The Hospital Visit That Changed My Life

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Our beautiful daughter Alaska was born on Jan. 27th, 2015. The day she was born she had an abnormal amount of liquid in her lungs and the doctors admitted her to the NICU for what felt like the longest 5 days of our life.

I remember feeling helpless. How I just wanted to do something, anything to make sure she was going to be ok. I just watched them as they hooked her up to the EKG machine, swaddled her inside her incubator, and ran their tests. I held my wife and told her, “everything is going to be ok.” On the first night, we sat next to her until around 4am. At one point, the nurses looked over and said, “You both look terrible. You should go home and get some rest.” I stayed. I couldn’t help but feel sick with worry.

Hours later we finally departed from the hospital to make my way to our apartment. It was already light outside. We pulled into the parking lot, went up the stairs, walked through the front door, and the first thing I did was turn on my laptop to logon to the hospital’s camera system. I didn’t sleep at all. I just watched the screen intensely. I don’t know what I was hoping to accomplish, but for some reason I found comfort in seeing Alaska on that screen.

While I was watching, there were several times the nurse would come to adjust her or feed her. Every time I would call and ask, “Is everything ok? Is she ok?” I realize now how much of a helicopter parent I was being but at the time it didn’t matter, I just wanted to ensure her wellbeing.

On day 3, we remember overhearing a family’s conversation with a nurse. Their twins had been in the NICU for over 4 months. My heart broke for them as I could tell this had become routine for them. Mom had been there all day and dad showed up to give her food and trade shifts. She left and he stayed late into the night until going home to get a couple hours of sleep before work the next day.

I asked the nurse later if their children were going to be ok, she said yes, with medical treatment and a lifetime filled with hospital visits. It’s something that will stay with me until the day I die. I couldn’t help but think of the families who have the same experience, of the families where this has become daily life. For those of you going through this or who have gone through this experience, my heart goes out to you and you are in my prayers.

Thankfully, our daughter made a full recovery. The last thing our nurse said to us is “You are very lucky, some of these babies won’t get to the leave the hospital. When their time ends at NICU, they will be going to a different wing of the hospital. You get to take your daughter home, cherish that.” With those words, we hugged our daughter tight before heading home.

Our time at the hospital is one of many reasons that making a difference in the lives of children and families who have children with life-altering conditions is a must for us. For these reasons we are excited to announce that our Enchanted Fairies 2018 Kingdom Calendar will benefit Kidd’s Kids and I hope you will take our hand in making a difference in these children’s and family’s lives. Learn how by tapping here. God Bless.

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