September is that time of year where it could be any season. Leftover sunshine from summer, blustery winds in preparation for Autumn, cold mornings looking for Winter, or soft days requiring cardigans like Spring.
But when you’re in Intensive Care the seasons don’t matter. Often, you don’t notice if it’s light or dark. Thankfully that wasn’t the case in our experience – the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Oxford was a relatively new extensions with panels allowing natural light to come in. It felt light, fresh, welcoming, in an otherwise unnatural environment.
September is NICU Awareness Month. A time to reflect on the journeys undertaken by little people new to this world and their families. Some had long paths to follow, others had short, none of them simple. It’s a time to be thankful for the lifeline of NICU – the NHS and it’s staff. The nurses, doctors, consultants, cleaners, support staff, every single person who makes that place function.
So please, spare a thought now for those families still on that journey. For those parents who don’t know what the future looks like right now, or when they’ll be able to take their baby home. They take each day as it comes, cautiously. Spare a thought for the staff, working 12 hour shifts without a second thought – knowing there are babies who depend on them to survive.
If you follow our story on Instagram, you’ll have seen a series of photos I’ve posted to encourage others to think for a moment. Photos of our NICU experience, some of which I haven’t shared before. Follow the hashtag #NICUawarenessmonth on your chosen social media channels to explore the journeys of other families who’ve all had their strength tested, but are standing up with pride for their baby.