What it’s like to be a NICU parent

Being a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) parent is like being part of a secret club — except this club is one you probably never, ever wanted join.

When people hear of the NICU, they often think of premature babies (also known as “premies”) — little ones that were born too early. In medicine, this usually refers to those born before 37 weeks of gestation. However, the range of conditions that land babies in the NICU varies widely. My son, for example, was born at term, but suffered a few complications during delivery. I didn’t see all of the babies on the floor, but…