by apple seeds co-founder allison schlanger
Alison and Bobby's sister-in-law, Erin, sent us this video of a baby in the NICU.
Erin is a truly incredible person so it makes sense that she chose to become a pediatrician and dedicate her life to working with children.
I started to watch the film. 29 seconds in, I was a total mess.
I could not stop crying.
Our son Ari was in the NICU for 5 weeks after he was born – so the film brought back memories (some terrible/some beautiful) for me.
This film is absolutely breathtaking. It is shot entirely by the father of the baby -- and is the most loving tribute to his wife and son, given to his wife on her birthday. He captured moments that are so intimate – like the first time his wife was able to have her son lie on her chest.
I remember that exact moment with Ari.
I remember feeling us breathe in unison and for the first time allowing myself to think that everything might be okay.
Our natural inclination was to share the video on our blog.
But then we had second thoughts.
For any parent who has spent time in the NICU you are acutely aware that there are beautiful, happy stories like this one, and there are families that are not as fortunate.
For us, like all other families with babies in the NICU, it was understandably a very hard time.
Ari is a twin. His brother Sam was able to come home with us two days after he was born.
Ari could not.
Craig and I (and our parents) spent every day splitting up shifts so someone was always with each one of them.
Spending all that time in the NICU you learn 2 things…
Count your blessings -- because as you get to know the babies and families in the NICU you come to truly understand how lucky you are if your baby is healthy - and how often it can go the other way.
You also learn that the NICU doctors and nurses are the reason you make it through. You know you will never forget them for the care, love and compassion they showed your baby at all hours -- but especially at 3am when mom and dad are sent home to get some sleep despite wanting to stay forever.
Our NICU nurse called us on her vacation from the top of ski mountain to check on Ari, and our NICU doctor became our kids’ pediatrician despite the fact that his office is 68 blocks away from our apartment.
So here is this gorgeous tribute to this beautiful and lucky family – may all families with premature babies be so blessed.