• Stories

    Kangaroo Care, get in there Dads!

    As National Kangaroo Care Week has come to an end, I wanted to share my experiences with kangaroo care and some advice for NICU dads. Kangaroo care is incredible! I remember when our nurses explained to us that when our baby was removed from the heated isolette and placed on my wife’s chest, skin to skin contact was going to regulate our baby’s body temperature, and it did! Our baby was hooked up to monitors and was having her temperature checked constantly, and here when she had that skin to skin contact, everything was perfect. All of her levels were stable and her temperature was just right. It was unbelievable.…

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    How to Survive the First 72 Hours of NICU…as a NICU Dad

    A while back I was asked to host a NICU Dads Group at our local Children’s Hospital’s NICU. I thought it was a great idea and immediately jumped online to start researching some topics or just get some information that I could share with some fellow NICU Dads. I looked and looked, and found nothing. Well, maybe nothing is a slight exaggeration. All I found was an article here and there in sites that were for NICU moms. There was nothing out there for NICU Dads. Then I came across Rad White and The NICU Beard Club. Rad had also written a book for NICU Dads, Enter The NICU. I was…

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    Ronald McDonald House Charities

     On June 10, 2013 my wife and I both went to work on what seemed like a normal Monday morning. She was 27 weeks pregnant. It was the first day of summer vacation for our oldest daughter, who had just turned 9 the week before. Everything was fine, until my wife called around 9 a.m., hysterical. Her water broke, and an ambulance was on its way to take her to the hospital. I was almost 45 minutes away, but made it to the hospital in about 15 minutes. Our world was turned upside down. We were informed that the baby was breach and we would have to have an…

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    We love our Neonatal Nurses!

    There is a special bond between neonatal nurses and families with babies in the NICU. If I were to explain this to new NICU dads I would start by telling them about our experience and sharing how NICU nurses become more than just caretakers of your baby. They were one of our main support groups during our NICU stay. There were so many intimate moments that were shared with our NICU nurses, some good and some bad. From the very first day that I walked into the NICU and saw our tiny baby in her iscolet, with all those tubes, I cried. It was one of our NICU nurses who…

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    Going back to work after the NICU

    I recently came across a post on social media, where a mother shared her plan about returning to work after coming home from the NICU and asked for advice on what other NICU parents did. The thread that followed completely blew my mind! I couldn’t believe how many parents responded and how similar their stories were to ours. Having a baby in the NICU is life changing, and more often, bringing a baby home from the NICU is also life changing. Some parents bring home babies from the NICU who still require a lot of care. They have to make some serious decisions about who is going to care for…

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    What about NICU Grandparents?

    I never really gave it much thought, and it makes me feel horrible to say, but I never really took into consideration what our parents went through when we were in the NICU. What must they have been feeling? How were they coping with everything that was going on? What did they think was happening or going to happen? It took me five years to finally think about my parents, our daughter’s grandparents, and what they went through during our NICU stay. It was not just us who were effected by our NICU experience, grandparents go through it as well. They go through separate NICU experiences both with having a grandchild…

  • Stories

    Happy Parents of Preemies Day!

    On this Parents of Preemies Day I took a moment to reflect on what being a parent of a preemie really is to me. What does it mean to be a parent of a preemie? We have two daughters, both of which were preemies. Our oldest was born at 30 weeks and weighed 3 lbs. 6 ounces. Our youngest was born at 27 weeks and weighed 2 lbs. 5 ounces. Having two daughters who were preemies, the biggest thing I have come to understand is that when it comes to preemies, the words fight or fighter will never describe a person or situation better. From day one of that preemie…

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  • Stories

    Things don’t end in the NICU…

    My daughter was a ROCKSTAR while in the NICU. She exceeded all expectations and was even released before our original due date. After she came home, it was an onslaught of doctors visits. We were going to our pediatrician for regular newborn check-ups, but were also seeing other doctors to monitor her progress. She was getting evaluated quite often. At first everything was great. She would pass her evaluations with flying colors! Little did I realize it was because she was still being evaluated for her gestational age and not her adjusted age. Finally, when she was old enough, they were able to tell that she was delayed in some…

  • Stories

    My NICU Journey…67 Days in the NICU

    My NICU journey began the same way that it does for most NICU dads. My wife was in the hospital, recovering from a C-section; my new baby was in the NICU, after being born at 27 weeks; our oldest daughter was at my parents house with our dog, trying to enjoy her first week of summer break. Now began what I like to call “The NICU Dad Shuffle”. Where do I go? Who do I spend time with first? Who needs me the most? How long can I go without sleep? Or a shower? These were all questions that would become my daily routine. My wife was in the hospital…

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    10 things I wish I would have known as a new NICU Dad…

    I knew people who had children in NICUs, but I never really understood what that really meant. I knew that babies that needed surgery or babies who were not doing too well, were in NICUs. What I never really thought about was the NICU experience, especially for a NICU dad. Now having gone through our own 67 day NICU stay, there are several things I wish I had known about being a NICU dad. I can only speak from my experience, but I’m sure I’m not alone. There are some things that I wish I had known or at least been able to prepare for as a NICU dad. I…

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