The NICU is a place of miracles. The NICU is a place of wonder. It is one of the most frightening places anyone can ever walk into. From beeping alarms, monitors sounding off and babies crying… every day is different.
Every NICU experience is unique. There is not one story that is the same. When a baby’s day becomes “routine”, that baby is usually ready to graduate and go home. Not one day is the same in the NICU. Something always happens… good or bad. And I want to share a little of my thoughts on the NICU- four years later.
I had preemie twins born at 31 weeks. Twin A was my son, Matthew. He was 5lbs/12oz and born with many many complications. (Follow my blog and catch up!) Twin B was my daughter, Callia. She was 3lbs 2oz. She was in the NICU for 8wks just to grow and thrive. Matthew, on the other hand, did almost 5 months on the inside. (attempt outlaw voice) Cause he’s a rebel. lol… (yeah… you’ll gain a weird sense of humor doing time in the NICU)
A few minutes after my boy was born, his lungs collapsed, his kidneys were already in failure and now there were brain bleeds, heart problems and a lacerated liver. He was not expected to survive the evening. Callia was immediately placed on C-PAP (breathing machine) to help support her lungs and they were both whisked away to the NICU.
Their first night in the NICU, I wasn’t allowed to see them. Matthew and Callia were bedded next to each other, and because Matthew was so unstable, they felt it best I waited til the morning. Not only that but I had just had an emergency C-section and I was kind of messed up and out of it. I’d be lying if I said I fought the nurses tooth and nail to go see the babies… truth is I don’t really remember that night. From what I was told, I cried a lot… I was in a lot of pain… and I cried some more, even in my sleep, drugged up on pain meds. I never realized til later that my heart was already broken from the pregnancy…. and I cried from my broken heart.
I couldn’t see my babies until the following evening, late at night. Matthew was still unstable and there were still two nurses, a doctor and a respiratory therapist at his bedside when I was finally allowed to see him. I knew that they were only letting me see him because they did not believe he was ever going to BE stable and they didn’t believe he was going to survive.
I saw Callia first. And my heart wanted to burst into joy. There she was. The strongest little fighter and protector I was ever going to meet. I knew she would be well. When I saw Matthew, I was shocked to the core. Hooked up to so many tubes, wires, monitors…but I was in awe. There he was…. the miracle.
A lot has happened in four years. Good, bad, ugly, amazing… all of it. There were the 17 surgeries my son has had… the years of therapy both babies had to get through… The hospital stays… the financial burden and fights with insurance… the burden this had on all my children… the burden this had on my marriage. A lot has happened… and it all started with these babies in the NICU and the Promise God had for me.
The NICU life is a roller coaster of emotions. It is a place where I found faith I never knew I needed or had. It is a place I never knew existed until we took a tour with the head neonatologist that showed us where our babies would inevitably end up.
The NICU was the place where I met real, true, living angels. It is where I saw and heard mothers cry and beg God to change whatever situation they were in. It is a place where I, myself, begged God. I begged God to make my son well. And on one occasion, I begged God to take him to be free of this pain I knew he was enduring.
The NICU is a place where I saw miracles. Witnessing hings that even doctors could not believe. It is where I had conversations that no parent should ever have.
The NICU is a place where I learned I had a voice as a mother. I learned I had a say in the care of the most important people in my life.
The NICU is a place I learned a completely brand new profession… all through on the job training. I never knew I could take vitals, give meds, change a g-tube, do my sons dialysis, watch him and learn every breath, every heartbeat, every movement my son made. I never realized I needed to learn this to save his life many months and years later. I never knew the NICU was the launching pad of learning medical terms for years of tests, procedures and surgeries.
I look back at the NICU, four years later, and it is still hard for me sometimes to think about it. To remember all that had happened in there. And I know I’m not the only one that still has a hard time visiting. I thank God everyday for our outcome. There are many families and parents that didn’t bring home their babies. My heart will always hurt for them.
The NICU was where I needed to begin. I needed to learn in. I needed to hurt in. I needed to laugh in. I needed to learn Grace. And I was able to gain an understanding of God’s Wisdom and His Will. It was the first place I ever heard His voice. It was the first place I ever fell to my knees. And it was the first place I ever stood in public and in front of witnesses and proclaimed that In The Name of Jesus… my son WILL be healed. The Holy Spirit overwhelming me in such a way that the Hand of God moved immediately. I never knew how Powerful and How Great He is!
The NICU… is where miracles happen. Every day! The experience will never leave me. It is in my heart… it is a part of me and a part of who I am now. It is hard sometimes, but I can look back at our NICU journey and know that it was all a part of God’s plan. And I Praise God for our future.
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