NICU moms have a lot of things in common. We generally didn't plan on being there, we had fear and guilt and a lot to learn, and we're so impressed by and grateful to the doctors and awesome nurses who care for our teeny babies. We're all different too, coming from every background you can imagine.
But there are two things that every NICU baby relies on, love and science. As a preemie mom who is also a scientist, I was so fascinated by the incredible advances the medical field has made in caring for these early arrivals. Equipment, techniques, procedures, research, all of these things allow smaller and smaller babies to have better chances and happy outcomes. It's strange to admit I enjoyed the scientific learning opportunities I had in the NICU that I wouldn't have had if my boy were full term, but I love to see the real life ways science helps people, and I'm proud that research my son participated in will give future babies hope.
Of course, none of this would work without competent and caring NICU staff, and we were so spoiled by our doctors and nurses that when they told us it was time to go, I honestly didn't want to leave. I never saw that coming!
If your baby ever needs the NICU, the love part will come easily, from you, your family, the NICU community, but if you have a moment, I hope you'll also appreciate the knowledge that comes from families before us allowing more of our little ones to graduate from the NICU.