A friend sent me an adorable song called NICU at Nite by Hugh Blumenfeld, and I cried all the way through it. It sums up the experience perfectly:
Up in maternity the mamas all coo
watch their babies grow fatter and gurgle but a few
are in the neonatal unit where the babies go beep beep beep
If you don’t already know my story, I delivered my identical twin girls at 31 weeks after 2 weeks of bedrest with severe preeclampsia. (You can read my very badly written posts about it starting here and working backwards if you like. It’s painfully obvious WHY no one was reading my blog back then.) They lived in the NICU for 38 days, only giving us one little scare, then continuing to be perfectly boring for the rest of their stay. We were lucky, and we still are. At 4 and a half, you would never know the early struggles they faced.
The NICU is an emotional roller coaster for many parents. It was a way for life for us for 5 weeks. We struggled, we adjusted, we grew. We came home with two healthy babies — we were lucky, and we still are. Now perfectly normal 4 and a half year olds, you would never know the scary start they had at life.
Today, November 17, is World Prematurity Awareness Day. The work of the March of Dimes is unparalleled in not only supporting those in the NICU, but in raising awareness, funds, and conducting research on premature birth and birth defects so that all woman can have a healthy pregnancy and all babies have a chance.
May they all grow happy and healthy and strong
May we never know the difference before too long
So thank you, March of Dimes. Thank you to all of the nurses and doctors who care for our tiny babies in the NICU. Thank you for those who have supported us all through the years. And even though this song is lively, upbeat, and fun, please take this day to not only be grateful for all of the healthy preemies out there, but also to remember those who didn’t get to come home, those whose beautiful little lives ended too soon.
For more information about the March of Dimes and how you can help give more babies a chance, visit their website.
Also, if you’d like to hear more about my personal experience being a NICU mom, you can watch my Listen to Your Mother essay.
And thank you.