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

Managing the Expectations for Your NICU Baby

Jaxon running around Disney World!

Jaxon running around Disney World!

When you bring a child into the world you have certain expectations for that child.  You think about when your baby will be rolling over alone, walking, talking, going to school, etc.  When your baby is born early or with complications, depending on the situation, your expectations may change.  When we found out our son was going to come about 17 weeks early, obviously we wondered if he would even survive.  The doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses had to tell us the worst case scenarios for our son.  They even gave us the option to decline intervention.  After taking in all that information, our expectations changed quite a bit.  We were told all of the statistics and about the previous outcomes, but we knew there was one way to go.  We knew our son was a fighter, and we were going to give him a chance.

After he was born he spent a very long time in the NICU.  Our son fought to stay alive, and he was winning!  The focus of the medical staff shifted from his survival, to trying to better his way of life.  And again we were told what we could expect.  No rolling over, walking or talking, anytime soon if at all, countless doctors and therapy appointments, as well as various limitations due to medical issues.  We had genuine fear for our baby’s way of life.  However, a blessing came to us in the form of other parents who had been in the same situation as we were now.  They too were told about what they could expect for their child.  Sometimes the medical professionals were right, but sometimes something completely different came to be.  They gave us hope and taught us that every child in this situation is unique, and they will have their own path in life.

We are very blessed and happy to report that despite the complications our son had, he is a thriving little toddler!  We have been blessed with a fighter who has exceeded everyone’s expectations!  My advice to parents who are in the same situation we were is to never give up hope and follow your feelings!  Every child is unique and different and none of us knows what the future will hold for our little ones so always keep hope in your hearts!

Chris Cavazos About Chris Cavazos

Chris Cavazos (TX) is the father of three. His youngest son, Jaxon, was born at 23 weeks weighing 1lb. 4oz. and endured numerous procedures and various conditions: PDA ligation, NEC, ROP, GERD, a long time on the vent, chylothorax and seven surgeries. He spent 192 days in the NICU. As a father, Chris felt helpless. Throughout the NICU stay, he learned how to cope with the situation and make his son’s and family’s environment as positive as possible. Chris wants to share his experiences with other fathers so they know it is okay to have emotions and to let them know they are not alone.


  1. Michele Scott says:

    I am so happy to read about your son who is absolutely adorable. My grandson was born at 6-1/2 months on February 1 of last year and so far so good as far as development. Of course, no matter what happens he is loved and adored by his family. Best wishes to Jaxon and you for being such an inspiration to many parents.

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