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It’s a new year and I thought there’d be no better way to start off 2023 than to introduce you to my good friend, Sarah Hemenover. Sarah and her family are such a breath of fresh air and a beautiful reminder that NICU experiences, while sometimes difficult, can have incredibly happy endings.

Sarah and her husband Matthew are the parents to three beautiful children, and I’m so grateful to have them in our community. Today, Sarah candidly talks about their NICU journey with their youngest daughter, Ava Jane. Ava Jane was born full term but due to complications at birth she had to be rushed to the NICU, where she spent the first two months of her life.

This unexpected medical emergency forced Sarah and her family to slow down and truly reevaluate their priorities. The experience taught them the power of relying on your community, letting others show up for your family, and spending time with “your humans”.

Her beautiful story has the happiest of endings because Ava Jane is a happy and healthy little girl who you’d never believe was once a miracle NICU baby.

Sarah shares incredibly helpful coping strategies for parents in the NICU, which include journaling in order to help you celebrate the little wins and put into perspective how far you’ve come. I hope this episode inspires you to look out for the small wins this new year!

Key Takeaways with Sarah Hemenover

  • Reminders that while the NICU journey can be long and hard, it can also be beautiful and worthwhile.
  • How hard challenges force us to stop, slow down, and reevaluate our priorities.
  • Opening yourself up to help and support from your community.
  • Coping strategies for sudden and unexpected medical emergencies.
  • Journaling as a way to celebrate little wins and put hard moments into perspective.
  • Taking the time to nourish your life and relationships outside of the hospital during your NICU stay.
  • Managing the isolation that comes from being a (NICU) parent.

Sarah Hemenover Tweetables

  • “When you’re inside the white walls of the hospital you get lost in time, but you realize it is a process: you’re healing, growing, getting better.” – Sarah Hemenover
  • “When something scary happens you need to reevaluate, take a step back and slow down a little bit.” – Sarah Hemenover
  • “If you’re in the NICU now, journaling and keeping those notes of what’s happening is so great to be able to go back and see all you’ve accomplished. Those little wins are so important in the long scheme of things.” – Sarah Hemenover


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