After NICU: Getting Involved

My boys, my family – we are one of the lucky ones.  However, despite our happy ending we still struggled.
The impact of having premature twins on our family unit was painful, silent and deep. The trauma lingered for years. The story of my boys’ journey is here
After everything my family and I had gone through I decided the best way I could move on was to embrace the experiences - the good, the bad and the scary. I was going to use my journey to reach out and get involved as a way to help other NICU families and the medical community who support and care for these families.

Getting involved with the Miracle Babies Foundation
I started working with the Miracle Babies Foundation in 2015 as the Darwin NurtureGroup Support Officer. I was visiting babies and families in NICU, running a playgroup for ex-NICU families, and holding talks in hospitals about how Miracle Babies can help staff in caring for NICU babies and families.
I even signed up and trained for the New York marathon fundraiser. What an experience - when I crossed the marathon finishing line in 2018 I was tired, cold and hit by an enormous sense of relief. I had done it. The journey to get to that point (crossing the line) was tough. But hands down running the marathon and helping raise over $11,000 for the Miracle Babies Foundation was one do the best things I have ever done and I would do it again in a heart beat.”
Getting involved with the Miracle Babies Foundation and helping other families has been a real privilege. It has enabled me to use my personal experience as an ex-NICU parent to reach out and provide comfort to others. I am fortunate to work with the most amazing team of staff and volunteers from around the country who are all driven by the desire to support these babies and their families.

Further involvement with Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN)
In 2017 I become one of three inaugural consumer representatives (also known as consumers of the NICU experience) on the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN). In my role as a consumer representative I’m able to provide advice to the ANZNN from a parent’s perspective. The inclusion of myself and the two other consumer representatives (the amazing Em Davis and Rachel Taufer) is a testament to the importance and value the ANZNN places on the views and experiences of current and past NICU parents to inform its work.

Getting involved has been an immensely rewarding experience for me. I have met so many amazing Miracle families, worked with the most dedicated and inspiring people and I have learnt so much about myself in the process.
If you are a NICU parent and have ever wanted to reach out and help others – please give it a go! There are just so many ways NICU parents can get involved. Your help, your voice and your dedication – it can change the world and yourself for the better. 

- Miracle Mum, Natalie

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Author

Nat Merida

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