Neonatal Womb Warriors appreciates and honors the profound commitment and courage a NICU/Preterm birth infant father’s journey entails. THANK YOU!
WARRIORS: Today we celebrate Fathers. Each of us arrived into a world of unique and diverse family circumstances. Some of us are NICU graduates; while many experienced alternative pre-term birth care. We all have fathers or at least hopefully father figures in our lives. Unless we become NICU fathers, or make a concerted effort to gain the perspectives and stories of our fathers, it may be difficult to comprehend the challenges they faced as the parent of a premature infant. Too often their experiences are silenced and ignored.
An article from Preemie Babies 101 Hand to Hold Parent Blog article titled “An Interview With A NICU Dad”; provides a recent father’s response to a wife’s questions regarding a father’s preemie experience.
Content from the article below includes:
“ What is the greatest challenge for a NICU dad?
Dealing with the immense feeling of helplessness. I always felt it was my job to take care of my family and when something happens that is so out of your control, you just feel so powerless. And, then, when I had to go back to work two weeks after my son was born, it was extremely hard to only see him for a short time each day. I felt like I was missing out on so much! Plus, it’s impossible for co-workers and family to understand what you are going through, so there really is no one outside of the NICU that you can talk to about it.
What advice do you have for current NICU dads?
As scared or uncomfortable as you may feel right now, try to help take care of the baby any way you can or are allowed to. Some of the nurses were better at this than others, but asking me to change my son’s diapers and bottle feed him helped to make the whole experience feel more normal. Hang in there and don’t isolate yourself because that will only make you feel worse. Your baby and your baby’s mother need you to be there as much as you can be. Also, I learned so much about my son’s health, and premature babies in general, from the many conversations I had with the nurses and doctors in the NICU. What I learned from them helped me feel less anxious and more confident that my son was going to be fine.”
YOU MAY NEED TISSUES……
This you tube video shares the feelings and thoughts of a few preterm birth fathers, and may shine light upon this particular entrance into fatherhood.
Rex NICU Stories: Dad to Dad – Published on Mar 14, 2014
A Personal Thank you…..
Many preemie babies worldwide do not have a father to help care for them. Working as a volunteer in a local NICU I (Kat) witnessed an event in the life of a micro-preemie and the family that claimed her! Struggling daily to survive and thrive this little being was barely “keeping her head above water” until an amazing family came into her life! The effects of the couple’s loving visits were quickly noticed in the improvement of the baby’s vitals, and overtime, in the steady advancement in the baby’s overall health. Eventually, the baby left the NICU in the arms of the loving adoptive father and mother. The baby continued to grow and I have no doubt that the adoptive parent’s touch, attention, and deep love for the baby played a crucial part in the survival and vitality of the precious child.