A Letter To My NICU Baby

Dear Baby Francis,

What an entrance you made into this world, little man! A 3 hour labor, a surprise at-home birth delivered by your daddy, followed by a NICU stay in the hospital. Since you’ve been born, you have been full of surprises. You have forever changed our lives and you have empowered me.

You made me feel the most connected and strongest I have ever felt in my body, by showing me that I am capable of bringing you into this world. You told me to trust you and to trust my body and together we did it! I have never been able to let my body go in this way. With every wave of a contraction, you knew just how to come into this world (maybe a little too well!). When it came time to push, I felt I didn’t have to do a single thing because our bodies were working together, so in sync.

You also made me feel my weakest, encouraging me to have no choice but to completely surrender to the Lord. I definitely got the unmedicated birth I hoped for, but shortly after, we were separated and my heart aches knowing that we didn’t get that much-needed golden hour. We didn’t get those first baby snuggles, we didn’t get to rub the vernix into your soft little skin, and I didn’t get to put you on my chest to keep your body warm. I knew you were in good hands, but they weren’t mine, and that kills me.

We finally made it to the hospital and you started out so strong, but you like to keep us on our toes. Thank goodness we had amazing nurses that spotted how you were working just a little to hard to take each breath. I know it must have been so tough coming into this world so fast! You are a fighter and you had an army of prayer warriors sending the most love and positivity your way, sunshine.

You humbled me by being in the NICU. All to fast, you made me surrender to the picture I had of how your first few months would go. My milk hadn’t come in yet, but the dr said you needed to eat in order to get healthy. We gave you formula. You cried and cried being under the bili lights and wearing those goggles. I wanted to soothe you but I couldn’t hold you, so we gave you a paci. It wasn’t how I pictured your first days, but you reminded me that even though literally nothing went according to plan, God carries us though it all.

Baby boy, not only does my heart ache for you, but it aches for all of the other babes and beautiful mamas and families we saw in the NICU. I have never felt so much love, worry, and hope in one room. I often feel guilty that our stay was short, yet other families have been in the NICU with their little fighters so much longer than us. I know that there are other little babies that were more sick than you, but I also know that what we went through was scary and very real.

Watching you under the lights absolutely killed me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of wanting nothing more than to hug and nurse you, but not be able to hold you in my arms. But we found strength not only in each other, but in your dad. How blessed we are that he is ours! He didn’t leave your side, and he patiently fed you with my milk in a seringe and his finger. We are so blessed little man. Because of you and our journey, I have fallen more in love with your daddy - feeling a comfort, trust, and love I didn’t know possible.

So now we recover. What a rollercoaster we have been on! Every time I see a picture of a little baby on their mommy’s chest during the golden hour, I choke up because I didn’t get that opportunity with you. We will never get that back. When I see pictures of families smiling in the hospital bed or moms positively influencing others with their freshly postpartum diaper pictures, I get a knot in my throat because, oh how I had so many picture plans for us. How quickly things changed. I instantly didn’t care about anything other than getting you home and healthy as can be.

Friends and family keep checking in to see if we are okay, and truth be told, sometimes we are, but a lot of times we‘re not. We have quite the story, and we are blessed to be home, but this was scary, unexpected, and so out of our control. But together, my sweet little boy, we will heal. We will snuggle together and cry together and every time I see your sleepy smile, I’ll wonder how it’s possible my heart can love you so. How blessed we are to be home! I can hold you, kiss you, nurse you, and cuddle you on my chest. We did it little man! And together we will continue to live each day to its fullest, never taking a moment for granted.

Love You To The Moon + Back,

Your Mama <3

To the labor + delivery + NICU nurses // THANK YOU! Words can’t describe how thankful we are you got our little man the help he needed and gave us the comfort we needed in such an unknown time. You told me to take it hour by hour and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that.

To friends and family // Thank you for checking in. We might not always respond right away, but it means the world to us that you care about our little guy! We find so much strength and comfort in you.

To any families who are or have been in the NICU // Words can’t describe how sorry I am you went through what you went through. We understand our stay was short and that there are babes who are in the NICU so much more sick than our little

man was and for much longer. We are blessed to be home and if you are currently battling a NICU stay, know that we are praying for you and your family.

To NICU mamas // Girl, I feel your strength and I feel lifted and humbled by the hope you have shown me. I cry with you, I laugh with you, and we are in this healing together. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the fear and heartache the NICU gave me, but you have shown me hope and healing. You are a warrior and we can do this!

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