Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

A Tale of Two Sisters

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I had a baby 6 years ago

and my sister in law, the adorable blonde (pictured left),

JUST had a baby 2 days ago! 

Her baby, Brooklyn (pictured on the right),

is perfect and she is healthy!

Praise the Lord.


I am so proud to be Brooklyn’s  Aunt, so very proud, and yet

at the same time

I am PROFOUNDLY overwhelmed with grief.

The difference in our pregnancies, births, and days after

are very different stories. 


As my sister in law labored I pleaded with God for her child be

born healthy… everybody prays that… but as a mother who spent

2 and a half weeks in the NICU with her own child…

I might have prayed it differently.


I know, all too well, that the NICU is only

three doors down from Labor and Delivery…



The grief hit me when I saw my sweet sister-in-law just 25

minutes after her baby was born.

There they were together.

Mother and Child.

They were skin to skin.

They were happy.

I was happy.

It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

It was something I never got to experience.



I did not get to hold my son for 5 days after he was born.

I did not change his first diaper.

I did not give him his first bath.



Yesterday, I came to visit my sweet sister-in-law and her

brand new baby in the hospital.

My in-laws were there snuggling Brooklyn and my sister.

Everyone was happy and smiling and full of joy.

My father-in-law gave me a great big hug and said,

“We didn't get to do this with you and Jackson.”


His words hit me like a freight train.

He's right.

They didn't get to visit us as a happy family in the hospital.

They didn't get to embrace us with over exuberance.

No one popped open a bottle of bubbly.


Instead, they would meet us in the NICU waiting room, and we

would take turns going in to see our very sick baby.

I swallowed my grief but everyone could see it.

No one high-fived me.

No one congratulated me.

Everyone who looked at me pitied me.

My family came to visit me in the hospital

and they would weep the minute they stepped in my room.

I was “The Sad Mommy”. We were a sad family.

We were not without hope and faith, but stricken all the same.

The nurses would talk outside my door, during their shift changes.

They would speak in hushed tones about

“The mommy who didn't have her baby-the NICU mommy”.

I would lay awake in my hospital bed and hear 

the other babies cry and then I would cry.

Doctors came into my room in the middle of the night to tell me Jackson

was getting worse and no longer had the strength to breathe.

I could see in my mind’s eye the vision from earlier in the day…

his tiny body covered in sweat as he tried to breathe with the aide

of the C-PAP machines.

The doctors continued asking …

"Would it be OK to sedate him and intubate him?" 

"Would it be ok?"

I didn't know.


They had to ask a few times…until I realized that they 

want an answer from me.

I made these decisions alone in the pitch dark hospital room

because my husband was not allowed to stay with me.

"Normal Daddies" can stay if the family is together…

 but not a NICU Daddy.

It was the darkest night of my life.

 Followed by the darkest days,

of leaving the hospital every day without him.


He was, by far, the sickest little baby in the NICU.

He had heart issues, lung issues, a wall of X rays, and IV lines

 in his head, heart, belly button, feet, hands, and forearms.

I can still see the IV line scars on his hands and arms

I kiss them when they catch my eye. 


My husband and I agreed we would not post the pictures

from the darkest days. They are too horrible, too raw, and

honestly too gut wrenching to share.

 In this photo only his breathing tube shows and  

the IV line from his tiny skull had been removed, so we went with it.

About me 8

Social workers hounded us about our non-existent drug use,

and questioned if we had a nursery prepared yet.

nursery


“Do you even have a crib?” they would ask.

This nursery awaited our baby. I painted every polka dot and letter.

Yet, social workers looked at me like I might be a criminal.

Surely we must be really crappy parents to produce a NICU baby…


Erma Bombeck wrote this poem about preemies and their mothers.

I am substituting NICU baby for preemie baby…

because mine was not sooo early at 36 weeks,

but he was sooo sick at 36 weeks.


Did you ever wonder how the mothers of NICU babies are chosen? Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. "Beth Armstrong, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Marjorie Forrest, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.  Carrie Rutledge, twins. Patron Saint ... give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a NICU baby." The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy." the angel asks. "Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a NICU baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel. "I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a NICU mother.

You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'mama' for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see – ignorance, cruelty, prejudice – and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life.”

“Why us? Why did God chose us for a NICU baby?”

Maybe Erma is right, and He saw in us what it would take.

Maybe He saw in us the faith to get through it, and

He knew we would hold onto Him for dear life.

Maybe the NICU nurses needed to see a mother and father

who were in an intact family, loved their baby, and

didn’t “do” anything that put their child into the NICU.


One nurse confided that we [my hubby and I ] were an anomaly.

She was used to crack babies… I guess social workers are too.


17 days later…we brought our sweet NICU boy home.

But all too soon the happiness of bringing him home,

faded into the understanding that he was not progressing.


He was physically delayed and at 4 months

he could not lift his head.

I fought to get him tested, and indeed he needed help.

My son did not meet a single milestone naturally.

He screamed and vomited through learning to hold his head up.

He sobbed through knee and hand placement to learn to crawl.

He wept through hip maneuvering to learn to walk.

I was there with him, choking back my own tears,

sometimes leaving the room to cry in private.



These are the things that I don’t allow myself to think about.

There are so many happy and relevant things to think about.

I shoved it away until,

the reality of “new baby joy” bubbled up, burst out,

and brought with it the things that God wants to heal.


I don’t often go to this place.

I surely don’t post like this on my blog.


I don’t have a freebie to give away today,

but I would love a prayer or two as God heals

these places within me.


Psalm 55:22- Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.


I would also like to  join with you in prayers of thanksgiving for

two special kids- Jackson, who is healthy, happy, and meeting

milestones at a normal rate without interventions,

and for sweet Baby Brooklyn who will  continue

to be a great source of joy for all of us!

File2462
Jackson holding Brooklyn for the first time.

As for a tale of two sisters… our stories are very different,

but our hearts are the same.

We love our children, we love the Lord, and we love each other. 

53 comments:

  1. WOW, what a powerful post!! I am wiping the tears as I as writing this. God is amazing and so is your little boy!! Thank you for sharing your story.
    Barbara
    happyteachingfirst.blogspot.com
    meadowt@comcast.net

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading. God is so good!

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    2. Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. I too am a NICU mommy. My precious little girl spent 24 long days in the NICU. She was born healthy or so we thought. Less then 10 hours later she was rushed to the NICU with a sugar level so low we are truly lucky she's alive. It took days and days, tests and tests and countless doctors to finally come up with a diagnosis of an extremely rare disease called hyperinsulinemia. It was hard to even find a doctor with experience enough to help us and our newborn. The days were endless and often hopeless and the pain of leaving the hospital without your baby is unimaginable. Luckily, we found a good doctor and 24 days later we were able to take her home. It was a very long first year as we had more tests, medicine and had to draw her blood sugar every 3-4 hours. I don't think I slept ever. Thank goodness, she is now a healthy happy 2 1/2 year old who brightens every moment with her smile. Every time I look at her I am beyond thankful she is mine. We may never get those beginning moments back but we have a lifetime to make more. There are people who leave the NICU with no baby. I think you said it best, She may not be a NICU baby anymore but I will forever be a NICU mommy! Health and happiness to you and your preciuos boy!

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  2. I love this post!! I know all too well how you feel and how truly "dark" those NICU hospital floors are. It is like walking into a morgue - it is cold, lonely, completely silent (except for the sound of the beeping monitors, and it is only our hearts that bring any comfort into those floors. My daughter was born at 3 lbs, 4oz and had to be transerred to Mary Birch Hospital in San Diego (an hour from where we lived) and it was the worst week I have ever experienced in my life!! I had a rough pregnancy and and even worse delivery, but I can truly say that my time sitting in that huge dark, cold NICU floor made me love my daughter even more and hold her even tighter the second I got to take her home.

    My daughter was in the NICU for 5 days and I can't imagine what kind of mess I would have been if she had been in there longer. I know we both shared our stories over the phone and I love you even more my friend!!! This really touched my heart and I am sure there are other women who need to hear your message. Not much is said about the premature babies and not much is celebrated for the mother's who give birth to a premature baby, but I can celebrate my daughter everyday!! I can cherish every time I had to set my alarm to go off every 2 hours so that I would wake up my baby girl to feed her because her lungs were too week to let out a cry. My daughter is now in 10th grade and an honors student!! Those ignorant nurses who asked me if I did drugs a million times over can eat the dust of my preemie daughter's HUGE successes!!! Those NICU staff only got to know my daughter at her very weakest, but I got to watch her grow and celebrate her strengths. I celebrated every ounce gained and her small wimpery cries because she was alive and she was my precious daughter.

    You have such a precious son and even though we did not get to celebrate those few moments after the birth of our precious babies, we can celebrate each day we get to wake up and see their faces and hear their voices. How precious a gift is a child and how precious life truly is!!

    I believe your post will touch a mother who may be sitting in that dark, cold NICU hospital floor today!!

    Love you to pieces!!!
    Michelle
    The 3AM Teacher
    Visit My FB Page

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    Replies
    1. Oh, what a precious friend I have found in you. Thank you. It really is cause for delirious happiness when they finally take an ounce of milk, say their first word, read their first sentence... You take nothing for granted after the NICU.

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  3. What a moving post! I was sucked in from the first line - and am so encouraged by your bravery and strength!

    I loved seeing the picture of Jackson at the end - so touching!

    ~Jessica
    Joy in the Journey

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Katie. I'm not a mommy yet, but I can't imagine the strength it took to get through those days and long nights.

    Halle
    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

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  5. I feel for you. I'm a NICU mommy too. My daughter was born 2 months early for an unknown reason. We were thankful to only be there for 2 weeks instead of making up the whole 2 months but it was such a different experience. My son was born a month early thanks to weekly shots. The difference between the two experience is what you have described with you and your sister. One day I hope like you to be able to look back at those early pictures of my daughter and not feel the fear that comes with them.

    Hugs to you!

    Cathy I.
    Mrs. I's Class

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  6. WOW!Sniff...sniff... As a mommy of premie twins, I can relate. We are so fortunate...now they are parents & all is good! Hug your neice all you can! That baby smell will stay with you forever! wendy 1stgradefireworks@gmail.com 1stgradefireworks

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  7. Such a strong story; It was so wonderful to read that this story had a happy ending. Thank you for sharing, Katie.

    Blessings to you and your family,

    Cindy

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  8. I read your story and felt your pain like it was coming off the page. I felt your fear and exhaustion and overwhelming anxiety. I also felt your healing. It's funny how sometimes the happiest experiences in someone else's life can trigger memories from our own. You are strong to have written and posted your story. Your sister is blessed to have you in her life, as are your niece, your son, your husband, your students and all those who know you.
    Sidney
    Teachingisagift

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  9. I too was an NICU mommy. My daughter was born at 34 weeks. I was not feeling well at school so my school nurse checked me out and told me she thought I had preeclampsia. She told me to go see my doctor. I saw the doctor that day. He told me I was fine, no problem. I kept questioning him about preeclampsia and if I should go on bedrest. He acted offended that I would question his judgment. My appointment with him was on Friday and I went into labor on Sunday. I tell every pregnant woman I know to trust her own judgement. If they don't feel like their doctor is giving them good advice, get a second opinion.

    When I was on my maternity leave I saw a tv show with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. He was talking about parents with premie babies. He said that these parents go through a grieving process. They are grieving the baby they thought they were going to have. So, on top of the giving birth hormones and taking care of a special needs infant, you have the grieving process. It's no wonder why we feel so overwhelmed!

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have a beautiful family!

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    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness, the grieving process is real! You are so right! I hope your little one is thriving now!

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  10. How beautifully written and what a true picture of life! Prayers and blessings for both families as you celebrate the lives of your precious gifts! Thank you for sharing your story, Katie! Much love to you, my friend!
    Laura
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is so touching and beautifully told. Our children are our world. Many blessings to you and your wonderful family!

    Lynda
    Curls and a Smile

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  12. Such an amazing, inspiring story! My thoughts are definitely with you. Thank you for sharing this story!

    Jeannie
    Kindergarten Lifestyle,

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  13. This is beyond beautiful Katie. Thank you for being so transparent and letting us in. Can't begin to imagine what life was like. We look at your beautiful profile picture on FB and it just warms our hearts.

    Much love to you and your family~
    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

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  14. Wow, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing <3

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  15. Katie,
    Thank you for sharing. I am not a mother yet, however, I am moved and touch by your courage to share your story.

    Iteachkidsabc@gmail.com
    :o) V.
    Special Teacher for Special Kids

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  16. Katie, You were CHOSEN. God doesn't make mistakes. The struggles that once were, are fully repaid with blessings abound. God knew he would make it, and live a blessed life with YOU. God's plans are perfect, and He chose the most perfect mother on the planet for his precious baby. It's not always how we get there, rather it's just that we do. Your struggles compared to a smooth process, is non comparable. The fruits you exhibited, were ones that come from a rare and special kind of mother. A CHOSEN mother. What a blessing YOU are! God had the perfect plan all along. He always does. He always will. Katie my friend, not everyone is CHOSEN!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized
    amyhowbert1@gmail.com

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    1. Oh Amy! I will cherish these words forever. Our God is good. For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. I cling to this scripture, as well as this one. I lift my eyes up to the mountains. Where does my help comes from? My help comes from You maker of Heaven and Creator of the Earth. It is hard in the dark days to understand God's planning and how this moment's heartache fits into that plan. I am going to embrace the place I am in (but not wallow in it) and welcome His healing. Imagine how much harder and farther I can run with Him as He heals this limp in my soul!

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  17. Oh, Katie! I cannot even begin to imagine... Know that I just said a prayer for you and your entire family and that I will continue to pray.

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  18. Great post, honey. Thank you for going with me on not posting his really awful N.I.C.U. pics. Love you!

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  19. Congrats on your new niece and thanks for sharing your story. Miracles are so very real <3 <3 <3

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  20. Wow, your story brought back some memories of a very difficult time! It has been almost 17 years since I had to walk out of a hospital empty handed. I, unfortunately, had a stillborn daughter. Doctors never figured out what happened but I became very ill, was then diagnosed with Lupus and told not to have any more pregnancies. Fortunately, my sister in law offered to be my surrogate! I now have almost 15 year old twin daughters. I really and truly believe that god works in mysterious ways!
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure it wasn't easy.
    Julie
    My Journey to 5th Grade

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    1. Oh Julie, my heart is with you. I am so sorry that you lost a child and then we're diagnosed. What a life changer that was for you. If you ever want to chat my email is katieknight@sbcglobal.net. I have an auto immune disorder as well. (RA) and other pregnancies were not favorable for me either. I am so happy your sister gave you the gift of carrying your daughters!

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  21. I was a NICU mom, (tears now, as I go back there in my mind) it was just 27 years ago next week. Oh my how that time seems like just yesterday. Except that Mackenzie wasn't preemie. She was a healthy 7 lb. 10 oz baby. It was her heart that wasn't working right. We had to take her to a hospital 45 minutes away. We drove her and it seemed as if the traffic was at a snails pace. She had to spend two weeks there as we drove back and forth each day. They didn't have rooms for us to stay in then. Plus I had a 16 month old son back home. I got the same questions about drugs, medicines, alcohol, etc. There wasn't any of those at all. When she was finally sent home with a heart monitor and daily meds for a year, we were blessed and scared at the same time. Mackenzie is now a teacher herself, and married to a teacher and doing very well. That hospital was my life for those 2 weeks. I gained a new respect for nursing. I am so happy to look at that handsome face of your son. He looks every part of an angel with that big grin on his face. You were chosen and you have been blessed. There will be many more happy dances for you and your family to do in his honor. I suspect that Miss Erma is doing them right along with you. Your story touched a part of me that I hadn't thought about in a long long time. Thank you for using this space to enlighten all of us and to give yourself some healing too.
    P.S. I'm a gramma now of a 9 month old grand daughter who gives me oodles of reasons to smile. Someday that will be another blessing for you!
    Patty
    Second In Line

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  22. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It makes us feel a little closer to you, and gives us yet another person to bring to God in prayer, with praise for the huge strides Jackson has made. I can't understand your pain because I didn't experience it, but I'll gladly lift you up in prayer.
    Marion
    MentoringintheMiddle

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  23. Wow, what an amazing story of strength! I've shed some tears for you and lil' Jackson tonight! I'm at a loss for words. So happy that your story has such a joyous ending. Thank you so much for sharing.
    {{hugs}}}
    ❤ Traci
    DragonfliesinFirst

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    1. Traci, thank you! I am blessed by my happy ending.

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  24. Your blog gave me chills! I love you and your family! I love seeing and reading stories about Jackson and how he overcame so much and is such an amazing lil guy!

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  25. I was a NICU mommy 3 times over. I try not to think about those dark and cold days. My pregnancies were horrible. My oldest son never made it to NICU. I was told I would never have children but yet God chose me again. Each time, I was told this would be the last and then another was given. All were born between 34 and 35 week.

    My oldest is Autistic... he spent the shortest amount of time in NICU just 76 hours. My youngest is my "normal child" despite his troubled beginnings... he spent 8 days in NICU, had surgery at 6 months, and then finally "out grew" the rest of his issues.

    My middle child is my nightmare. He got stuck, I coded, it was scary they took him away, and I regained consciousness. It was a crazy 13 hour ride but then we were together, fine, normal... nothing seemed wrong. So we went home an hour or so later like a normal family. Six short hours later, we were in an ambulance with sirens blaring rushing toward a level 1 trauma unit with him running a 106 degree fever, seizures, and foaming at the mouth. He had contracted RSV but that was the minor issue.

    It never dawned on me that he never cried, never fussed, those 7 hours and 36 minutes that he was mine alone. I had never been around a child so new, how was I to know that it wasn't normal. I still remember the first time I heard him cry... it was with the blare of the ambulance in the background, this blood-curtling scream that haunts me to this day and the ran an IV into his skull. That was only the beginning of 33 days in NICU before he came home again.

    I refused to take pictures of the boys while they were there. It was too much. I buried a son already, I couldn't bare to do it again. Why take a picture when the memory is burned into your mind and heart? My family came to visit the first one in NICU but it was too much for them with the others. It was a burden I carried alone.

    My heart goes out to you and I am sending you a giant hug! So happy to see that Jackson is well now!

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    1. Oh my sweet Lord. I am saying a little prayer for you right now. My heart is broken for the loss of your first son and for the many days of hospital heartache that you endured. Thank you for sharing your story with me. (((hugs))) and ***love*** and ^^^prayers^^^ to you.

      Katie

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  26. Oh, Katie. Heart in throat. Moved beyond words. Praising God for His wisdom in making YOU Jackson's mommy and Brooklyn's auntie. And...my friend.

    Love you.

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    Replies
    1. Lisa, thank yo,u my dear, for reading and for your friendship that I cherish.

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  27. Katie, thank you for sharing your story. I can't begin to imagine what it would have been like to not hold your baby after being born. I do share that pain of having to have a child in PICU. Prayers and faith get us through our toughest times.

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  28. Oh my goodness, Katie. I am not a mom but my heart broke for you as I read about your experiences as a NICU Mommy. Every time I visit your blog I stare at the adorable family photo that sits at the top of your sidebar and I think "aren't they just the cutest family?" You just reminded me that even the cutest families endure their unfair share of hardships. I forgot all about that photo as I read your post and I held my breath hoping that you r story had a HAPPY ending. I am so glad to see that it did. Many blessings to you and your family.

    Maria
    Kinder-Craze

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  29. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story for so many people to read, in return, gain comfort. Your beautiful son is an amazing boy and you are one amazing mom.

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  30. My heart has ached for mommies like you whose babies get whisked away to some incubator and hooked up to machines and other life-saving measures ... and prayers of thanksgiving go up for doctors and medical professionals who are able to save babies, like my son, who came out blue because the cord that was his lifeline was wrapped around his neck and choking him ... and then it aches again, but is grateful for your beautiful boy and your perseverance and resilience and the gift of life, despite challenges and heartbreak. OK, I'm rambling ... your story caught be off guard ... in a good way .... thank you for your transparency and your honesty and for being SO real .... LOVE that little niece of yours and hold that boy just a little bit tighter tonight and tomorrow and the next night because you can ....

    You are a shining light to NICU moms everywhere!

    Barbara

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  31. Oh Katie...your story is so heartfelt and I can feel every single emotion. You brought tears to my eyes and I know that God had allowed this because I KNOW that your words and post just ministered to SO many! Thank you for sharing this story and for sharing your heart! I can't wait to give you a BIG hug on Saturday!
    The Moffatt Girls

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  32. Praising God for such beautiful families. Thank you for sharing your story, keeping your family in prayer.
    Libby
    First Grade Dual

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  33. Your story just brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing such a personal story and providing love and hope to so many. My best friend had two NICU babies (both just over 3 lbs.) and those memories came flooding back. I can't even imagine being the mommy in that situation. God has a plan for everyone and I seem him working through you.
    God Bless,
    Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  34. Thank you for sharing your stories even though it was hard. More of us NICU moms need to share our stories so we can bond, share, and support each other because no one else knows what we've been through. We lost our twins ten years ago, one at birth and her sister a month later in the NICU. The doctors and nurses were shocked at our story too because we didn't fit the profile but we were there and it was real for us. I'm happy that you have your son with you here and don't have to wait to know your children like we do. Stay strong in your faith.

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  35. Thank you for sharing your story. I had two difficult "high risk" pregnancies, but neither ended in N.I.C.U. and both children have grown into the most wonderful, loving, giving children. I went into labor at 30 weeks and 29 weeks, was in and out of the hospital trying (praying) not to have a baby and getting drugs to stop labor, while worrying about the side effects. We spent most of our pregnancy afraid to hope, afraid to plan, which is a terrible feeling. People are afraid to talk about babies, because what can you say. My daughter was 6 weeks early, healthy on the Apgar test but with jaundice and some delays with digestive and muscle reflexes. My son made up to 37 weeks and was healthy. They are now both in their 20s, but you never forget and you thank God everyday. Enjoy every moment...it goes to fast.
    Pauline
    First Grade by the Sea

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  36. I can't imagine going through what you went through. I'm not a mommy yet, but I know that sending your baby to the NICU is not what a new mommy expects will happen with her baby. I can't imagine being grilled about whether or not you used drugs or did something else to "cause" the NICU when you are already so fragile. I feel for you. One of my coworkers gave birth to her little girl 2 weeks ago, and she spent the first week of her life in the NICU. We were all very worried about her, but she's home now and doing well. I'm so glad that Jackson is doing well now. And congratulations on being an aunt! I love the name Brooklyn.

    Erica
    Blooming In First

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  37. Oh my goodness, I am sitting here literally sobbing as I read this. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I can't imagine going through that. I'm so sorry you had to. What a beautiful boy you have. I'm so happy that he is healthy and reaching those milestones without tears and heartache now. I will continue to pray for your family and thank God for your healthy boy. This reminds me how lucky I am to have two happy, healthy boys. I am so blessed! Thank you for post! Your family is just beautiful!

    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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  38. Oh my goodness...I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms!!! What a beautiful story- thank you for sharing.
    Melissa :)

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  39. You and your family are so very strong! You could have easily stayed in the "Why me?" mode and it would have been understandable. But, clearly, you embraced your difficult situation and your beautiful little boy with amazing strength and faith. God did choose you. He knew you would love your little boy and not take him for granted. Ever.

    I am so happy that your little boy is so healthy and happy, today. It is clear he is happy! His smile looks contagious and his shirt from another post shows that he is ALL boy and LOVES every moment! Because of his own experience, and your wonderful guidance, he will probably grow up to be one of those adults that lives life to the fullest! He will appreciate all of his moments, just like you do, now.

    Thank you for sharing your very difficult, but beautiful story.

    Beth :)

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  40. I know I am reading this post long after you wrote it, but it brought tears to my eyes. I, too, am a "NICU" mommy. My son was in the NICU for 59 days. He wasn't nearly as ill as your son; he was born way too early at about 29 weeks. You are right, being a NICU mommy changes you, and it can be difficult to see friends and relatives going through "normal" pregnancies and child births. You are certainly not alone! Thank you for sharing your story!

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  41. Oh, sweet Katie, I had no idea. What a super lucky baby he was to have such a strong mama!

    He is such a cutie and you are a wonderfully adorable family. <3

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  42. My son was not premature and everything went just right until the moment it didn't. My sweet 5 year old boy spent the first 23 days of his life in a dark and quiet NICU. His first two days were spent in a separate hospital from me. I only got to touch his leg as they were transporting him to the ambulance. I look back on those days and wonder how I was able to get through them. I used to cry out to God as I drive back and forth to the hospital, "why, why is, what did I do wrong". Now I rejoice and say why not us. Gavin has truly changed my life in so many ways I can't begin to name them, but he has truly opened my eyes and my heart. I know the true meaning of love, miracles, and acceptance. Thank you for sharing your story and that beautiful passage. Hugs to you my friend we are forever NICU sisters!

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Thanks for commenting! I feel the love!

 
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