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

Jolly Old St. NICU

I found this poem on a preemie forum about a year ago and thought it was cute.


Jolly Old St. Nicu

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in each isolette
Little creatures were squirming and getting all set;
Machinery sat by their bedsides with care,
In hopes that good breathing skills soon would be there.

Day shifters were home all snug in their beds,
As visions of overtime danced in their heads;
While preemies on ventilators, and some on CPAP,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap…

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
The residents woke up to see what was the matter.
Away from the sink I flew like a jet
To make sure all was well at my baby’s isolette.

Some bilirubin lights with their powerful glow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to babies below,
When, there before my wondering eyes, it would seem,
Was an oversized stroller and a medical team.
With a handful of needles with which they could stick you,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nicu.

More rapid than eagles his specialists came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Nurses! Now, Residents! Now, Neonatologists!
On, Social Workers! On, Respiratory and Occupational Therapists!
From the front of the unit! To the end of the hall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Up to each baby’s cribside they flew,
With the stroller full of toys, and St. Nicu too.
And then, in a twinkling, they stopped at each bed
And tucked in the babies and got them all fed.

As I looked at my baby, and was turning around,
Down our aisle St. Nicu came with a bound.
He was dressed in red scrubs, and I could instantly tell
That his clothes had an obvious hospital smell;
A bag of stuffed animals was flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
A little red pen he held tight in his teeth,
And a stethoscope encircled his neck like a wreath.

He was chubby and plump, with a few extra pounds,
And I laughed when I saw him there doing his rounds.
A turn of his clipboard and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke few words, but came straight to my side,
And running down his face was a tear he had cried.

And laying his hand on the back of my head,
He gave me a nod, and slowly he said:
“Each night you come here you’re aware of the danger,
But your baby is loved by the One in the manger.”

Then the medical team gave a thumbs-up and smiled
And St. Nicu placed an animal next to my child.
But I heard him exclaim, as they rolled out of sight,
“Merry Christmas, tiny baby, and have a wonderful night!”

For Benjamin, Casey & Danielle, from Daddy, 12/24/05
in memory of Emily (11/4/05-11/23/05)

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.


  1. sara hirschmugl says:

    OMG-had me in tears.So beautiful & I can unfortinatly relate.I had 2 in the NICU over Christmas (a year apart) and sadly my little Alex lived 3wks past his first Christmas,but the jolly St.NICU made it a memorable one for us-we will never forget. This year will be his little brothers 2nd Christmas at HOME…still have a long road ahead of us,but we are thriving and getting stronger everyday and hope one day he will breathe again on his own (trach) God bless all our preemies and the St.NICU’S who care for them!

  2. Pamela Harper says:

    i love this poem!!!!! it is absolutely adorable!!!!!!

  3. Totally love that poem! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aww thats so sweet! I had a christmas preemie so i can relate 🙂

  5. that was the greatest, i’m going to read it to my babies my son was a christmas premie and saw santa in the nicu i have pics it made me think straight back to that

  6. That was cute. I hope our little one is home for Christmas ♥

  7. We spent Christmas 2004 in the NICU. We still go back every year to visit and bring hot chocolate and cookies to the wonderful people there

  8. great poem, as a NICU nurse I can definitely relate to it…

  9. that is the best i was diagnosed wit placental abruption i bled my whole pregnancy the drs kept sayin my baby girl (adyson) would not make it if i had her before 27 to 30 weeks i had her on june 29 2010 i was 25 wks and right now she is still in the nicu in jackson ms doing good she weighed 1 lb 11 oz now weighs 11 lbs and 4 oz she has had few set backs

    actually she had a set back on my birthday this year nov 5 and we are waiting on her to get off the hi flow nasal cannula so she can be on the lo flow and come home on the oxygen and her heart monitor she is doing good other than that so far we miss you baby girl

    my baby was 15 weeks early

  10. i love it….

  11. this makes me cry everytime i read it. my son wasn’t a christmas preemie (born in March) but I feel for all who are. I really hope that all of your preemies that are still in the NICU can come home soon.

Speak Your Mind