We had no idea what NICU life meant, what that world entailed and what our life would look like after Grant was born.
Initially we were told that he would stay in the NICU until he was full term. That was 10 weeks from when he was born. We were obviously willing to do whatever we and he needed but at the same time, we wanted our boy home.
We were constantly shocked at how the NICU nurses and doctors made us feel like family, they were incredibly understanding, patient and so loving. They helped us quickly transform our life into that of NICU parents. The outside world quickly melted away, it kept going for sure, but our world was only revolving inside the walls of the NICU.
I quickly fell into a schedule of pumping, packing my bags for the NICU, traveling to the NICU for the day, pumping, snuggling/kangaroo care with Grant, pumping and feeding more and then heading back home. Mister would work a shorter day and fill in for me at the NICU in the evenings. We passed like ships in the night and treasured the weekends when we could be there as a family. We both crashed at night and would call the NICU before we fell asleep to check on Grant and get his daily vitals.
I will never forget a few weeks into Grant's stay and I walked in and he had clothes on! My baby, my little, little man who has never worn anything but a preemie diaper and wires had a onesie on! I literally could not believe nor could I imagine what effect seeing him with a tiny piece of cotton would have on me.
I was moved to tears from shock and excitement. I immediately sent Mister to Buy Buy Baby to find clothes for Grant. Sadly they had one very, very small section of preemie clothes. He was able to find a package of plain white shirts that snapped on the side. I was in disbelief that there were so few preemie options.
I then ventured to Target to see what they had. It was the same story but they had even less options. Now I was beginning to get upset. I fully understood that retailers sell many more 0-3 and newborn clothes than preemie but still felt it was unfair for there to only be a few options out there. Not to mention, most preemie families are very busy being at the NICU and sleeping when they aren't at the hospital. Therefore, this does not leave much time to search all over town for preemie clothes for your baby. This is disheartening when all you want to really do is dress your child to feel a little bit of normalcy in your life when your world has been turned upside down.