Dear NICU Parent,
To begin, we would like to say congratulations on the birth of your precious baby! We know that the NICU is not a place you ever thought you would be. We know there are so many emotions that you are having right now, including fear, anger, anxiety, sadness, and, as confusing as it may be, maybe even happiness. We know this because we have been there too. We are NICU parents. We have had to watch our precious little babies go through so much and fight so hard in the NICU. Even though our journeys may be different, we have so many things in common. In time, you will know what it means to you to be a NICU parent, but for now, here is what we can tell you about having a baby in the NICU.
During your time in the NICU, you are going to hear about all the challenges your little one could face. You will experience milestones and setbacks. Celebrate the milestones, no matter how small. Mourn the setbacks. It is okay to feel bad. That is when you rely on your support to help you pick yourself up and move on, no matter how large the mountain ahead. There will likely be many tears and heartbreak, but through it all, you will also have joy. Please do not forget to focus on that joy when you have those moments. Try not to be so worried and stressed about what the future holds that you forget to cherish the moments you have right now. Find ways to live in the moments. Look for love over fear, and let it be your strength. Your baby, so tiny and fragile, will show you just how strong a person can be. The NICU may seem like a rough place at first, full of struggle, but we promise that it is so much more. It can teach you how beautiful and precious life truly is.
The NICU teaches you patience and strength, while showing you just how much people really care about you and your baby. We hope this letter can help ease some of the stress and anxiety you may be feeling and let you know that you are not alone. Finally, please do not be afraid to ask for help. We all need it from time to time.
Sincerely, Former NICU Parents
Neontal Services Family Advisory Council