This spotlight is about my own preemies and how this experience impacted my sister in law, their Aunt.
I asked her the same series of questions and this is what she had to say.
My preemie is Miss Addison and Mr Blake. They are my niece and nephew. They are 2 of the most precious gifts that God has given to our family. Addison is such a happy and playful little girl. She amazes me a little more each day. In the first year of her life she has been through more then most adults will ever have to deal with. Blake, is well to put it mildly he is Jake-Jr. He is his father all over again. There are times when he does something (anything really) all I can think is "I remember when Jake did that." He is shy but loving. When he cracks a smile he melts your heart every time. Before the twins were born, my only experience with preemies was on the baby shows that come on in the early morning. I didn't know what classified a baby as a preemie. I just assumed that all babies were born after 9 months and they were at least 6 pounds. But now I know that babies are born at all different sizes and different stages of pregnancy. The NICU experience I had was limited because I always though that time should belong to the parents and grandparents of the babies. They couple of times I did go to the NICU it was a very interestin experience. From the scrub down to the size of the babies, everything had me truly amazed. When I left and someone would ask me "what did the babies look like?" I would always say "Like Barbie dolls with big heads." I am truly amazed at what a NICU is able to do. The dedication of the nurses and doctors are amazing. It takes a special person to be able to do everything that they do on a daily basis. Through Blake and Addison's NICU stay I have learned that anything is possible. From putting in a breathing tube in a baby that is 1 pound to teaching the parents to tube feed their child. The only advice I would give the aunt of a NICU child would be, just be there for your brother/sister and your niece/nephew. This is the time when family is needed more than any other time. And remember, as much as you are feeling the pain and joys of this child the parents are feeling it a million times greater. So just be there for them, whether it is a should to cry on or a joke to make them laugh. You may have to be their rock.