Instagram & Facebook @dadsofthenicu. A podcast created by Dads, for Dads, that are spending time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Unit. These episodes will describe raw and authentic experiences of Dads who spent time in the NICU with their precious premature babies. Designed to share stories, compare stories, and provide an insight in to the life of a Dad with a premature baby or sick baby in the NICU. A journey through mental health, emotions, stress, being overwhelmed, feeling helpless and confused.
The thought of trying again after having a NICU baby
Having gone through 98 days in the NICU with our daughter Lara, the thought of trying again for baby #2 was far from my thought processes. It was going to take some time for the mental wounds to heal from our experience, and I started to question if I could go through it all again.
I was so focused on the negative outcomes that I did not give any hope or attention to positive outcomes for months. But after a while, I knew I wanted to try again, and that I wanted our family to grow.
After some healthy discussions with my wife - we were ready. But would our journey be the same the second time round?
The Past Two Years
I am back! After a two year break to focus on family and work, I am back on the mic to bring you my next NICU adventure!
Our son Cooper was born at 26 weeks in February 2022, and we are right back where it all began in the same NICU, precisely 2 yeas and 4 days since Lara was discharged.
In that time, we unfortunately lost our dear son Leo at birth at 18 weeks, but we re-grouped, and knew that our story had not been fully written.
So - join me on my next NICU adventure!
Being an Ironman in and out of the NICU - with Brodie James
The only thing harder than spending 115 days in the NICU for Brodie James will be his next Ironman race.
Brodie was able to turn to his training regime to keep a clear mind and a positive outlook during his NICU journey, which enabled him to support his wife and new son as best as possible, and be the rock and Ironman in the NICU.
We discuss the highs and lows of his time in the NICU, and what life is like now his new little mate is finally at home, and what he is looking forward to the most over the next 12 months.
Processing Traumatic Deliveries - with Luke Bowtell
Picture this: You get a call from the Hospital in the early hours of the morning saying that your wife has just been rushed to the birthing suite for emergency surgery. You live over 30min away, and you know you wont make it in time to be there to support her. What would be going through your mind?
Today I chat with Luke Bowtell, who opens up about the very traumatic birth of his daughter, and talks through the impacts this had on his family.
Every NICU journey is different, and know two stories are alike! Opening up and sharing can be so helpful in processing what has happened, and make you feel at ease with everything that is going on.
If you are not normally someone who opens up and shows emotion, maybe this is the time to try it out?!
Insights into NICU Life - with Will Jackson
I chat with Will Jackson, a Dad that I met on day two of my NICU journey. Will opens up on his experiences in the NICU, and we discuss all aspects of his journey, and how it effected him.
NICU life is not the same for every Dad. Different parts of a NICU journey will impact Dads in a myriad of ways, and it is up to the individual to work out how to process what is happening, and deal with it in their own way.
Not all Dads will look after their physical health or mental health in the best way. Not all Dads will know what to do when thrown a challenge or setback, and not all Dads can be the 'rock' that they think is expected of them.
Another unexplored aspect is the trauma that NICU life places on parents, and the worry that this could all happen again when trying to expand their family. Would it put you off trying again? Have you thought about it? Do you need to talk to your partner about it?
Becoming a Data Analyst - with Scott Merrick
How many times have you walked in to your baby's room in the NICU and checked the monitors or the medical chart before actually checking on your baby?
I did this so many times on my NICU journey that I became so fixated on the data even though I didn't really know exactly what I was looking for. I needed to just try and forget about the numbers, and focus purely on my daughters physical developments.
I am joined again by Scott Merrick for a chat about NICU Dads becoming "Data analysts", and we discuss what the data meant to us, and how it impacted our bond and relationships with our NICU babies.