It’s been a year since I began to write about my journey in the NICU. It sure doesn’t seem like a year ago that we were sitting at Sugar Plum’s incubator, praying and watching her through the ups and downs.
We’ve come a long way since those long, hard days and nights in the NICU. To this day, I feel like I am still growing stronger in my faith because of our struggles we endured those few months.
One major thing that still stands out today is “Let go. Let God.”
Our time in the NICU made me learn to, “Let go. Let God.” and even today I am still following this train of thought. There are so many things in life that we need to let go and let God take control. So many moments when we feel things are spiraling and while we try with all our might to keep control, it’s those moments we need to let go most of all. Those are the hardest moments, though.
I’m not saying drop everything and give up. I’m saying pray and ask for help in your journey. Instead of making decisions on your own, ask God to guide you and then listen to his guidance.
It’s difficult to put a task into another persons hands, but we are not putting them in someone else’s hands we are putting them in the one and only, God’s hands. He knows what’s best for us and will help us through.
So next time you feel like you can’t do it alone, pray, listen and have faith. It’s hard but He knows what you need. Let go. Let God.
We have made it through the first year of our little miracles life. There have been many ups and downs, many struggles, but we have overcome and she is so much stronger now than we ever could have imagined.
I am still stunned at the fact that it’s been a year. She has come so far in the past year and we are so proud of her! She is a little fighter and the most easy going of my three kiddos for sure.
Even a year later, I still hold her and can’t help but compare her to the little peanut she was when she was born. It’s scary to think about the first few months of her life, but I know that she has overcome and we are all so much stronger for it. Our lives have been forever changed and while she will always have that past, she is quickly moving into the normal in her development and overall is doing very well!
We are so very proud of her!
Happy birthday beautiful, sweet, happy, giggly angel! I cannot image life without you! Thank you for blessing our lives in so many ways!
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am snuggling with a sweet Sugar Plum this cold, rainy morning. We’ve been cuddling by the fire for a little while now and I can’t help but reflect on the many blessings in my life.
The last 12 months have been absolutely crazy. From a “threatened miscarriage” around Thanksgiving last year, which kept me worried for the remaining pregnancy. Then delivering an itty bitty, 29 weeker in April. Spending almost 8 weeks in the NICU initially. Heading back to the NICU for another 10 days. All the while, taking a dip in the real estate world by selling our house and buying a new one. Trying to keep our older two kiddos living life as normal as possible, while still understanding what was going on with Sugar Plum.
This juggle, this craziness, was almost constant for 9 months. It wasn’t until July that things started to slow down again and we began to get into a normal routine.
I look back on the past 12 months and wonder how we made it through. The only way I can explain it was faith and support. It was looking up to God when things got tough. It was prayer and faith that pulled us through. Knowing life was in God’s hand. It was sticking together as a family when things got tough. It was the shoulder to cry on. The hugs. The smiles and laughter. Even in the toughest moments we were a family and we did our best to support each other through it all. Without faith and each other my reflection would be so much different.
As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but be thankful for all those things I have been blessed with. Even those tough times have made (and are still making) us stronger. There is a bigger plan, a reason for those tough moments, they are a way to make us grow. I know my life has forever been changed on so many levels and I am forever grateful for those beautiful blessings; some in disguise, showing their beauty in retrospect. Others making their beauty known immediately.
I am so very thankful for everyone in my life, for the good and bad times, the ups and downs, the moments I didn’t think things would get better, and then they did.
I am so blessed.
In honor of World Prematurity Day, here’s a reflection on my two preemies.
Miles and miles away from home, life flight and emergency c-section were how you made your grand entrance. You were a fighter from the very start and amazed us all! From the Ozarks, to Columbia then finally into Lees Summit, you had seen quite a bit of the state before you were a few weeks old. We finally went home 4 weeks after you were born. After a month with a heart monitor and just a few alarms you were free to be a normal little man.
Today, you would never know you were a preemie, other than your strong mind. You are an amazing 5.5 year old now with the biggest heart and more energy than I know what to do with!
Our latest crazy delivery. A Starbucks coffee stop, immediate rush to the hospital and another emergency c-section, this time before daddy could even make it to the hospital. You were transported from Lee’s Summit to the Plaza within a few hours and I didn’t get to see you again until the next day. You were such a fighter in every aspect. After 7 weeks in the NICU we finally went home but, a few weeks later you had an issue breathing, I had to perform CPR and get you back to the NICU for another 10 days because of Pneumonia. You have kept us on our toes but have been such a wonderful baby. We are so blessed to have you in our lives.
At 7 months (5 adjusted) you are doing more than expected. You are rolling, pushing up, sitting, and standing!
We are forever grateful for all the nurses and doctors that took care of our little angels. You are amazing! To our families who supported us through it all, thank you! We are forever blessed!
She weighed 9lbs and does not need her heart monitor anymore!
This was such a big day for all of us!
She has been monitored for 4 months now, both in the NICU and at home and it’s such a relief to know she is doing fine and can be treated like a normal newborn!
After a fun ice-cream celebration with the kids, hubby and I opened a bottle of wine and toast the special occasion.
So cheers to our little peanut, Sugar Plum. You’ve come quite a way in the last 4 months!
We are linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Weekly Wrap-Up
After a busy weekend I was looking forward to getting back to our weekday routine. We’re a few weeks into our school year and finally getting into our groove again.
The week went by quickly, but we accomplished quite a bit of fun learning.
It was a big week for Sunshine, who began reading on the kindle.
Sunshine has a tendency to get overwhelmed by looking at a thick book, but she reads well enough to start reading chapter books. In an attempt to cut out the overwhelming factor, I decided to let her try reading on an old kindle my husband claims as his (although he never uses). We loaded Winnie-the-Pooh, I made the type a bit larger and gave her a quick lesson on how to use the kindle, then she began.
It was like night and day. She read much more fluently, and was asking to read more instead of me having to insist she keep going! Hopefully this continues even after the new wears off. It’s also now her favorite subject and she asks to do it first cause she’s so excited to read again!
We also talked more about birds calls, songs and feathers. We even took a field trip to the zoo. Most of the public schools started classes this week, so we took advantage of the small crowds and beautiful, unseasonably cool weather (70’s in August very rarely happens in KC).
We sat in the bird area for 30 minutes, identifying the birds, listening to their songs and calls and just watching them. It was a great way to spend a bit of time with birds we can’t see in our backyard.
We met some friends later and of course we saw some other animals too.
Because the weather was gorgeous, we spent quite a bit of time using the outdoors as our classroom.
We worked on our math outside.
Played spelling baseball (spell the word – get a pitch – hit – run the bases -steal a base by spelling another word). This was a fun way to review our spelling words and enjoy the great weather.
We even enjoyed reading our literature selection, The Horse and His Boy outside.
It was a simple taste of what are days will look like in the fall, since I’m sure this cool weather won’t last.
It was a big week for Sugar Plum too. She had, what we now know as, her last NICU followup appointment.
She is now 9lbs and does not need her heart monitor anymore! Great news! We celebrated with some ice-cream with the kiddos… and some wine tonight with the hubby!
This poem was written while sitting bedside with Sugar Plum. It’s a reflection on our time in the NICU. Enjoy.
Day and night
Filled so tight
Sats and CO2
Hope that soon
You’ll be home
You’ll get stronger
This we know
One step closer
Fill us up
Make you stronger
Through the night
Blood is drawn
All day long
Good morning sunshine
Sleep tight, hun
One day soon
Our worlds are one
Most of the photos we have from our NICU stay were taken with our camera phones. With Mister Man these are the only photos we have of his first month of life. While I am grateful we have our phones to take those photos of daily moments, it’s unfortunate to lose out on the newborn photos most families dream about.
This time around, a friend told me about a wonderful photographer who takes newborn photos for parents in the NICU, Jessica Strom.
In addition to my friend’s referral, all the nurses and Sugar Plum’s roommate’s mom had been talking about Jessica’s photography. They had only great things to say about her and her work. I was so happy to get in touch with her. We got a date scheduled for her to come to take some photos of Sugar Plum the following week.
Jessica was professional, sweet and did an amazing job! She definitely lived up to all the hype.
On top of her beautiful photography skills she was overly sweet, thoughtful and just a wonderful person. She took a genuine interest in Sugar Plum and made us feel like we had known her our whole lives.
The day we scheduled her to come, was a stressful day for Sugar Plum, so we couldn’t take her out of the incubator. This meant we were very limited on the photos Jessica could get.
Somehow, she got some beautiful shots that we will treasure for years to come.
We anticipated having more photos taken a few weeks later, but we were discharged earlier than we expected. We will be having Jessica photograph Sugar Plum again soon, now that we are home.