The NICU gives you an education not only in parenting but also in general medical issues as well. I learned this during both of my parents’ hospital stays in recent weeks. It was totally bizarre to hear the word “bradycardia” from a doctor and even more strange to realize that I knew what it meant and was able to explain it to my confused family member. The doctor even gave me a puzzled look and I explained simply, “My daughter was in the NICU and had bradycardia episodes.” Since when did I become a medical professional? Never. But I am now an informed consumer of healthcare and that is as good as gold.
Having a baby in the NICU gives preemie parents more of an education than one would at first imagine. Preemies have so many immature organs that they suffer from a variety of issues as they struggle to survive and thrive. Because of this parents get a huge amount of knowledge that they would otherwise not have a clue about in a full-term baby scenario.
Having such an understanding of medical matters, though in laymen’s terms for sure, is a gift. I know that in my own circumstances it helps me to take control of the medical conversations on behalf of my family members and myself with confidence and to know how to ask questions about conditions and more.