Monday, February 18, 2013

A New Chapter- Back to the NICU

Hoping I can provide support for new families.

Social media has been such a blessing for me as we have navigated life after the NICU. It wasn't until we were home with Jayden that I sought out support from fellow NICU parents, perhaps because I had such a singular focus in the NICU: Do everything in your power to get Jayden healthy and strong enough to come home. But once we were home, I had a lot more time to think about everything. Jayden's health, his progress, my ability to care for a medically fragile baby. Papas was created as an platform to share our story. The connections we have made, and hopefully others have made through the community, have been immeasurable.

However, providing support on a personal, face to face level is something I have always held dearest. When we were in in the NICU we had a chance to meet a NICU parent and their graduate at a "Pizza Huddle" at our hospital. Needing to speak to someone who gets it, we had a chance to meet Aimee Sprik, (co-founder of the online support group Life After NICU (support group)) and after our first conversation I felt we could tackle being preemie parents.

We have been working for a while now to begin a program with our hospital for a volunteer program that gives us the opportunity to speak with parents in the NICU, at their bedside, where they feel most comfortable. There was a time I thought it would never happen, but more recently the program was approved! Two moms have already had the chance to go speak to parents, and tonight, for the first time, I will spend a couple of hours back in the NICU. Not for a tour or to drop off gifts, but as a volunteer for NICU parent support. I am equal parts humbled by the trust the hospital has put on our team, excited to try and make a serious local impact on NICU families, and nervous about managing my emotions. We have been waiting for this opportunity for almost a year, and to think I am hours from making the connections I hold most dear is hard to wrap my head around.

For obvious reasons there won't be much I can discuss about this program, but for what is shareable I will be sure to do a follow up post.

I can't believe today is here!

1 comment:

  1. That's fantastic! I doubt our hospital would approve something like that any time soon. They cracked down on visitation this past year - it's way more restricted now than when we were in situ.