To the Medical Center of Plano NICU staff,
Five years ago, February 16th 2009, four little lives were born and my world was changed forever. As we approach Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin’s 5th Birthday, the emotions of where we were 5 years ago overwhelm me. I’ve had so many opportunities to thank you over the years and take every chance I get, yet it seems it’s never enough. It will never be enough. Bret and I could never repay you, never express our gratitude and never come close to letting you see how truly thankful we are for your dedication within those walls of the NICU. This letter is just one more attempt to let you know just how much you are appreciated.
After several weeks on bed rest there at the hospital, our sweet babies were born at an early 28 weeks 5 days gestation. Being in our unique situation I thought I was prepared. I was prepared to deliver early, I was prepared for our family to spend a good amount of time in the unit, and I was prepared to walk out of those doors hundreds of times without my babies until they were healthy enough to come home. In reality, I came to learn that nothing can prepare you for such a journey. Next to my faith in Christ, you were the ones to hold me up during the rough times.
I remember a care conference with one of our doctors and being given the option to “discontinue support” on our sickest baby. I went immediately, opened the small windows of his dark Isolette, placed my hands on his fragile body and begged him to fight. I sat there and cried tears as I quietly prayed alone for a miracle. While praying someone came and placed their hands on my back and joined me. To this day I have no idea who that was and it’s not important that I ever do. What matters is that in that moment someone else cared. Someone else, who could also do nothing to heal my child, hurt with me. You took the time, while caring for my babies, to care for me. One of you in particular would always look me in the eye and ask “Heather, how are YOU?”. You made me feel like I mattered. I wasn’t just a number, just a mother, just another person to report to. I was a patient as well who needed unending emotional support. You offered prayers during the hardest of times, you offered kind words to lift my spirits and you gave hugs when words could not be spoken.
Some of my fondest moments in NICU are their first baths, my first time seeing them all lay next to each other all in the same open crib, placing them inside their Easter baskets and standing them in their huge little Converse shoes for pictures. So many fun times I’ll always remember. Whether placing a fake rat next to the nurses desk to scare the one coming our way or helping Bret and I swaddle a fart machine in with one of our babies just to get a hilarious reaction out of Dr. Jain, many of you were always there to make sure there were fun days in the NICU in addition to the hard ones.
Dr. Jain, Dr. Kuforiji & Dr. Lucena, thank you. Thank you for not giving up on my Brody when he gave you EVERY reason to. The little blonde baby who was the picture prefect example of the “wimpy white boy” is now a happy, healthy, thriving, very talkative ray of sunshine to all who come in contact with him. Brody, along with Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin offer us so much joy that we’ll never take for granted. We are so blessed to have each of them with us today and thank God that He used your hands and expertise to care for them during those first few critical weeks.
I’ve never cried as hard and I’ve never laughed as hard as I did in that NICU. I’ve never felt so helpless and never felt so strong as I did in that NICU. Those few short months, that seemed to last an eternity, molded me. The foundation of who I am as a mother today was poured there. Each day while being a “resident” at your “workplace” I was offered encouragement. I was told I was doing a good job and that I would be an incredible mom on my own. Because of you, I left those doors on April 27th, 2009 a confident, strong, new mother ready to take on the world (and it’s many germs!).
I hope that this fresh reminder of how much you are appreciated leads you to walk with pride and your head held higher each and every day. I hope that you know you make a difference and one that will be appreciated by those you help for years and years to come.
Forever (and ever) Grateful,