All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.- Walt Disney
We're home! What an incredible journey this has been! While reminiscing about the past few months, I can't help but marvel at the amazing blessings our little family has received. I feel so much gratitude and love for everyone who has offered to help, give a word of encouragement, or show interest.
Sure there were scary times, but when I think back about our stay at the NICU, I'll only be able to focus on what an amazing and humbling time it was for us.
After Jack was born we had planned to move into Mike's parents' basement, but the day we were packing was the day Jack had his serious episode. We couldn't break away from his bedside, so both of our families stepped in to help. They packed all of our belongings and by the end of the night our things had been moved to either a storage unit or our basement!
My family drove from Utah County to our hospital on a weekly basis. We'd visit in Jack's room, then afterwards go out for dinner, giving me and Mike a break from medical stresses.
My Aunt Ruthi would consistently visit at the hospital and then take me out to lunch. Receiving a text from her asking if I wanted to go out for an afternoon made even the hardest days enjoyable.
By living in my in-laws basement I've been able to focus all of my time and energy toward Jack on a daily basis. They've made an amazing sacrifice in allowing us to stay in their home.
Gas money was donated to my family to help them travel frequently to the hospital throughout the winter.
So many delicious dinners were provided. Each of those meals were such a comfort, letting us know we weren't alone.
Grandma Adam offered her freezer to help store excess milk for Jack after our outside freezer decided to burn out.
We received gas cards and gift cards, helping us get to the hospital every day.
Visitors came to the hospital to support us and meet Jack. It was a comfort to see these familiar faces and know of their love for us. Others sent their love and did not come to the hospital due to it being RSV season, which was also understood and appreciated.
Thoughtful gifts were sent. Jack's NICU room was decorated with stuffed animals, cds, and adorable outfits, all symbolizing the love and support from so many friends and family.
Fun baby showers were thrown and so many attended! The gifts were beautiful and generous. From items like car seats and cribs to hand-me-downs and crafts, each gift is greatly appreciated and all going to well use!
The nurses at the NICU were amazing! Our primary nurses were some of the most wonderful women I've ever met. They not only took care of our boy, they loved him. These lovely ladies monitored Jack's physical development while also watching his psychological progression. As well, they took the time to teach me how to care for our preemie. Being a first-time mom, I received such a wonderful head-start on parenthood with these experienced women showing the way.
The general staff at the NICU was also incredible. From the friendly ladies at the front desk to the cleaning folks who'd visit with me daily, I never felt alone in our little hospital room.
So many people followed up with our posts on Facebook or blogs, sending comments of support and well wishes!
Past relationships and acquaintances blossomed over time to become close friends. We would review Jack's status, but soon began to talk about other topics and build a friendship.
So many prayers were offered on our behalf, which was such a blessing for us.
There were so many other gestures and miracles that will never be forgotten. Thank you to everyone for your love and well wishes.
When Jack was born I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to handle this new predicament. But looking back, I've learned so much from everyone's wonderful examples and touching compassion. I'm not sure how to repay so many for their incredible actions, thoughts, and offers. I do hope for many opportunities where I can offer similar kindnesses to someone in need.
Mr. Disney was spot on: this has been the best thing in the world for me. :)