Our NICU Journey

Home… I don’t think I could ever be more excited to just be home. And although I am so very excited to be in this very place, I just can’t help but break down and cry. The last few days have been hell { for the lack of a better term } and I think that is just finally sinking in. As I sit here and ponder on what has just transpired, I look at my baby with the most emotion I’ve ever felt in my entire life. We have fought hard for this baby from heartbreak and miscarriage, the hesitation of even trying again, and the fear of miscarrying following along the entire first half of the pregnancy.. I don’t think it actually hit me that this beautiful, dark headed, sisters twin, mama’s chin and daddy nosed baby actually belonged to us until she was in our arms, and even then it didn’t feel real.. 

Three days… we got three days together at home before our entire world was rattled. Tuesday morning I was so, very excited to get us out of the house for the first time.. little did I know, Tuesday would become any parents worst nightmare. What was supposed to be a routine, “one week checkup” turned out to be a rush to the labs and a few short hours later a frantic phone call from the pediatrician who lost me at “go through the main entrance and tell them you’re there for a general admit.” After those words spewed out of her mouth, everything just went fuzzy. I melted.. I broke down into a million pieces. I had to take my baby.. my precious S I X day old baby to the hospital.. without hesitation we jumped in the truck and headed to Children’s.. everyone assured me that it would be fine… she just needed to be under the lights for a day or two and we would get to be right back home.. wrong, they were wrong.

As I was still trying to wrap my head around the simple fact that Spencer would just be in the hospital in general, things and information were being thrown at me all at once and it all started to just mesh together. It was like I was in my very own episode of Greys Anatomy.. jewelry off, scrub in from the elbows down, pump in this designated area, this wire goes here, that IV goes there… WOAH. Once I comprehended what was going on and got myself settled in, things got really scary really fast.. Spencer became unresponsive.. my baby was laying there lifeless, just breathing. She would not move, she would not react, she wouldn’t even so much as pucker her lips.. life around us became very hectic very fast. Large carts with extra long needles and nurses in full surgical attire filled our room. Paper work was thrown at me and my signature was needed multiple times.. I had no idea what was happening, or really what I was signing to be honest. I just knew I had to do it to help my baby.

The nurses rushed me out of the room and down the hallway as they started to stick an 8 inch needle in my little girls back.. she let out a heart wrenching scream that will forever be embedded into my brain. The walk down that hallway seemed to be the longest of my life. It was like a prison, doors upon doors, security cameras, and a somber mood filled in around me. I sat in a chair and melted. I let it all out. The cries, the whys, the gasps for air that still left me suffocating. All of it hit me at once like a big ass semi truck. About ten minutes later they wheeled our girl down the hallway and into “isolation” where there were nurses eyes on her at every moment of every second, and the little boy next door had to have his diaper changed through holes in an incubator which made my heart hurt even more than it already did. 

We finally got to see a doctor who described things to us that, at the time, I couldn’t pronounce or even remember to save my life. Metabolic diseseases, maybe meningitis, possible brain damage from the extremely high bilirubin levels circling through her blood and attacking her liver.. only time and science would tell what was making our baby sick. She sat under SEVEN lights for almost two days, her incubator was wrapped in foil for better light reflection, and she had 15 or so wires super glued to her head to monitor her brain activity to determine if the brain was in fact damaged. We spent about 24 hours in isolation before Spencer became stable enough to head back down that sad, prison-like hallway to a private room where she was taken off of all but three lights and I could maybe get a little bit of sleep, being as the room wasn’t lit up like the Fourth of July. 

Thursday morning my body went into shock., from what exactly, I’m not too sure. I was very quickly awakened at 5:30am with the shakes and the tremors and the worst stomach ache I think I’ve ever had. My entire body was convulsing. I was freezing cold and could not get warm until I closed my eyes and got in a little nap. Finally mid morning the doctor allowed for her to come off of the lights. Praise the good Lord above, things we’re looking up for us. I was finally able to hold my baby for the first time in three days. I could breastfeed, and I could just feel her warmth with no glasses over her eyes and no lights restricting how much time I could touch her for. My nurse Thursday evening was a Godsend (they all were amazing and I could not have asked for a better experience) however this particular nurse intercepted me at her 1 am feeding and told me to go back to sleep because I would need it for when we got home.. and again at 4.. she fed and changed Spenc for me both times so that for the first time in almost 4 days I could actually really sleep. 

This morning I woke up so hopeful that we would get to go home. In four days I had not seen sun, I had not felt fresh air, I had not eaten a real hot meal that didn’t come in a brown bag or from a warmer in the cafeteria. I had been alternating the same 2 outfits because I refused to go home. I refused to leave that baby’s side for longer than maybe five minutes, to only run down stairs and fetch myself some coffee.. I looked in the mirror and realized I had probably lost 15 pounds, and had bags so big I could name them. I am EXHAUSTED. I have taken in more information in the past four days than I have in the past four months. I have held my shit together better than I ever thought I could have. When I wanted to break down, I sucked it up and kept my composure which, let me just say, is probably a hundred times harder when you’re so exhausted and all you want to do is cry. I missed my baby, so much. My heart hurt because I hadn’t seen Khloe in days.. that she was so confused on where her mommy and her sissy went. Not to mention, with all the emotions that come about when you have your second, I felt as though SHE may have felt abandoned by me and that hurt.. 

I will say this a million times over.. PRAISE GOD that all of her test results came back negative! She was healthy, her bilirubin was staying down, and we were finally able to go home. Well now I’m home and all those emotions I had been bottling up are coming to the surface. I sit and look at my baby and feel so, so bad for her. She is covered in scabs, she has multiple bruises from the many IV attempts, she has reside on her body from all the tapes, cords & wires and she has clumps of glue in her hair and on her neck and chin from the neuro scan. I feel bad for myself. I never in a million years thought those words would escape my mouth but right now, I really really do. I feel so blessed and so grateful for all the AMAZING people who have been so good to me through this, better than I even deserve. People who have never met me, people who I haven’t talked to in years, and people who just love our family so much. Everyone has been praying, everyone has been reaching out and everyone has been so wonderful to me. 

So I just sit here and cry.. all of that mashed in one, hot mess, barely holding it together, can hardly keep my eyes open, me.. has me an emotional roller coaster. If I have learned anything over the course of the past few days it is that I am stronger than I know and braver than I ever believed I was. But above all else I have been reminded that I am a mother. And a damn good one at that.. and I am so, so proud of myself. I have exceeded my own expectations of myself and now that has me crying even more. And on the days where I doubt that very fact, I will remind myself of this week. This is motherhood.. not the edited photos, the hashtags, the followers, the name brand clothes, the luxurious vacations, or the giant play dates.. this down right scary and dirty living hell I have been through the past four days is real life, raw motherhood. I have decided to share a few photos below and they are not easy to look at.. but we are home, we are healthy, and we are happy. Now I will go hug my babies just a little tighter tonight.



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