Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You know you're a NICU mom when. . .

It is the end of November already? Really? That's just crazy. I didn't get in as many posts as I wanted to, but it was the first time I have been able to find the words to write out Noah's story and that was very good for me.

I decided to forgo the preeclampsia post for the sake of moms and grandmas, but let's just say apparently I'm a drama queen. Severe preeclampsia occurs in less than 1% of pregnancies and almost always with contributing factors like preexisting high blood pressure or carrying multiples or something. Not me. I think it kind of drives my doctor crazy, because every time we go she asks, "are you sure no one in your family has had this before?"

This leads to my soapbox for pregnant women, which is to go to all your prenatal appointments, and if something feels wrong, GO TO THE DOCTOR. Even if someone else tells you it happened to them and was fine or this book says to do that and you'll be good to go. It is your body and if you think something feels off, then it probably is. If I hadn't of gone in when I did things could have turned out quite differently for me and Noah. (Even though I was no good at being pregnant, my doctor said I am a perfect patient. At least I got that part right.) Okay, soapbox speech over.

I have been working on the following list for a while, and it seems like a good way to end Prematurity Awareness Month. (It probably only makes sense if you've been through it, but I think I'm pretty clever. :) So here it goes.

You know you're a NICU mom when. . .
1. You have to answer the question "how old is your baby?" with two ages.
2. You honestly forget that you can go out in public with your baby.
3. You involuntarily cringe every time someone touches your baby.
4. You have the strong desire to wipe down anyone that comes near your baby with hand sanitizer.
5. When you hear the word "baby" the first picture that comes to your mind includes tubes, wires, and an isolette.
6. The guest service people at the hospital stop asking "how can we help you?" and instead ask "when are you leaving?"
7. You know your way around the hospital so well you direct people in the elevator.
8. "Kangaroo" is a verb and "feed" is a noun in your vocabulary.
9. You know what CPAP, NG, OG, PICC, UAC, UVC, CBC, and TPN mean and can use them in a sentence.
10. Diaper changes are now a breeze because they do not involve wires, alarms, or isolette hand holes.
11. Deep down you think that if it's not how the NICU does it, than it must be wrong. (I think this is why I cannot bring myself to use anything other than Pampers diapers and Ivory soap.)
12. NICU nurses=heroes
13. When you get new pictures of your baby, they go in the mail to grandparents, great-grandparents, and the NICU.
14. You randomly cry at the sight of your baby.
15. Being able to hold your baby whenever you want is one of life's biggest thrills.
16. You can put together and use a breast pump in the dark. (This is not an exaggeration; I did this while we lived at RMH.)
17. Your schedule was built around pumping for months.
18. You wait for a timer to go off when you wash your hands.
19. Your box of baby mementos includes a blood pressure cuff that fits around your finger, a pre-preemie size diaper, and a CPAP helmet.
20. Your baby has a longer medical history than you do.
21. You can think of more things to add to this list.

The official Prematurity Awareness Month is over, but remember:
Prematurity can happen to anyone.
Miracles happen.
We need to fight, because babies shouldn't have to.


  1. I am furiously nodding my head right now in agreement with your list. Thankfully I can now refer to my son as one age, but I have to convince people I am not lying when I say he's 2 and a half, then I have to tell them the "He was born early, 2 lbs...blah blah blah story!"

    I love my miracle and I know you do to! We still talk to Parker's primary nurse, I actually got her a christmas gift this year I can't wait to give her!

  2. Number 11 is a HUGE one for me! I have to tell myself many times a day "there is more than one right way to do things." Sometimes it's hard being so well-educated by some of the most qualified medical professionals in the country.