written by Rebecca Julien, RN
We truly do care for your baby and want the best for them. We often take our work home with us, thinking about them on our days off or even calling the nurses who are working that day to check on them. To you, this may seem like it’s just our “job”, but it is so much more than that.
Your NICU stay is going to be a rollercoaster ride filled with ups and downs along with many emotions you didn’t even know you had. Some days will be harder than others but focus on the positives because I guarantee you they are there. Your baby can sense negative energy, just know we are always here for support.
Trust the process. Take it day by day and know everything we do is in the baby’s best interest. There is always a group of skilled medical professionals behind each and every decision in your baby’s plan of care. Giving your baby support and a hand (or finger) to hold is the best thing you can do for your baby.
Don’t focus on the monitors. One guaranteed way to drive yourself insane is focusing on all the numbers and every little noise it makes. Being educated and aware of the monitor and the meaning of the numbers is beneficial, but solely focusing on it alone is one of the worst things to do to yourself.
Don’t pretend to understand what the doctors or nurses are saying out of fear or embarrassment. The medical world is filled with abbreviations and long words that may be unfamiliar to most. Stay informed and speak up. We want you to understand and take part in your infant’s care.
Take care of yourself first. The best way to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself. Eat well, get some sleep, and spend time away from the NICU. Know there are always people to support you. Your NICU stay will be stressful and emotionally exhausting. There are many resources available to help deal with these emotions, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Graduation day is a celebration! There is no feeling like sending a NICU baby home with their family. It is a day filled with many emotions for all, as we have been there for the entire journey, hoping and praying alongside the family. We hope the families don’t forget us and hope we made a positive impact on their lives as much as their little miracle has impacted ours. We love receiving photos of our NICU graduates once they are home and are overjoyed when they come to visit the unit to show off how big and strong they are! It means a lot to us and reminds us how meaningful our job really is.