I See You NICU
by Jennifer Sesniak,
Founder & President, I See You NICU
I See You NICU is an organization started by NICU mom, Jennifer Sesniak, who saw the lack of available support in the experience of parents with preemies who stay in the NICU and wanted to do something to fill the need.
The statistics are alarming and going in the wrong direction.
After what seemed like a picture-perfect pregnancy, I went into premature labor at 28 weeks. Logan arrived fast and furious in an operating room filled with doctors and nurses at 2 lbs, 8 oz, and 14 inches. He breathed on his own, a blessing given the laundry list of potential possibilities. Whisked away to the Wolfson Children's NICU for an 81-day stay.
"The experience of seeing my tiny, fragile baby in a plastic box with wires connected everywhere, depleted all my strength. I thought, is this my fault, did I eat healthy enough, and why did my body fail me? "
This inner dialog sent me into the darkness of postpartum depression and anxiety with PTSD symptoms. I lost what being a first-time mom should look like and found there was no help on how to navigate my mental health, work life, insurance questions, or any sense of normalcy.
NICU professionals provided extraordinary care and were patient but our new normal meant permission had to be granted even to hold Logan. Depending upon his condition, some days we couldn't. I’ll never forget the alarms and late-night phone calls we hoped would never come, but day by day, Logan grew stronger, achieving milestones that seemed like mountains!
Today Logan is a strong-willed, happy four-year-old. We still reflect upon our journey as if no time elapsed. "We appreciate how lucky we are -- we could have used more support beyond one lone Facebook group. We didn’t know who to turn to for help during this time. I now know none of this was my fault, but we want to make sure others benefit from networking with those who share their experiences."
Unfortunately, the road of being a NICU parent doesn’t end at discharge. Our experience became the inspiration for I See You NICU, whose mission is to develop a network of past, present, and future NICU families. Also providing support, awareness, and education to our community. The goal this year is to grow our support network and build relationships with hospital NICUs to improve the process and patient outcomes.
Interested in getting involved or supporting the cause? You can share, like, volunteer or donate. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Let's all support the NICU community better. Remember, I See You NICU really does see NICU families.
St. Johns Magazine