Quotes from A Chance to Grow, in case you have trouble viewing clips from the film.
Keesha: having a premature baby
“First of all, you don’t think you’re going to have a preemie. When you think about a baby, you think about the Gerber kid, or the Gap baby. You’re not thinking about a baby this small, or something being wrong with him. When you ask questions, there’s so much uncertainty, because no one wants to reassure you about anything, because no one really knows what the outcome can and will be.
“I think when I first touch him I might just cry like crazy, because…I just feel him now, you know…I just feel him, and I don’t know how he’s gonna actually feel…that he’s going to really be a person. He’s going to move, and he’s going to look at me, and I’m going to tell him, “You put me though a lot of trouble to be here, so you better be the president.'”
Ellery: being a father in the NICU
“It took me a little while to realize that I shouldn’t postpone any sense of joy over concern for Rami’s condition. You know, at first, you’re just so fearful, you know. And then after a while, that- I just got weary of that. And I just thought, it was just coming up in me, and it’s like man, I’m thrilled to death!
“You know, here’s our little son. You know, wow! I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow, but you know, he’s here right now, and he looks at me in the eye, and I look at him in the eye, and he acts like a little baby and does baby things, and he’s a little human being, and this is our son. And man, I am thrilled to death, you know?”
Kathy: how the NICU changed her life
“People just assume that it must have been the most horrible experience, but my reaction is to say to them, but it was wonderful. And it isn’t wonderful that my child went through what he went through. But I don’t think that I’ll ever feel as good as I felt in the NICU. Or as bad as I felt in the NICU. I hope, because I hope I’m never in a situation again where life and death is that close and that in front of me, as it is every day in, in a place like that.
“From the moment he was born, I feel like I opened an invisible door, and I stepped across it. And on the side that’s here was my life, and everything that I thought was so important before, and in one step was in another world, and stayed in that world. It’s like the day I walked out the door to have the baby, and I said to my mother, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be back in twelve hours.’ And I never came back. ”
Nurse Fran: the diverse families in the NICU
“I don’t think the general public knows too much about NICUs because most babies are healthy, most pregnancies are normal. We see all kinds of families, people who are high-powered executives, very well-educated, people who are just the average Joe off the street. And with them come all kinds of babies.
“The one thing that happens though is that the playing field is leveled here, because every parent is worried about the same thing. Is my baby going to make it? Is my baby going to be okay? You can’t control what’s going to happen here.”
Nurse Marianne: forming bonds with the babies
“They’re not just patients. It’s relationships you form with babies. And there’s a lot of babies – I guess when you really bond and have a relationship, there’s babies I remember that have really touched me, that, that I remember for a really long, long time. Because I think they, they stay in your heart, they just stay in your heart. So that’s the rewards of it.”