You know you’ve spent too much time in the NICU when…

This one is for the preemie parents

You know you’ve spent too much time in the NICU when…

  • In your head, you can get really close when converting grams to pounds.
  • You see a four pound (~1.8 Kilos) baby and think it looks nice sized.
  • You see an eight pound (~3.6 kilos) baby and think it must be 6 months old.
  • You can tell how sick a baby is just by their placement in the nursery.
  • You silence your baby’s alarm and the nursing staff doesn’t mind / is appreciative for the help.
  • You have pumped while having a conversation with a doctor and don’t think it’s all that weird.
  • You know what each of these acronyms mean and they flow off your tongue like it’s normal language:  CBG, CPAP, CRP, IUGR, IVH, NEC, NG, NNP, NPO,  OG, PVL, PDA, PICC, PEEP, ROP, RT, TPN.
  • You know who is going to be working before you arrive at the hospital because you’ve figured out the nurses schedules.
  • The staff feels like friends you’ve known forever.
  • You would rather you, than staff, hold your baby down for procedures.
  • You request specific nurses for blood draws and IV insertions.
  • You have a panic attack if you can’t find your phone.
  • You heart stops every time you hear the phone ring.
  • You stop breathing when you see it’s the hospital that is calling.
  • You immediately know the seriousness of the call based on who’s making it (Nurse, Resident, Attending)
  • When your baby stops breathing for a couple of seconds you calmly rub their back and don’t think it’s that big of a deal
  • The “bing, bing, bing” reminding you that your car keys are in the ignition causes your hand to reflexively find a monitor to silence.

What do you have to add?

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

17 thoughts on “You know you’ve spent too much time in the NICU when…

  1. This one made me laugh today!!!! I would also put when have dreams that incorporate the beeping of monitors into them. We had a full term, 9lb baby with us for a long time and we always called her the giant baby. Poor girl was normal and we were used to a 1lb 5oz baby.

  2. When the cafeteria employees greet you and know what you prefer to eat. And you know what all the codes stand for and your heart stops if you hear of one in the NICU!

    • Julie, you know more than anyone what too long in the NICU is like. I almost added one for you, but decided not to include it since I’m not sure if they did it with Owen or not….you know you’ve spent too much time in the NICU when they announce your leaving over the PA.

  3. This made me laugh and cry. I can totally relate…especially about the sheer panic of not having your phone within reach and pumping while getting an update from the doc. (So glad I wasn’t the only one).

    You know you’ve been in the NICU too long when you start sighing in relief when the doctor tell you your kid needs another blood transfusion (for you know it could have been worse).

  4. **When a nurse is asking another nurse a non-medical question (NICU procedure) and you can answer it for them. Nurse was wondering why new milk labels were sent up with out her having to ask, I said anytime a feeding order is changed they send up more labels. She’ve been in the NICU too long 🙂

    **When you don’t need to show the desk identification to come into the NICU

    Loved this post thanks so much for sharing!!!
    Mom of 2 preemies—-32 weeker and a 23 weeker

    • Great adds! Our hospital was getting a new computer system when we were there and I frequently gave the casual hour nurses instructions on it. Lol.

  5. When you know how to work all the functions his monitors and the newer or travaling nurses are asking “you” how to do this or that.

  6. When you are the one the new NICU parents turn to to ask questions about what to expect, which nurses are the best, and other tips about the NICU and hospital you learn only from being there for so long!

  7. When you begin to diagnose the new babies ailments (in your head), AND know what their course of treatment will be. And when you know what the specials are in the cafeteria a week ahead of time.

  8. I can totally relate.
    The sounds of the alarms in ur dreams & how were encouraged to silence them or how u casually replied yea shes/hes pink

    . I remember new parents looking at us bemused by how hands on we were or little things like changing the hand towel dispenser.

    Yea & agree with how blood transfusions ended up feeling like normal procedure after having 8 in total compared to how freaked out we were when told of having numbers 1 ( always scary tho)

    & how we didn’t have to id ourselves

  9. Yes the heart stopping phone calls from the hospital…scared to answer. One time it was bad we had NEC. another time it was good…we had our first bath and liked it… ill never forget the alarms…the fear of will she be alive tommorow…. the NICU exsperience has definitely changed me… forever… love my preemie… gr8 blog…

  10. When you have to pay extra special attention to where you are going if your route involves the same one to the NICU because if you get lost in thought your car will automatically wind up there.

  11. We weren’t in the NICU “too long,” though I think even one day is too much. But because I have a medical background, the nurses were constantly accusing me of being a “professional NICU mom” and joking that I would try to take their jobs.

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