There are days that are absolutely awful in the NICU. Heart-wrenching days that make you want to crawl in a hole. But we celebrate the little moments, and that’s what redeems it all. Yesterday was one of those days.
I worked with Baby G. for two days in a row, parents were there all day loving on him. Mom was super friendly, dad never smiled – not once. He was one of those tall, muscular guys with lots of tattoos, and given his non-smiley-ness he was a bit intimidating. In the afternoon of the 2nd day mom was pumping and it was time to change Baby G.’s diaper. Here’s how the conversation went:
Dad, you ready to change this diaper?
–Nope. Too many wires and tubes.
Oh, sorry. I phrased that as a question. I’m not actually giving you a choice. You can do this, and I’ll help.
–Nope, not doing it. He’s too little.
(big smile) Oh, dad, I’m afraid people just don’t say no to me. Here ya go (hands diaper over)
Sure enough, dad changed the diaper. After he closed the diaper he looked up at me with pure wonder in his eyes. “You did it, dad.”
“I did, didn’t I?”
A simple moment, perhaps, but the feeling of accomplishment, of parenting, will last.