As part of our “Dads Do NICU” series, we asked fathers to describe their memories of neonatal care… Thank you to Trevor Greenway-Clissold who shares his memories of his journey through neonatal care with daughter Ophelia.
When I found out our baby would be born early I felt… helpless. There were suddenly doctors and nurses in the room all doing dozens of tasks, I wanted to be able to do something to help my wife and our daughter too.
The thing I remember about NICU is… the sounds. I can still hear all the beeps and tones of countless machines and monitors, the sound of the lift and doors, all those little triggers.
I felt like a dad when… they told me we had a daughter and we gave her a name.
Who were you with when you first saw your baby in NICU? – I was on my own. My wife couldn’t be transferred after an emergency casaerean and was kept at our local hospital. She told me to go with our daughter so she wasn’t alone.
How long was it before you first held your baby? – Five days
What advice would you give to other NICU dads? – Everyone deals with things in different ways, and partners will as well. Just be present in every moment with your baby, write things down, take photos, anything to help you remember things because they change so quickly. Find little things you can do that can make you feel a part of everything that’s going on. Accept help, family will feel helpless as well, especially with very limited visiting, just doing some washing or cooking a meal, little things that give you more time to focus on the important things.