I don’t want to see green towels again.
That’s just one way the NICU life has changed me. I didn’t realize how much until my (brief) hospital stay with Axel in October for his G-tube. There they were: the warm, light green towels they use as blankets for babies. The dark green ones for sterile towels. The glow of the monitor casting a soft light. The quiet beeps and loud beeps from various machines. The big white crib with multicoloured paint flecks on it (why flecked I always asked myself?).
The NICU is a magical place. It can be scary at first but if you spend long enough there, it feels like home long before home does. It’s also magical in that once you leave, you never go back. You’ll never see it again, or walk the halls you’ll unintentionally have memorized for the rest of your life.
Your vocabulary will expand unintentionally, too. Desat, Brady, tachy (autocorrect wanted to change that to “yacht” LOL no, Siri ✋🏼), TPN, TFI, pulmonary hemorrhage, biventricular cardiac hypertrophy, thrombocytopenia, etc etc…
It’ll take a long time before you just reach out and grab your baby. It took months of them being stable before I did this without thinking, so used to navigating a web of wires or having to pick them up ever so gently. Now I just pick ‘em up. I don’t even think about it. But there was a time when everything regarding them was a calculated decision.
I’m grateful for the NICU. They saved my boys, made them as healthy as possible for coming back from the brink of death, and they taught me how to be a parent.
But I’ll still never use green towels again.