Thursday, August 23, 2012

Processing the NICU

In October, Cohen will have been home for a whole year. Time seems to have taken on new characteristics since our boys were born. Sometimes it passes so incredibly fast and yet we have had moments and days that have felt like years. Although it's been a year since we walked finally walked out the NICU doors for good, it feels like I am just now starting to process Cohen's NICU stay.

After the twins were born, we went into survival mode and were somewhat numb to the situation. We knew that we were going through difficult times and we knew that the things we were experiencing with Cohen were not normal newborn happenings, but I'm not sure we really knew. We knew our tiny baby was sick, but we didn't comprehend the complexities of his medical issues and what they meant for him, it just seemed normal at the time. It was such a moment to moment time that anything past one day to the next didn't make sense. All we could handle was one success or trial at a time. It was either a good day (hour) or bad one. We knew, but I'm not sure we truly understood.

Now, nearly a year later, as I look back at all those pictures of Cohen with a tube down his throat and remember how his lungs were bleeding and they weren't sure what it meant for him or why he was having bleeding, it hurts my heart. When I think about how basically didn't pee for 5 days when he was in kidney failure, see the pictures of him with raw, open skin on his face from where they ripped the tape off of his breathing tube the day he turned blue and required CPR, it makes me wonder how? So many people tell us we have been so strong, and I honestly don't know how. Other than to say that we didn't have a choice. How could we walk away from our child in his time of greatest need?

I can say that I'm glad I didn't know. There were days where I think I caught glimpses of how not normal all of this was and how serious the situation was, but I'm thankful that for the most part I didn't really know.

While I remember the fear, I also remember the joy that we felt throughout. Even though we didn't fully comprehend all of the harsh details, we understood how blessed we were to have Cohen. We celebrated every month on his birthday, we cherished the moments we got to hold him for the first time. We had a good few minutes of video from the first time we really saw him moving his little feet and legs because it was so amazing. I was so happy the day that I got to put clothes on Cohen for the first time at over 2 months old. The day that he moved to an open crib was one of the best, because it meant that I got to hold him whenever I wanted.

As I continue to process and look back at those days, I just can't even believe how much Cohen has been through and what a miracle he truly is.


  1. This brings me back to when my girls were in the NICU for three weeks. I was just looking at the video footage yesterday and kept staring back at them now and thinking, wow, look how far they came. My girls are 13 months now and just as chunky as they want to be. I want to visit the NICU now so that they can see the girls. Have you visited the hospital lately?

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  2. When I saw the picture yesterday of his mouth open. I remember how he had to learn to CLOSE his mouth after 2 months of the vent. He has learned SO much. Tiny Fighter, Mighty Man, Grampas PeePee dance... He just made it thru a day at a time and has AMAZED and BLESSED us all! I cry now when I see those pictures. We could not just cry and cry every time we wanted to in the NICU. I think because Cohen was So strong and fighting for his every breath as hard as we prayed and begged Jesus for his every breath. Thank you Jana and Danny for making Cohen and Carter part of OUR lives!! We love you all So much!!

  3. NICU moms are the strongest there are. I think when we all look back at the NICU days none of us know how we made it through, but we did. Your strength is amazing and happy year home anniversary to your miracle.

  4. I also wonder how, how did we do that? I felt like a zombie for so long and words can never describe what its like, watching your baby turn blue, those were some bad days. I agree with you, we didn't have a choice, and here we are today, thankful that our little babies can pee :)