September 17, 2019

The Boy Who Lived

Posted in: NICU Awareness

Being a mom (or dad) is the hardest job on earth. That’s because it’s the most important. Add to that being a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) mom or dad & everything just became as the name suggests, intense. If you’ve been told your child might need weeks or months to grow or heal, I’m sorry that your world has been rocked to its core. As a NICU nurse, I see the struggles parents face every day: the emotional roller coaster ride, waiting for results, the distress of heading home to sleep when your infant stays in the hospital. Sometimes going a week or more without holding your sweet baby in your arms. You ache.

Mom reading to baby in isolette
(Photo credit: Overy Family)

Even if your baby’s eyes haven’t opened, you can let her know you’re there. The first senses to develop are sound & smell. That’s how he can recognize mom & dad are present every day! And he doesn’t care about the smell of my gloves. 😂 Trust me, your child knows who you are & that you’re there. If you’re child was just been born or if you want more bonding time with her, whether she’s too little to hold often or she’s old enough to have that wonderful quiet alert state, start reading to her!

NICU parents reading to babies in their arms
(Photo credit: Good Morning America)

Like I recommend in the Fab 4 Gifts for NICU Moms, start a small collection of books to read to your child in the NICU so she can recognize your voice & get in that deep sleep that promotes brain growth (if she’s really young) or be entertained when she’s at an older gestational age. Include some baby books, but you’re going to go through those pretty quickly if you’re there for several weeks. You should read something that might distract you from all the alarms & anxiety. Here are 4 fabulous reasons why I think “Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J. K. Rowling is the perfect addition to your NICU Library.

Hardcover of Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone

Caty’s Fab 4 for Harry Potter in the NICU

1.) Move forward & triumph

A longer book can give you a sense of purpose & sometimes when baby makes 1 step forward and 2 steps back; it’s nice to be able to move forward.

You’ll read as Harry, Ron & Hermione undergo coming-of-age challenges that prove their skill & readiness. Much like our NICU premies must overcome several hurdles like getting over the need for IV nutrition, respiratory support, the incubator & later the feeding tube. Premies (& other NICU babies) prove their strengths & graduate from the NICU to go home. While Harry ends the book returning home for the summer, he still has 6 more years of school, poor thing. 😂

2.) Believe in Magic!

Oh not, spells & witchcraft that’s fantasy, but believe in children coming together & facing extraordinary odds & defying them! I’m blessed to work in a job we’re I see miracles all the time. Your child is extraordinary so tell him about another extraordinary boy who “never fought alone you see, and I never will” (Harry Potter & the Cursed Child but the theme still applies). And if you’ve ever felt a new baby, let alone a micropremie grasp your finger can you tell me you don’t believe this world has its own brand of magic?

Premature baby in an isolette holding on to an adult's finger, the Boy Who Lived

3.) Don’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover

Appearances can be deceiving is a central theme to Harry Potter. Harry, who unbeknownst to him is wildly popular, gains 3 close friends in the first book who have characteristics that could placed them in the “unpopular” camp. And while Harry overlooks these unflattering-to-others traits in their case (after some stumbles with one friend), he’s rather clueless about appearances when it comes to who’s behind the strange & dangerous things happening at Hogwarts. Harry Potter life lesson: Heroes can be found in unexpected places. Even in Especially in the NICU. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. #premiepower #tinybutmighty

Premie with a nasal cannula wearing a superman cape

4.) Love Is the Strongest Magic We Possess

We’ve arrived at the most important reason why Harry Potter should be part of your NICU library. Harry Potter would never have become “the Boy Who Lived” without one very important piece of the story: his mother standing over his crib, protecting him from the greatest harm on earth.

GIF of Lily Potter protecting Harry over crib, the Boy Who Lived

LOVE is a central theme to the Sorcerer’s Stone & the rest of the series. Self-giving, life-giving love. Love is the strongest magic we possess. Don’t feel powerless, mama. Pick up your copy of Harry Potter & read to your baby. Feel powerful!

For without his mother’s love Harry would not have left that crib. He would not have received his letter from Hogwarts or arrived at Platform 9 ¾. He would never have met Ron & Hermione. He would never had… well, you’ll just have to read the book now, won’t you? 😉

Hogwarts castle at night

Every good story needs a beginning.

A family stands quietly over a NICU bed, protecting a little one’s sleep. You’ll never guess who this small child grows up to become & what happens next.

Green caption box: "You fail to recognize that it matters not what someone is born but what they grow to be!"--Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire

Until Next Time,


September is NICU Awareness Month


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