'm going to have to try to adopt your positive attitude more.