I have thought of a million blog posts to capture the NICU experience. Some are angry, some are funny, some are sad, and some are sweet, because a NICU parent feels a lot of things. But instead of writing a book, I will leave you with this, dear blog reader:
Love is tremendous – for your child, from your family, from your friends, from your church community, and from your God. And anything tremendous is powerful and amazing and awe-inspiring and scary all at the same time. Our family has been supported every minute of every day. Ridley has been visited by three pastors. My mother has cooked and cleaned for us. My friends and family who have had babies in the NICU have continually assured me that my “roller coaster” of emotions is normal. My friends who don’t know what to say still write and call and send cookies.
As we sit in the NICU and watch Ridley get poked and prodded and as we sit at home teary and frustrated talking about what Ridley would be doing if he were here, I have to remind myself that this is one of those character-building experiences. I have to remind myself of that every time I leave Ridley’s little crib and come home to a house without him. I am thankful for character-building experiences … it’s just hard to be in the middle of them.
There are plenty of babies that never come home with their families, and I need to be grateful that Ridley will.
Stay strong, young man! I want to be one of those parents carrying a car seat out of the hospital with a baby in it.