Lasting friendships form in NICU

Besties Bekah and Tailyn at the Pittsburgh Zoo

Besties Bekah and Tailyn at the Pittsburgh Zoo

Rebekah spent the first 5 weeks of her NICU stay with a variety of neighbors. Some had parents we loved, and some we never really knew.

The last 5 weeks of her stay were spent in a double room in the TLC section of Akron Children’s NICU with Tailyn Dailey and her family. We often find ourselves saying things that start out, “Do you remember when Bekah and Tailyn…”, or “How about that time when we stayed with the girls and…”

Most often, those sayings end with laughter about something that happened a year and a half ago.

One day while Bekah was in the NICU I was just leaving the Ronald McDonald House when one of the incredible ladies who works there stopped me and we talked about Bekah and Tailyn being roommates and how nice it was to be able to share a scary experience with another family and how for a lot of people, that was something that bonds not only the patients, but their families, for life.

March of Dimes Girls Dorm Team

March of Dimes Girls Dorm Team

Now, over a year after Bekah left the NICU, it’s obvious to see that bond, especially since a lot of our pictures of Bekah are also pictures of Tailyn.

Living over 2 hours apart, we don’t see each other too often, but we did spend the weekend together over Palm Sunday, we formed a team for the March of Dimes March for Babies a month ago, and we even all spent some time at the Pittsburgh zoo a few weekends ago.

It’s not often that I load Bekah into the car to go to therapy (she apparently has an undying love for torticollis, which is a LONG story for another day), or to go to the doctor when we don’t talk about what we think Tailyn is doing (ok, well, I do most of the talking).

Bekah-and-the-Big-CatEach time we see zebra stripe clothes we talk about Tailyn (she had the best little sleeper when she was in the NICU that made me smile every time I saw it…I’m sorry to say that Bekah has been forced to be rather plain by a rather plain mommy, but once in a while we break out something even Tailyn would be proud of).

Often when Bekah goes to her closet, or when she walks down the hall to our dining room she stops to point and wave to pictures of Tailyn.

And, while we may not see each other all of the time, there’s no doubt that we are always thinking of one another and the little girls we spent so much time pretending to “babysit” while we all lived in one little room together.

About Sarah Plant, Patient Family

Sarah Plant and her husband, Christopher, live in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, with their daughter, Bekah, and a rabbit named Gussie. She enjoys bike riding and spending time with friends, family and her fellow church members. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom and former high school English teacher. In her "Following Your Heart" blog, Sarah shares her experiences as a first-time mom whose baby was born with a congenital heart defect as well as a mom of a healthy boy.