There are few things as upsetting as not being able to take your baby home from the hospital after birth, and there is nothing worse than watching your baby suffer through medical interventions in a hospital.
Today I had an experience that made me very emotional. It would not seem like a big deal to most, but it was to me. For (what seems like) the 100th time, I left a family party because one or more of the children at the party were sick.
The blessings and sadness of the NICU still remain, but lying beneath the mental and physical exhaustion is the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction that comes along with being a NICU nurse, and really there is no greater job than this.
For the millions of families who are living the reality of premature birth, awareness is only part of the picture. Having a preemie is a life-altering experience, one which no parent is completely prepared for.
I felt like a failure. I'd had two children; the first got cancer and now the second one was probably going to die because I couldn't hold up my end of the bargain. I'd brought our whole family back into the world of sickness and worry. The guilt was all-encompassing.