So it has been a week since our Janeway visit, and it has taken this long to gather all my thoughts and feelings to share with you about another amazing experience. I first want to Thank again everyone who helped brighten up a families day, I know they are forever grateful! Also Thank you to all the nurses, doctors, surgeons and of course social worker for treating us as a part of the NICU family and team and treating us with so much love and compassion.
The drive to St.John's seemed longer last week than normal, the thoughts of how it would go with the whole family this year, the memories of the NICU and wondering who God would put in our paths to be able to show his Love and compassion. It is quiet overwhelming, but in the most amazing way possible. As we walked down the hall towards the NICU at the Janeway, I had this intense emotion come over me, it was a mixture of excitement, longing, sadness, and a very strong Peace. It was as if this was a normal part of our day, our lives, that this was what we were supposed to do. We made it to the waiting room and Darryl went to get the social worker (who has been amazing to us, showing so much compassion and shows extreme excitement whenever I walk through the door) . When I saw her come in, I couldn't help but smile and hug her. Then just like that, this overly locked down, private facility was open to us as if we had never left. It always touches my heart to know how well we are treated there and how open they are towards us. When we got down to where the babies and families are, the nurses came out to embrace us, with tears, they were astonished about how big Brock and Olivia have gotten over the past few years (they were not with me last year since Brock was sick). They treat the children as if they are family they have not seen in a long time. Brock was very quick to open the boxes with the gifts in them and hand one to all the nurses, he is so proud of being apart of this. He asked before we got there if he could help with the babies, little did I know the social worker had him taking gifts into the rooms and handing them out to some families. Brock loved every minute of it, he told them about his amazing little brother Zachariah, and told them he loved their baby because they are the same as he was. Sometimes you forget how a child can make a difference, the hospital is turning into a happy place for Brock instead of a sad one. Two of Zach's Dr.s came down to see us as well for a few minutes. Next was our turn to talk to some parents, while the nurses happily watched Brock and Liv. As I turned to go into the NICU room, there in front of me was this amazing man, that I have a great deal of respect for, The biggest smile came to my face as Dr. Hodder, Zachariah's surgeon, stood there, with a big hug, and a tear streaming down my cheak, Our journey to the NICU couldn't get any better. But it did get better, as we talked to this family and met their precious daughter we felt we had an instant connection, until you have a small baby and a very long NICU stay it is really hard to understand. I loved them instantly and did not want to take my hand off the Mom's shoulder as she held her angel, I felt us connect and tears said a million words. Darryl was able to connect with Dad's and show understanding and compassion on how hard it is day after day, when the world around you is going on, your world is on hold, it is hard to work and have time for social, and know one really can understand, It was nice to see and healing for everyone. We got to see a little girl who just had her 2nd birthday in PICU she was beside Zach when we were there. This broke my heart, 2 years and her Dad has not brought her home. I also heard that a family I met last year, and have never forgot, sadly lost their baby girl. Even though I did not know them on a personal level, my heart was shattered for them, Every person I meet I feel connected to, I don't forget them, I always pray for them and their families. It is such a hard place to be, every day and minute is very hard and never sure. My Faith is strong, my heart aches, my burden is increased for these hurting, confused, families. I want to be a light that can shine for them in their dark place, where there is no hope, I want them to see hope in me. My light and hope and peace only comes from God. I feel as if I have a responsibility now to families who are hurting, I hurt with them, Cry with them, Pray for them.
Almost 4 months of my life was spent in the NICU, while it doesn't seem to be a long time compared to the rest of my life, it is more imprinted on me then anything else I have been through. The NICU staff still and probably as will feel like my family. While I have been through the NICU with my other 2 children, it was not the same length and intensity, something about the small babies grabs into my soul and pulls out all my vulnerability and makes me a more compassionate, loving human. I can't write in words how much I love all the families that are in the NICU, My heart aches for you. If you were there, if you feel alone in everything, if you feel like you can't go on, you can't face one more doctor with uncertainty, please know you are in my prayers, I am fighting with you for your precious child, You are not alone. We Love you very much!