I Remember From The NICU

I remember from the NICU:

…the first time I changed your diaper. You were a little more than a week old. Up until then, the nurses had been performing your hands on care as I intently watched. That day, the nurse who was taking care of you unexpectedly asked, “Mom, would you like to change her diaper?” I was panic stricken. Was she crazy? I had never changed NICU Diaper Changea baby’s diaper before. Now, I was expected to learn on a tiny baby with so many tubes and wires? Despite my apprehension, I agreed. There was some fumbling as I learned to change the tiny diaper and maneuver around the tubes and wires. But, it felt wonderful to be able to care for you.

…the first time I held you. I had been told you love the sound of my voice and tried to sing. The realization that I did not know any children’s songs or lullabies did not stop me. I had to resort to the music I knew. While NICU by Phish would have been the obvious choice, One Day by Matisyahu was in my head that morning. I substituted a word and sang “Sometimes I lay under the moon and thank god you’re breathing…”

…the first time you opened your eyes. We were starting to get settled into our new routine. Your dad had arrived from work minutes before the hands on care for that evening. He spoke to you as he changed your diaper and you responded by opening your eyes. We were both mesmerized by the marvel. It was heartbreaking to say good night and leave your side that evening.

11 CPAP Off…the day you no longer needed CPAP. No one had informed us that day was going to be the day. The last we had heard is that you had another week or so until they were going to try to remove it. After scrubbing up, I marched up to your isolette to wish you a good morning. I threw back the blanket that was draped over the top and peeked in. Surprised, I jumped back and muttered, “They moved the babies again.” I looked around to find you. The name on the wall indicated that was your spot but this baby was on a nasal cannula. The confusion was ended when your dad whispered, “I think she got her CPAP off today.” It was the first time we saw your face.

the day you came home. I remember walking into the NICU for the last time. I remember howgoing home the doctors, nurses, and therapists greeted us with knowing smiles. I remember fearing they would change their minds and you would have to stay. I remember that I wanted to laugh, cry, hyperventilate, and be sick all at the same time. I remember your dad placing you in your infant carrier. I remember pushing the button to open those heavy doors for the very last time and walking out together.

About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

4 responses to “I Remember From The NICU

  • Sally JPA

    This post made me cry.


  • Jax Mully

    Beautiful post. I sang One Day to Jax, too!


  • M. I.

    ahhh, this made me relive moments from when my baby was in the NICU…. I remember how awesome it would feel to arrive to the hospital and see that yet another tube or IV had been removed. It was so exciting. Also, when he would gain weight and graduated to an open crib, to finally being able to leave. I remember that the day he was to leave the NICU the doctor crushed my heart by stating that it was going to be until the following day. I quickly objected letting him know that the nurses had said it was that day. He asked if we had fed our baby with the bottle etc, and we quickly said yes…. we were able to take our little man home after all.


  • GingerB

    Loved this post! The details brought back so many emotions for me… Gah! Those heavy doors I would hit crying! And when I changed a diaper and saw my daughter had no bum crack… I sang all kinds of wacky songs.


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