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Challenge: NICU Parenting

149 Days

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149 Days

Parents Ben and Brenna, with Luke, Lily and Ava

149 days. That is how long our family lived in two separate places. And they were the hardest 149 days of my life.

This year has been quite the roller coaster. We knew that when we found out we were having triplets (after 3 weeks of thinking it was only twins) that the babies would come early and that we would be spending some time in the NICU. I switched to one of the best high-risk perinatal doctors in Houston and prepared for a difficult pregnancy. However, I never would have imagined that I would spend ten weeks on hospital bed rest followed by a delivery at 28 weeks

and 2 days. I thought for sure that I was going to keep them in until 32 weeks - but the babies had other plans. Right from the beginning, I could tell that every single nurse, doctor, tech, and OT/PT/ST/RT had my back. As our babies fought to grow outside the womb, they fought right along side them, comforting my husband and I along the way, and we could not be more thankful.

This journey has been the absolute most difficult experience of my life. We knew to prepare for some time in the NICU, but I never expected that at almost 5 months old we would still have babies there. Throughout our time in the hospital, we dealt with each baby needing extensive respiratory support, brain bleeds, feeding difficulties, dozens of medications and occupational therapy. There were times that I wasn't sure we would ever take all three babies home. I still hear the beeping and constant alarms going off in my sleep. However, I am absolutely convinced that this was part of God's plan. He allowed us more time to prepare for three babies at home by learning everything we could about taking care of three babies at once. I was also able to develop new friendships with other NICU parents and incredible nurses during this time.

NICU nurses are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. They truly love the babies they are saving and are the most supportive people you will come to know in the hospital. They took just as much care of us as NICU parents as they did for our babies. We walked away from our journey with some beautiful, amazing new friends in these nurses, and for that I could not be more grateful.

In a lot of ways, I called The Woman’s Hospital of Texas home for seven months. I’m pretty sure I know ever corner of the third and fourth floors, and I have officially met every person that works there. I know all the hospital gossip (it’s not like Grey’s Anatomy) and I’m still waiting for my plaque in our corner of G Pod commemorating our time there. There are very few nurses that haven’t taken care of at least one of our babies in some capacity. I am so thankful for the wonderful staff of TWHT, but I can honestly say I am so thrilled to close this chapter of our life and never see that building again (except to visit our favorite nurses).

Our family was separated by 17 miles for 149 days, but I am so thankful to every amazing person in the NICU at The Woman's Hospital of Texas because now we get to spend a lifetime with our three little miracles.

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