For parents, the experience of having an infant in the NICU is often psychologically traumatic. No parent can be fully prepared for the extreme stress and range of emotions of caring for a critically ill newborn. As health care providers familiar with the NICU, we thought that we understood the impact of the NICU on parents. But we were not prepared to see the children in our own families as NICU patients. Here are some of the lessons our NICU experience has taught us. We offer these lessons in the hope of helping health professionals consider a balanced view of the NICU’s impact on families.