Once a year our former hospital has a celebration for all of the little ones who have graduated from the NICU! Invitations are sent out to the families and the anticipation of seeing all of our former NICU nurses and Doctors begins. This was our 2nd reunion and it was so nice to see some of the people who really contributed to the health and wellness of our son. Some of the NICU staff has become such an intricate part of our lives. We saw many of the same faces who diligently cared for Jaxson and remembered him so well. To see his former nurse Rachel who cared for him in the first 36 hours of his life was such a special moment. She was in awe of how big Jaxson is and how well he is doing. Rachel's dedication to her patients is something that both my husband and I really appreciated and the fact that she remembered our family meant a lot to me.
Equally, everyone is always amazed to see Jaxson- he was one of the youngest (by gestation) to be born at Little Company of Mary. Many don't know that other than the staff. It never made National headlines or anything, but it is something that makes us all so very proud of and leaves many in awe. Initially the medical staff thought my husband and I were crazy when we asked them to do EVERYTHING to save our son! For us, it felt like the right thing to do. And now almost 2 years later they are very happy to see our healthy and fun loving toddler. Something I've learned along the way is that others may not always see what YOU see or believe what YOU believe, and that's ok its not MY job to force them to believe it! So while our request was thought to be crazy, they honored it because it wasn't unethical and because God answered our prayers! The Medical staff watched the miracle unfold over the course of those 119 days while contributing their best care to Jaxson and we couldn't be more thankful. As a mother, their dedication to my son and giving him a chance leaves the greatest impression on my heart.
While the journey hasn't been easy, it certainly has been very rewarding. So attending the NICU reunion was very exciting for my husband and I. Just having the chance to walk in those doors with my son and LEAVE with my son is so so special! And to be able to say "THANK YOU", "WE APPRECIATE YOU" and "WE DID IT" look at us now is the best feeling in the world! There were so many little ones running around and proud parents showing off their little miracles. The atmosphere was full of hope, love, happiness and inspiration. Visiting our NICU heroes in a celebratory manner is not only great for the parent and staff, but the child as well. I think its important for our children to know their story and see others who may have walked similar paths thriving also. For many, life after the NICU presents an additional set of circumstances and that's ok. We are all facing some sort of challenge in life seen or unseen! It doesn't discount the fact that they made is THROUGH the NICU! Its such a great accomplishment and should never be downplayed because of what happens after! So I encourage you to go back and visit and attend the reunion if your hospital host one. Seeing how far you've come and the happiness on the NICU staffs faces is sure to give you a pep in your step and a heart full of gratitude!
And lastly, if you are currently in the thick of the NICU I want to encourage you to hang in there. You WILL get through it and your baby will thrive at home. I know it may not look like it today and you may be saying WHEN IS MY BABY COMING HOME???? Remember, miracles take time to unfold and the best it yet to come!