When you are dealing with such heavy issues as premature birth, newborn medical conditions, infant loss and long-term healthcare needs for children… no matter how far removed from your NICU journey, or how adjusted you are in the situation, pain finds its way to the top.
It’s the pain that we use to empathize. Its the pain that we use to push us to make change.
But it can also be the pain that stands in our own way of remembering the most important thing…
Everyone’s journey is important.
Thank you for...
Taking longer with me, when I needed you to, despite the giant list of to-do’s you had swarming around you.
Answering my questions to the absolute best of your ability. Usually answering the same ones more than once.
Reminding me I was “mom”.
Being brave, so I could be too.
Using gentleness in everything, always.
Knowing when I needed a break, and demanding that I take one.
It is free to be kind to others. Smile and say hi to someone. Listen to someone. Do other random acts to pay it forward. These random acts can outweigh the negativity going on in our world. These acts can help someone who is lost or broken without you knowing because it was just the right thing to do. Who knows, if enough kindness happens, maybe the scary stuff will be muted or go away altogether. Lets give these amazing fighters a positive and kind world to grow up in.
I’m ready (I think). My sons, Geno and Ronan, are now 2 and half years old. In some ways it seems like forever ago, and in others, it all began yesterday. For quite some time, the trauma of our NICU journey had left me speechless. But if my tiny mighty fighters could brave 65 days in the NICU, I can certainly find the courage to put some of that into words. So here it goes. These are the things I needed hear. Or things I heard, but didn’t believe. These are the truths and lies of NICU motherhood:
If you are blessed to be a nurse, please know that what you do changes lives. What you do shines a light in the darkness for so many. On days you feel like giving up- someone needs you- and might just be speechless with gratitude.