Nick Lachey Opens Up About the ‘Fear’ He Felt Being a Preemie Parent

Parenthood is an amazing experience — but as 98 Degrees frontman Nick Lachey recently revealed, it can also be terrifying. In a photo on Instagram, Lachey shared how difficult it was when his premature son, Phoenix, was born.

Fatherhood is the greatest job in the world,” Lachey wrote. But “it isn’t the easiest. As I tell my kids everyday, my number one job is to protect them. Never did I feel more helpless and unable to do my job than when my son Phoenix was born.”

“He came to us on Christmas Eve, the very definition of a gift from God. The only problem was that the gift came 10 weeks early,” Lachey elaborated. “My wife Vanessa wasn’t allowed to even hold him yet, so there I sat in the NICU, holding his little 3 lb body close to mine… hoping that his daddy’s skin would provide some comfort to a little baby brought into the world just a bit too soon.”

Understandably, Lachey was scared. “I felt a vulnerability I had never known before and a fear I wasn’t familiar with,” Lachey wrote. And yet, in spite of it all, Lachey wouldn’t change a thing. He wrote that although those early weeks were challenging, they were the “most wonderful weeks” of his life.

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Fatherhood is the greatest job in the world, but it isn’t the easiest. This #FathersDay, we want to hear your #UnspokenStories. Here is mine…..As I tell my kids everyday, my number one job is to protect them. Never did I feel more helpless and unable to do my job than when my son Phoenix was born. He came to us on Christmas Eve, the very definition of a gift from God. The only problem was that the gift came 10 weeks early. My wife Vanessa wasn’t allowed to even hold him yet, so there I sat in the NICU, holding his little 3 lb body close to mine…..hoping that his daddy’s skin would provide some comfort to a little baby brought into the world just a bit too soon. I felt a vulnerability I had never known before and a fear I wasn’t familiar with. I can only imagine how many fathers out there felt the same way I did in that moment. The next 6 weeks in the hospital were the toughest and yet most wonderful weeks of my life. Now, 2 and a half years later, those weeks seem like an eternity ago as I watch my happy, healthy toddler run and climb and play. As Dads, I think we often feel a pressure to be this impenetrable pillar of strength. Phoenix reminded me that the ultimate show of strength is love. The world needs more of it and Dads…..we can give it. Help me celebrate every dad and let him know that the @marchofdimes community is here for him.

A post shared by Nick Lachey (@nicklachey) on

This isn’t the first time Lachey and his wife Vanessa have spoken out about Phoenix’s premature birth. In 2017, the pair told People they hoped their experience could help others. “What I’ve found is so many people go through similar experiences and there is strength in sharing those stories,” Lachey said. And he is right. Support, sympathy and empathy can be life-changing. As for the Lacheys, today little Phoenix is a normal, healthy 2-year-old.

For more information about premature babies and births, visit the March of Dimes.

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