Preemie Parent Alliance Summit and NANN Conference 2014

I just returned from my 4th time having a booth at the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) and this year it was in Phoenix, AZ.  I arrived the day after the city had flash floods and I was a little nervous about the even happening.  I arrived to a sunny hot day where you would have never known the previous day the city had been half shut down!

WP_20140910_003And for the 3rd conference in a row, I was thrilled to have a fellow preemie mom Dawna fly in to help me out (thank you and love you!).   I was also very lucky to have an amazing preemie village setting up near me at the show as the amazing group of parents from Hand to Hold, NICU Helping Hands, Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation, the Preemie Parent Alliance and NPA helped not only set my booth up, but helped fold all the shirts when we were done. I was feeling pretty blessed!!

Not only did I have the help of some amazing parents, rather than pay $625/day for wireless (that was NOT a typo) I was lucky enough to have my local AT&T rep Andy (@AndythePRguy) was kind enough to give me an AT&T Hot Spot which was AMAZING! Two of us were able to use it for 3 days taking orders and it was fantastic and we barely put a dent in the 5gb available for us to use.  I will definitely be looking at getting one of these if I start travelling more.  They would also be great for long road trips to keep my son happy and online, oh how they start early with the gadgets these days!

I was able to meet some amazing Neonatal Nurses, Nurse Managers, Nurse Practitioners and even some really sweet nursing students. LOVE all the amazing folks who take care of our little ones!  Not to mention that I’m actually getting to really know some of the nurses that stop by each year and it’s fun to see them and recognize them.

After packing up from the NANN Conference with the help of my preemie village, we loaded up our rental car and literally went a few miles down the road for our Preemie Parent Alliance Summit! Talk about feeling welcome and loved…many friends I’ve made over the past few years and so many new parents to meet!

Preemie Parent Alliance

Preemie Parent Alliance

We had a social and dinner Friday evening and the event kicked off beautifully. Saturday morning our keynote Speaker Dr. Alan Spitzer a Neonatologist and now Senior VP Research, Education & Quality for Pediatrix kicked off the morning and we were off to a great start!  My favorite by far was our speed networking event where we were able to meet everyone that was in attendance.  WOW…such amazing stories you can learn in 30 seconds!  Many I met for the first time, and many I knew previously.  So many stories of loss, love and support.  I was able to meet individuals from the following groups:  Pediatrix Medical Group, Families Blossoming, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, the author of From Hope to Joy Jennifer Degl, GAPPS, members of Graham’s Foundation, Hand to Hold, Holding tiny Hands, Huntington Hospital, Little Giraffe Foundation, March of Dimes, The Morgan Leary Vaughan Fund, National Perinatal Association, NEC Society, NICU Helping Hands, Nonprofit Media Solutions, Nurtured by Design, Peek a Boo ICU, The Tangerine Owl Project, University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital Parent to Parent Support Group, The Foundation for Prematurity and Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation.

The stories from these parents had me in tears, laughing and finding more strength from all that they have been through. Even the sponsors from Pediatrix, MedImmune, Your NICU Baby from The Newborn Channel and the COO of Prolacta who is a preemie dad of twins were amazing to meet.

Not only has the Preemie Parent Alliance helped me personally with my business from various members who have helped mentor me, with my personal life by giving me a village of individuals who have been where I have and walk a similar path, but it has given me a lifetime of friendships. It inspires me to reach new levels and reminds me of how far I’ve come since becoming a Preemie Parent.

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