My Get Through The NICU Anthem

When Owen was in the NICU, U2 came to town.  They played a small venue for their standards.  The U of MN, Football Stadium, TCF field…there is not a bad seat in the venue.  I’m a big fan of U2.  My friend Janet, not as much, but she loves me and so we got last minute tickets.  Just after the concert started, the rain started falling.  It was a heavy whipping rain and we could see lightning in the distance, but it never got close enough that they had to shut down the show.


There was something magical about the night for me.  Owen had already been in the NICU for three months and there was no near-term discussions of going home.  I really needed that night to dance in the rain with one of my closest friends.

I love most of their music, but, there was one particular song that struck a cord and from that moment it became my anthem.

Amy Winehouse had just died and so Bono and The Edge sang a soulful accoustic version of Stuck in a Moment dedicated to her.  The song had been written by the duo in memory of Michael Hutchins.  They say it is a love song, but a bit of any angry love song as Bono describes in this Late Night with David Lettermen Clip.  It was written with drug abuse in mind, but really, it’s for anyone who is stuck.  Anyone who is stuck in a place and not making the choice to keep moving forward.  I didn’t have a drug problem, but I was stuck by the weight of the burden I was carrying.

To me, Stuck in a Moment is about hope and a friend letting you know they believe in you.  I had, and still have, friends and strangers letting me know that they believed in me, but it wasn’t until hearing it in a song, that I really heard the words.

On the rough days in the NICU, I often had this song on repeat in my ear buds.

I never thought you were a fool
But darling, look at you. Ooh.
You gotta stand up straight, carry your own weight
‘Cause tears are going nowhere baby

You’ve got to get yourself together


You’ve got stuck in a moment
And now you can’t get out of it
Don’t say that later will be better
Now you’re stuck in a moment
And you can’t get out of it

I’ll admit, yesterday was one of those days for me.  I was feeling sorry for myself with the snow coming down as some sort of April fools joke on May Day.  It was one of those days where I seriously felt like I needed to give up the idea that I could do this stay at home mom thing and go back to work.  My day started with a whiny 4 year old, Kyle and I were snipping at each other and even Owen was crabby.  We went to the GI doctor (I’ll update on Tuesday) and I wasn’t prepared the way I like to be.  I got what I wanted, but it was harder than it needed to be.  I wanted some comfort food so I attempted to make Beef Stroganoff, It wasn’t as good as my mom’s and I was disappointed.  I let Kellen pick out a small cake for dinner, because I wanted some cheer.  The cake was good.  Really…the day wasn’t that bad.  But I was stuck in a moment.  Kyle went to bed with the boys and it took everything I had to not sit down and cry.  Instead I went to Target until they closed and then came home and put this song on repeat.

You’ve got to get yourself together
You’ve got stuck in a moment
And you can’t get out of it
Don’t say that later will be better
Now you’re stuck in a moment
And you can’t get out of it

And if the night runs over
And if the day won’t last
And if your way should falter
Along this stony pass

It’s just a moment
This time will pass

And it did.

This morning we woke up to upper 30’s and no snow.  50 miles away, they have 15 inches.  It stinks to be them, but since we were expecting a blizzard.  Upper 30’s in early May felt like a gift.  Kellen was happy as could be.  Owen’s been making me laugh all morning.  I took a shower.  I shaved my legs!!!  And then he he fell asleep in my arms.


Yesterday, I was stuck in a moment.  Today it has passed.

What songs helped you get through the NICU and the time after?

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

21 thoughts on “My Get Through The NICU Anthem

  1. Love this. I am a U2 superfan! I’ve seen them many times (pretty sure we saw them the same year Owen was in the NICU. We were in Seattle while Jack was in his intensive tube wean and saw them). I can’t say I have a favorite song, but certain artists are my go-to when I need music to fit my mood.

    • If we don’t meet before, I think the next time U2 goes on tour, we need to meet in a fabulous destination and see them!

  2. This was my go to song… It seemed like it was always playing on my way home from the NICU or just when i really needed to hear it.

  3. We went to the U2 concert in the meadowlands that year too. It is one of my last memories as an oblivious, happy, pregnant woman. Someone offered us free tickets that day and while the logistics were a bit crazy, I told my husband that “we had to go; soon we wouldn’t be able to do these things on a whim.”

    Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” was my NICU song, not because of its meaning but because it always seemed to be on at critical or memorable times.

    • Alyssa, Yes, Adele was on all the time that summer, wasn’t she! I love that you have a great memory…and free U2 Tickets in your last days of pregnancy.

  4. Target therapy.. love it! ..and I didn’t know they ever closed. “Things are always better in the morning” .. (not a song, just a refrain often chirped by my mother.) Glad you had a better morning. No snow here either… but there was deep snow 15 miles away.. crazy.

  5. I listened to Mumford and Sons super loud almost every day that summer on my way to the hospital from work….now, anytime I hear a song from that CD (especially if I’m headed north on 35W from Burnsville) I am reminded that I can deal with the crap days!

  6. My song was “I Get to be the One” by JJ Heller. I heard it for the first time in the first days of my daughter’s NICU stay and it soon became a permanent fixture in our house. Sometimes it was the only thing to calm my heart on the nights that were hardest being away from her. Then and even now my 2 yr old knows how to find it on my phone and play it. She excitedly refers to it as “our song” and insists we dance to it. Little does she know the special meaning between the song and her baby sister, but I love that she always seems to play it on days that I could use a boost. (It’s definitely a sappy song, but helped me focus that her time in NICU wouldn’t last forever and there would come a day where I would finally be the one providing all she needed, not her drs and nurses)

  7. We didn’t have a NICU song unless you count the irregular pings and alarms of all the devices in the room. After reading your post it makes me wish we did have a song. Our little preemie is 5 now and will be heading to Kindergarten in the fall.

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