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NICU doctors and nurses work tirelessly and passionately to keep babies safe and their families informed. But the experience and uncertainty that comes with it is never easy. 

Thankfully, there are truly amazing nurses out there that help soften the blow of the experience. And today’s guest is Kelley Thompson, and she is a ray of sunshine to anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her.

Kelley has been a neonatal nurse for the past 10 years and has experienced the NICU on a much more personal level when her own little girl, Isabella, had to be airlifted to a different hospital shortly after being born and spent 15 days in the NICU.

She talks about how her experiences motivate her to help others through the emotional roller coaster that is the NICU. She also shares some great advice on how to manage emotions in tender moments, dealing with the feelings of grief after a diagnosis, and how to make the most of what life sends our way. 

Kelley is helping other parents find joy in their journey by being able to relate, encourage, and empathize during NICU stays, and I think you’ll truly get a lot of value from listening to her story.

Key Takeaways with Kelley Thompson

  • How a mother’s touch has an uncanny ability to soothe their baby after the delivery.
  • How Kelley’s personal experience helps her to interact with families and understand the deep emotions that parents in the NICU experience.
  • Finding a community and taking breaks from the NICU as self-care with resources such as Ronald McDonald House Charities.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the nurses if you can be involved by your child’s bedside. Nurses understand the value and will help to make it happen.
  • The importance of taking it one day (or even one hour) at a time during a NICU stay.

Kelley Thompson Tweetables

  • “If we know it’s not going the way we want it to go, help find those little pieces of joy in the day, because that might be the only joy in that day that they’re going to get.” – Kelley Thompson
  • “Live every day to its fullest the best you can. Even though you might have bad days, remember the good days that you have.” – Kelley Thompson
  • “There are genuine feelings of grief in the NICU. Often we only use the word grief when someone has died, but there is a lot of loss of what you thought things were going to look like when you’re in the NICU.” – Jamie Freedlund


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