A few weeks ago I read on someone's blog about a "NICU Reunion."
My immediate thought was "Yikes, how morbid! Who would go to a NICU Reunion?" and my next thought, which came so quickly afterward that it was almost simultaneous was "I WANT TO GO TO MY NICU REUNION!"
Having my children in the NICU was the most stressful and difficult time of my life. I had just gone from being HUGELY pregnant to having two children.
They were underweight, couldn't eat, slept all day, and were perfect and beautiful and I never wanted to be away from them. I felt the need to physically protect them at all times. (Celia said it best when she said "When I had my daughter I became a mother. When I had my twins, I became a Mama Bear.")
You DO NOT MESS with a Mama Bear of fragile twins. She will rip your head off (seriously, folks) before she lets you breathe your germs all over her babies.
But sometimes Mama Bears have to sleep, or eat, or just leave the hospital for fresh air and that is the most stressful time of all, because you have to trust the care of your children to someone else.
If you read my blog back then, you may recall that I did not do well leaving my children at the hospital without me.
But I also came to really love the nurses and doctors that looked after my children.
They knew my children, they loved them. They were their family when I was not there. And I had to trust my children with them, or else I would die of exhaustion and starvation.
Also, all of them saw my breasts (And some even grabbed hold of them when they were teaching me to nurse twins) and if that's not friendship, I don't know what is.
And we don't hang out at the hospital anymore. Nor do the NICU nurses ever come see us, because really - they're not our friends in real life. They're just our life-line in hospital-life.
But every milestone that the boys have hit, I've had this desire to call the NICU (I have the number in my phone still) and ask for our favorite nurses or doctors and say "Hi, this is Becky Pitcher. Remember my twins, Grey and Micah? Just wanted to tell you that they learned to sit up this week! They're doing so well. They've been so healthy and strong since we left you."
But again, that's weird.
And the nurses are busy taking care of other babies.
And I'm pretty sure that they wouldn't actually remember me.
But they might remember my children if I brought them a picture of them as newborns....
Turns out the hospital my boys were born at did have a NICU reunion, but it happened the week that I was in Montana with my parents. So we missed it.
I feel sad about it.
But we got a calendar with pictures of the nurses on it (actually, we got two since we had two babies at the hospital) And I love it.
Is that weird, too? It's nice to see the faces of people who took care of my kids in the wee hours of the night. Anyway...
For those of you with babies who had NICU or hospital stays, how do you feel about your nurses or doctors? Do you ever see them, or wish that you could?
If any of you are nurses, I'd love insight from your side too!
Send the NICU a Christmas card with your beautiful family picture. The nurses will all love it. I have seen family pictures hanging at the doctors lots of times. It's a normal thing to do and I know you love to be normal. haha
For me the topic of NICU reunion is hard since I had a baby not "graduate." But his nurses were incredible, cried with us, mourned with us, and even came to his funeral. So from my perspective I really hate the term NICU reunion because what about all the people who don't have their babies to bring.
While my baby was never in the NICU, I do miss my OB like she was my best friend. I have even found her on facebook, but refuse to be one of those creepy stalker patients. However, that doesn't stop me from picturing being BFF's with her.... ;)
I am actually a NICU nurse (and mama bear to twin boys), and I LOVE when we get pictures or visits from previous patients! When some of our babies our super uber sick, they often go home and I don't know whether they grow up to be completely healthy and normal or if they have developmental delays and/or cerebral palsy. All I do is send them off, healthy enough to not be in the NICU any more, but not knowing what their development will be like. So whenever we do receive a card with a picture of children who we took care of, and get report that they live perfectly healthy and developmentally appropriate lives, it makes me super happy!!
Hi! I love your blog and have been following you for a long time! I'm also a NICU nurse! The NICU reunion we have every year is amazing for us nurses because it gives us those connections to you guys to actually see those babies sitting up, walking, talking and it makes all our long days and nights worth it! it shows us that we do make a difference, that you are grateful for all of our work and that life does go on! check out my photography of our little grad picnic this past summer! you'll love it! http://eebphotography.blogspot.com/2011/08/celebrating-our-little-grads-every-year.html
xo, keep blogging!
I haven't had babies in the NICU but I, myself, have spent some time in the hospital. The doctors and nurses that cared for me are so precious in my life (then and now). Just today I'm baking them bread to bring them as a token of my appreciation (and it IS Christmas time, after all).
A few months ago (as I was going through some cancer treatments) someone bad mouthed doctors in general. I was livid. How dare they! Doctors were, literally, in that moment saving my life and someone wanted to talk bad about them?! Needless to say this lady and I are no longer FB friends since I might have lashed out in the comment section of her FB status ;).
Anyway, I'm grateful for doctors and for this post because it's shown me that there are wonderful doctors and nurses all around the US.
Hi, I've been following you for awhile :) I'm a mama bear to twin girls with a good stay in the NICU. I went to our NICU reunion... there was good and bad. Like you, we had some ups and downs. But I'd definitely send them a holiday card with a pic of your beautiful family.
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