When you first enter the NICU, you’re likely going to be confused and overwhelmed. For several days, I merely accepted the information that the nurses gave me. I Googled what I didn’t understand or they would explain it. They were all very sweet.
However, you may find yourself, as I did, wondering how your child went from being on a cannula for the first two weeks of life to being on a CPAP machine. Being assured that it’s “common in a preemie” doesn’t really help.
Often what’s “common in a preemie” is still terrifying.
It occurred to me after a few days that news of “improving” only really meant “from yesterday” or was the opinion of whoever he was with that day and I wasn’t seeing an overall picture of his health. Of course, that was unsettling, so I created a sheet so I could track what was happening day by day. It was a simple thing that helped me feel more in control of the situation, in case I could catch something that maybe someone else missed. Somehow, I just felt safer armed with my little spreadsheet of information.
Even better, if a doctor asked “when was the last time he…” I could answer with precision and not flounder around trying to remember what specific day something happened in what seemed a blur of day after day.
I have the chart available in a few different ways, so that you can have it as a printout, Excel sheet, or Google sheet. I found Google worked best for me, because it was easy to share with family if I wanted to and was automatically on any device I chose.
Here is the link to the Google Doc for Boys. Please don’t just write in the doc, because it is public. You’ll need to go to “File” and “Make a Copy” to your own Google Drive.
Here is the Google Doc for Girls. Same rules as above.
Here is the PDF Version for Boys
Here is the PDF Version for Girls
Here is the Excel Version for Boys
Here is the Excel Version for Girls
And finally, full pics are below if you just want them that way.