-Blog by: Kelly Howell
A parent's perspective on the 4th of July Costumes for NICU Babies event held on June 22, 2019
As a parent of a child that spent time in the NICU, this event felt special to me. How do you thank someone after you realize how much they have done for you and it’s been 2 years since you had your baby? I didn’t think about it when I was in the NICU, probably because it was such a whirlwind of emotion and sleep deprivation, but the nurses in that NICU unit were some of the most influential people in raising my child.
The nurses taught me so much in the four days that my son was there. They taught me that as a mother, no matter how tired I am, I am capable of so much more much than I think I am. One nurse saw that I was repeatedly having trouble breastfeeding and taught me the proper way in one 5 minute lesson. He latched, and it was happy camping for the rest of the time. Another nurse helped me get through my indecision about formula (as I wasn’t producing enough milk for a few days) and made me realize that no matter what I choose it will be the right decision for my child.
I can not forget all the other times they helped my son when I couldn’t be there. When he was sleeping inside that little crib (I think they call them infant warmers) with an IV attached to his arm. They attended to him when he cried. They held him when he was wailing and looked after him while I was recovering. Who knows what else they did, but I am so thankful they were there for him!
The NICU nurses did so much for me and my son in such a short amount of time, and I didn’t thank them. As my son got older, and I reflected on his birth, I knew was too late to go back and find those people to thank. So how could I help now and get the closure I needed? I volunteered with Count on Kids, making cookie jars for the nurses and doctors, and making super hero costumes for the babies. I felt so bad for not saying thank you, but it feels so good to know that my son and I can give back to those who helped us in some little way!