NICU mama

‘I chose to wear headphones. I didn’t want to hear or see Lily, afraid she would die. I kept my eyes affixed on my husband.’: Parents who lost twin daughter navigate marriage through tragedy, ‘We weren’t remotely prepared for what lay ahead’

“My husband encouraged me to look at my 1-pound daughter. If Lily died, we agreed to sell all our belongings and move to a beach in Hawaii, disappearing until we felt strong enough to return – but Pat knew Lily was strong enough to survive. I had intense, terrifying thoughts. This is not what we anticipated when we took our vows, but we faced each day together. We’ve come so far from stupid teenagers breaking curfew for 5 more minutes together, but if they could look ahead, I know they’d be pretty damn proud of us, too.”

‘Something isn’t right.’ I looked into my husband’s eyes. As I slowly shifted our son’s head, I saw an enlarged cheek.’: Mom ‘never knew’ about newborn’s lymphatic malformation until birth, ‘We were numb’

“Immediately our midwife called in the doctor. Within 3 minutes of meeting our precious Oliver, he was taken off my chest and over to the incubator. I didn’t know how to feel. My midwife was still trying to get me to stop bleeding as I struggled to see my baby. There was no time to process, research or pray. Here he was, our firstborn. We had no idea how to be parents, but then to throw in a special needs child, we were numb.”

‘Why weren’t we told this sooner? Obviously they suspected brain bleeds. Why didn’t we know?’: Newborn suffers brain bleeds in-utero, defies all odds to survive, ‘he’s leaving a trail of middle fingers behind him for the naysayers’

“My husband arrived just seconds before the doctor said, ‘He is out!’ I was certain he had died. I couldn’t stop shaking while they stitched me up. But he was perfect, with a surprising amount of thick, dark hair. ‘There’s a high likelihood he’ll never walk or talk.’ They asked if we wanted to stop life-saving measures. We stood our ground. He’d be our ‘wayfinder.’ We trusted he’d tell us in his own way if things became too much, and it was time to stop fighting.”

‘It’s OK to let go, baby. We promise he’ll take care of you.’ I felt her life leave her broken body.’: Couple lose newborn daughter to ‘totally random umbilical cord accident’

“She was suffering. The nurse wanted to try another medication to help ease her pain. Our daughter had an immediate reaction and stopped breathing. My baby was dying in my living room. Matt was racing home from work. ‘Please never let her suffer this way ever again.’ My heart couldn’t handle watching my baby endure this. Her body was tired. She’s now an angel in heaven.”

‘I gave birth to this gorgeous, healthy baby a year after her father’s death.’: Widow gets pregnant with late husband’s baby from saved embryos, ‘now, after his death, it seemed possible’

“‘Sir, you have kidney cancer.’ My husband was 32. It was shocking. Before cancer was our biggest obstacle, infertility was. We chose to freeze his sperm – a decision that would change our lives forever. Two embryos were left over. Our hospital didn’t believe in destroying them, so I had to decide what that meant for me. Before he died, Joel told me, ‘You and I are going to have another baby. It will be a girl, you know what to name her.’”

‘She took her last breath in her daddy’s arms. She was absolutely beautiful, perfect. I wouldn’t survive.’: 18-year-old parents lose daughter at 20-days-old, says ‘you never get over it’

“‘There is nothing more we can do.’ We counted her tiny fingers, toes. She had my nose, and the most stunning blue-green eyes. We held her hand, stroked her hair. It was the first and last time my husband got to hold his daughter. The little girl whose name he chose. The nurse wrapped her in a white blanket and handed her to me. I took in every detail of her beautiful face, holding her tiny hand until all warmth was gone.”

‘His hands are connected at his chest.’ We were in disbelief. He must have been making a mistake.’: Mom says son born with limb difference is ‘perfect’ despite differences, ‘We believe in miracles’ for his future

“My first glimpse of him was from a picture my husband had taken. His hands were at his chest, his legs were curled up tightly in a little yoga pose. He had 10 sweet fingers and toes, and I was in love. We were both in shock, the panic over doing what was best for him was all I could think about. The nurse put him on my chest. He was so tiny, and beautiful, despite looking ‘different.'”

‘Alright, I’m cutting open! Get ready to grab.’ Then doctor yelled, ‘He’s out!’ I never heard my son cry.’: Mom rejoices NICU warrior for ‘beating the odds,’ says ‘He’s the strongest person I know’

“All of a sudden, I felt liquid explode out of me… I looked at my nurse. ‘Umm, something just came out of me!’ My nurse lifted up my gown. ‘Her water broke!!!’ Nurses came running in, but the only person who spoke to me was the anesthesiologist. ‘I’m going to stand by your side the whole time. I’ll make sure you’re ok,’ he told me.”

‘You’re getting snipped, right?!’ I told my husband, no more babies. He obliged! The doctor had an emergency.’: After harrowing NICU journey, preterm birth, mom excited for ‘freedom’ husband’s vasectomy would bring to their ‘intimacy’

“My husband told me without hesitation, he’d get a vasectomy. I thought, ‘Yeah sounds good, but we’ll see if he’s really down for the cause when that time comes.’ We prepared for snip snip day by getting him a bag of frozen peas and tight underwear. He was nervous, but ready. My OB knew of our plan, but kept asking, ‘Are you SURE?’”

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