This is a sweet article written by a Daddy meeting his Daughter and the NICU.
I started reading The Hobbit to Zoey only a few days after she was born, something I always knew I would do with my child. When I was a child, I enjoyed the tale told by Tolkien and wanted to share it with her, whether she could understand any of it or not. This was more for me than for her, since at the time we weren’t sure how long she would live and I didn’t want to look back at a major regret in my life. News was good on her health, she was able to breathe, except for elevated white blood cell count she showed no signs of infection, and she was receiving breast milk only a few days after being born. Still, I needed to share this story in case there wasn’t another chance.
Preemies her age are sensitive to light, noise, and sudden physical stimulation. Don’t bump the isolette! She can still hear sounds and will pick up her parent’s voices much like she would in the womb. We were encouraged to read to Zoey, not for the tales, but to hear our voices. I started The Hobbit while Sarah read Charlette’s Web. Her oxygen levels would go up on the monitor and her pulse would steady as we did this. Later, we would notice her physical reaction to our voices such as her head moving in our direction or a hand going up in the air. There is nothing more entertaining than seeing that “Hi Dad” wave when you look through the plastic walls.