Life in NICU

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Every girl needs a little decoration, even in the hospital!

We are home!  Finally home!  However, with this new sense of "freedom" comes big responsibility.  Before I share with you in another update how life is at home, I'd like to show you life in the NICU for Everly's first 15 days.

Because we knew that she would be going into the NICU, we were able to take a tour and have the children take their NICU class so they could also come visit once Everly was born.  We all learned so much during our respective classes and tours.  As much as I thought I was prepared for the NICU, I quickly found that I was not.

A little girly decoration I pre-made to spruce up her temporary digs. Matches her big name banner in her room. Thank you Susan for all the die cut letters.

No one can prepare you for all the doctors who visit.  No one can prepare you for all the vital checks done around the clock.  No one can prepare you for all the lab work that must be done on your baby. No one can prepare you for the lack of sleep everyone will get...or not get as the case may be.  No one can prepare you for all the tubes, leads and monitors your child will be hooked to there.  No one can prepare you to see your child in such a vulnerable position.
Although the mechanics of being in NICU were scary and unfamiliar, we were blessed to have the best nursing staff around!  These ladies took care of Everly's needs, found better ways to make her comfortable and even helped us out as we lived there 24/7 for 15 days.  With one couch and a non-reclining chair, sleep and comfort  were miserably lacking but knowing she was receiving excellent care made it worth it.

Sweet pea's birth sign and weekly stats board we took to the hospital.

When our diagnosis changed during our stay, the nurses showed compassion and care towards us and even more so towards Everly.  Only 1 in 6,000 babies born are diagnosed with Trisomy 18.  We are lucky to have this sweet pea and even luckier to have been given teams of nurses who loved her, too!!  The nurses were amazed daily at how alert, aware and strong she continued to be.  Most of the nurses had had limited or no experience with babies like Everly.  But that didn't stop them from researching her condition and finding ways to make her comfortable.  What a testament to their dedication to nursing!

Almost before it was too late, we decided to photograph the nursing staff who cared and loved our sweet pea while in NICU.  So, if you're reading this and we missed your picture, please forgive us as we didn't think about it until days before our discharge.  On the flip side, if you appear in a picture and you would rather not be on our journal page, please let me know and I will remove it.  I will forever cherish the faces of those who walked with us on this journey the first two weeks of Everly's life.  Every nurse, every respiratory therapist, the doctors, the hospital support staff and even a security guard or two made a difference in our stay.

With love and appreciation,

Crystal & Jimmy

Dr. Mendoza...the doctor who broke the news to us and the most compassionate doctor I know! Love her! This picture was taken the night before we discharged...she was not even the attending doctor for us that night but wanted to come by and see us one last time. Spent 1/2 hour just hanging out with us!

Charge Nurse Felice...there are no words adequate enough to describe this woman...she was given to us from God above I know for sure. Love this woman!
Nurse Flo...stayed with us for a record 3 nights in a row. Loved her spirit and motivation!
Nurse Kristina...our night time Primary nurse. Love this lady! 
Nurse Kristy...had probably the toughest night with us...the night the Everly had to get a new IV, then umbilical catheter, then two PICC line attempts.
Nurse and on it!
Nurse Elizabeth...sweet and caring!! An amazing woman of God!! 
Nurse Beth...didn't get an individual shot before her rotation ended...all around award winner! Helped in more ways than I can count!!!

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