Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

10 Embarrassing Things Said by a NICU Dad

NICU Dad & Baby with Pacifiers

Our micropreemie, Zoey, was born at 24 weeks. She was our first child, so we were launched into the NICU with lots of questions and very different approaches to parenting. There are certain stand-out moments that in retrospect I appreciate, but at the time, I was embarrassed by them. Here are ten of the most notable conversations I remember from the NICU.

Top 10 Embarrassing Things Zoey’s Dad said in the NICU:

1. Pointing to the defibrillator: “Are you going to zap her with that thing?” Response: “No, we already revived her. And please don’t touch that.”

2. To the neurologist holding a scan of her brain: “That’s cool, did you draw that?”

3. To a Respiratory Therapist: “Is there something you can give me so I can breathe like Darth Vader?”

4. During a height/weight check: “She’s like the size of a 12-inch meatball hoagie. Actually, I think I’ve eaten sandwiches bigger than my daughter. Can she eat sandwiches now? No, just breast milk? Oh, Okay.”

5. We were supposed to be reviewing all of the buttons on the life support ventilator. So he says to our vent trainer: “What’s this button do?” (pointing to her belly button). The vent trainer laughed, I rolled my eyes.

6. When we were learning how to bathe her: “She’s so small, we could just put her in a latte cup with some bubbles.”

7. “She’s almost the size of a football. Not that I ever played sports. I’m too clumsy. Is it my turn to hold her? I promise I won’t drop her like a football.” You mean fumble? Please don’t.

8. “Why does she look at me like that? It’s like she knows I’m an idiot, she just can’t say it yet.”

9. “Her poop is so tiny. Can we keep it?” Like in a shadow box with other precious baby things? No. We’re not doing that. Have you no germ phobia?

10. When given a look about the pacifier in his mouth, he said, “Don’t worry, that’s the one that fell on the floor. She has the clean one.”


Tell us about an embarrassing or laugh-out-loud moment you had in the NICU! 



Cheryl Silinskas About Cheryl Silinskas

Cheryl Silinskas (PA), is also known as Earlie Girlie's Mom, a 24-week, 816 gram (1 lb. 8oz) micropreemie. Despite having a complicated medical profile, Earlie Girlie has grown into a happy child who inspires people every day. In the NICU, I often thought, “I'm an art therapist, what do I know about physical medicine and keeping a tiny person alive with all of this equipment?” As my daughter blinked at me, and the machines beeped at me, I was determined to figure it out, starting with what I knew best – art, music, storytelling and healing.
As Vice President and Art Facilitator of Art Expression Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, I enjoy my lifelong dream of being an art-helper. Follow my blog, Early Girlie Homeschool. Connect with Cheryl on Facebook at Micro Preemie Support Network, CP Mommies, Daddies, Grandparents and Caregivers, or Tracheostomy.


  1. Britanie says:

    My husbands explanation of our daughter.

    Well, after a discussion with one of her care takers, I have come to the conclusion that Mari is a crazy terrorist. She has been institutionalized, she is in solitary confinement, and she wears such an invasive straight jacket that it even secures her feet. I’m not sure if she is a danger to others but she is certainly a danger to herself as she decided to go on a hunger strike earlier (by pulling her feeding tube out because she managed to free an arm) and has been known to make multiple attempts to remove her CPAP. To top it all off, she lays there farting all the time to trying to antagonize the people she calls in by setting off her O2 every few minutes for 2-3 seconds at a time. I swear she knows exactly what she is doing and it is all intentional. Another of her favorite tricks is to soil fresh diapers. Put one on her and expect to replace it swiftly because it’s not always a fart…

    I must say, I’m glad I’m not the only nuisance in the family and may God bless us

    • Cheryl SilinskasCheryl Silinskas says:

      Hi Britanie,
      As a new blogger, I just figured out how to reply. Dads have such a different way of explaining the whole NICU experience! I didn’t always appreciate it. I endure “dad jokes” these days. But if we let them do what they’re best at and let them express the stress they feel through humor, it’s a good thing!

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