Well friends it's been 2 years since we brought our little miracle Jaxson home from the NICU! 2 years...can you believe it??? I am humbled and eternally grateful for our journey. We went from not being sure our son would make it, to conquering the NICU rollercoaster for 119 days and him becoming a NICU grad. Over the last 730 days, by the grace of God he has been healthy and free from any hospital re-admissions which for a 22 week preemie is AMAZING! Whew!
The first year home was a little scary, yet sweet. Culminating the 2nd year home has been much different than the first. Jaxson has grown in so many ways and is seriously a big boy. This phase of his life as a toddler keeps me on my toes and constantly reminds me that there is amazing grace upon his life. He is the happiest child, so smart, rarely feels any type of pain and will run circles around you! We've come a very long way since our NICU days, but we never forget how far we have come and every chance I get, I make it a point to pay it forward.
Over the past 2 years we've dealt with the anxieties of having a micro preemie, I've conquered PTSD, and we've made so many special memories. We've come such a long way from having weekly Pediatric and Eye Dr. appointments for the first 8 weeks home. Isolation during cold/flu season, Supplemental oxygen, a pulse Ox and 4 medications were also a huge part of our journey being home for the first 6 months. Not complaining at all, all of these things have helped us to have an even greater appreciation for Jaxson's life. We are VERY grateful with our portion.
2 years later I can say that a lot of the things I worried about before are a thing of the past. I still have normal mom worries here and there, but I'm much better than before! Many people don't know that it took a while for us (mostly me) to really feel settled, happy SAFE and secure in a way. You see here's the thing, when you experience having a premature child once your get off the rollercoaster (NICU), sometimes it's feels like your always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I remember thinking and being worried and saying, "I can't believe Jaxson is actually HOME, is this real life?" God had answered our prayers of being able to bring our son home healthy by his due date and before Thanksgiving. It's one thing to pray and know God CAN but sometimes it's like, but WILL He? I often felt like our blessing was just "too good to be true". No one is exempt from hard times or even bad things happening. Some people don't get to bring their baby home from the NICU, ever. Some have many back and forth trips to the hospital. So the fact that this wasn't the case for us was mind blowing and truly truly a miracle. I find myself still in awe from time to time and I am careful to cherish the blessing that he is.
At 2 years and 4 months old, Jaxson is continuing to thrive. He is long and lean, very energetic, happy and smart. We are navigating our way through his speech delay, which if I'm being honest has been a little tough to handle. He's been receiving ST for about 7 months now and there has been progress but I did think he would be further along by now. He isn't where some other 2 year olds are developmentally, and that's ok. I learned a long time ago to not compare...comparison is the thief of joy and to compare his life to another isn't fair to him. Jaxson has overcome so much and shown us just how strong he is. During the 4 months he spent in the NICU we were able to watch him grow and develop in ways that many mothers never get a chance to. Jaxson and I share such a special bond and I can honestly say that everything we went through during our time in the NICU was worth it and things get better over time.
People often see our family and they think or even say "you guys are just so perfect!" But we aren't perfect. Yes our life is blessed but we go through things just like others and we conquer them one step at a time! If you are going through a time right now where you are trying to figure out how you will make it through, just remember that hard times don't last. Let us be your inspiration to keep going. God gave us beauty for ashes. I know if He did it for us He can do it for you. Just don't ever loose your hope, no matter what. Remain hopeful, positive and trust the process. We had to go through 4 tough months but it was part of the foundation for where we stand today.