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What Being a NICU Parent Has Taught Me: Appreciate Life

I could barely catch a glimpse of an incubator with a tiny human inside before the doctors rushed my daughter to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where she spent the first 27 days of her life.

Most parents walk out of their child’s birth with their newborn in their arms. They get to go home to a welcoming and cozy nursery that they have anxiously been waiting for their little one to occupy. This is not the case for several preemie families or for me and my husband. During my daughter’s 27 days in the NICU, I learned more than I had learned in all my life. It was a truly wonderful, grieving, miraculous experience.

I learned to appreciate life. Most parents ponder on the miracle of life once they hold their newborn. For a preemie mom, miracle-pondering experience elevates to a whole new level. I wasn’t just seeing a new life, I was actually seeing my daughter being formed inside an incubator. It was the best experience watching my itty bitty girl go from a fragile porcelain doll to an actual newborn baby.

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