My triplets were born at 28 weeks 1 day gestation and spent 67 days in the NICU before their simultaneous hospital release an impressive two weeks before their due date.
We had three phenomenal outcomes, but the grueling experience changed my core. I’ll never forget what we’ve overcome, and I continue to support NICU parents locally and globally.
If you or someone who know has a baby or babies in the NICU, help yourself to what I’ve gathered and shared.
NICU survival guide: I wrote this piece with just two days left in our NICU stay, but I didn’t know that at the time. “It’s an exhausting gig that spreads you thin in ways you never imagined. If you’re a NICU parent of multiples, just go ahead and assume you’ll feel like ketchup your grandma added water to just so she could use every last drop in the bottle.”
NICU survival guide 1.5: I took nearly two months to collect and organize this companion piece, less emotionally charged but much more concise. “I wish I could tell you we all survive, that we all find that elusive light at the end of the tunnel, but we all know that isn’t true.”
NICU gift guide: For family and friends of NICU parents, some suggestions to help you help them
- Depending on the season, offer to help around their yard – shovel snow, cut grass, weed a flower bed, rake some leaves, etc.
- Babysit their older children
- A greeting card of encouragement for parents to keep bedside
- A favorite children’s book for parents to read aloud bedside
- A blank notebook and pen or pencil for parents to take medical-care notes or journal about their baby’s early days
- Deliver a homecooked meal in a freezer-safe container
- Fill a grocery bag with quick, single-serving snacks, candy or gum
- Find a professional photographer or association that offers free NICU photo shoots
- Travel-size hand sanitizer
- A thick hand cream to combat frequent NICU hand washings like Aveda Hand Relief or Crabtree & Evelyn’s Ultra Moisturizing Hand Therapy (Auquafor, Eucerin and Corn Husker’s Lotion are less-expensive options)
- Gas card
- Grocery gift card
- Gift card for a restaurant close to the NICU
- Coffee-shop gift card