So you guys know that September is the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) awareness month right?
Yeah, I didn't know either.
Every month there is some disease or disorder that we should worry, promote, and be aware about...so after awhile all that awareness stuff gets tiring...
But this is the first time I've heard of an awareness month for a place, rather than a physical condition. What's up with that? How come we need an awareness month for a section of the hospital? We have an awareness month for breast cancer, not the cancer ward itself...so why the NICU? I'm pretty sure there is a preemie dedicated month, and one for every other condition that may have put the infant in the NICU in the first place, so why the preferential treatment?
After thinking about it for awhile, the only reason I could come up with for the need of this awareness of a place, is that the place itself has inherent issues that people (especially potential NICU parents) should be aware of. Not just parents, but those who may at some point have the opportunity and perhaps privilege, of supporting a parent of a NICU baby. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have done some research into NICU ethics and protocols over the summer. I have been trying to make sense of my own experience when Leo was born, and in some ways, this project was therapeutic for me. Stepping back from the purely emotional aspect, and reexamining the events from Leo's birth in a completely objective and scholarly way answered many lingering questions that have been rolling around in my brain for years. It took a twenty plus page research paper and a movie to really put it all in perspective for me.
So, I think understand why there is an awareness month for the NICU and so with that thought in mind, I have decided to share my paper here on Leo's Blog. As most research papers go, my paper is perhaps not what first comes to mind, but I can vouch for the information there as being accurate and true.
Awareness is less of a passive exercise, or a cathartic experience, but it is more like an education with a goal. And the goal is of course, to help, to support, and to understand, those who may be suffering. There is much suffering all around, and plenty of it can be found in the NICU.
So get comfy with a nice cup of tea, read my story, and perhaps by learning about the NICU, you too can help someone's suffering to be just a little bit better.
Let me know what you think!