Photo Dump of NICU Life

I wanted to share some of the pictures that show the reality of where we lived for 2.5 months. There were good AND bad days, smiles AND frowns, laughter AND tears, but in the end Emma Marie is at home with us, and that’s all that matters!

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Our first time getting Emma out of the incubator! It was a magical moment!

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First time I got to hold Emma without other equipment. This was our first skin-to-skin experience. Also known as kangaroo time.

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First family picture HOLDING Emma!!!!

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We decided to stay positive and make “our” nursery be as warm and inviting as possible. We knew we would be there a while and we believed it would be better to be surrounded by happy items we had in her nursery at home.

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First skin-to-skin with her daddy!

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Peaceful.

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She likes to “Tan” on her belly, just like mommy! She was jaundice for a while.

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This is what heaven on Earth feels like to baby Emma.

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LOVE her expressions!

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She owns this joint :)!

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So peaceful… I always wonder what she is dreaming about…

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This picture and the next brought MANY laughs for Ryan and I. This is what we imagined Emma was saying….”Mommy, if i’m a good girl can we go home today?”

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Me responding “I’m sorry sweetie, I would LOVE to take you home right now…but we still need to have your other surgery”…Emma’s facial expression says it all…she was not happy with my response…

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Holding mommy and daddy’s fingers for strength.

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Yay! Happy FIRST Fourth of July Emma Marie!!!! You sure are a party animal!

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She let’s you know when she is displeased.

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Before an unexpected surgery. There is no way to prepare you for the emotional roller coaster you will go on during your stay in the NICU. I cried the majority of the time she was away for the surgery.

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Mommy and Emma yoga time!

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Emma is 1 month old!!! Sweet angel had been through MORE than some people go through in their lifetime. She is STRONG!

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I need to make a HUGE shout out to Candace Cameron Bure. Thank you for your thoughtful words and funny jokes, this book allowed me some peace during a HUGE storm. I wish I could thank you in person and give you the worlds BIGGEST hug. This book was everything I needed in a time I was completely lost.

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Hard day.

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Angel sleeping.

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We got to put on one of the preemie outfits we bought her!

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Look at those eyes!

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First sponge bath we ever got to give her!

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Daddy is a pro!

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She’s wondering if that’s it?

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My STRONG girl!

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The doctors thought Emma was going to need a blood transfusion because her hematocrit was too low. So daddy tried first to see if he was a match…

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But this girl is all about her mama. I was the match! I thank GOD my hematocrit was high enough to donate, post birth most mom’s can’t donate blood because they, themselves do not have the appropriate level due to the loss of blood during child birth. The doctors were all shocked!

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Gazing into daddy’s eyes…

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She’s in a BIG GIRL CRIB NOW…WOOT WOOT WOOT!!!!

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Emma is hoping to get out of this joint soon :)!

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Mommy, daughter time!

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We placed that image next to Emma from the beginning so she never felt alone.

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The Navy bear is from Emma’s loving Uncle Felipe. He brought that back from San Diego, where he was stationed.

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When I decided to take a few minutes to myself I created this sign for our front door!

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Going down the elevator for her last barium enema!

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Ryan and I assisting with the procedure. We tried to be as involved as possible!

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Holding mommy’s hand is the best!

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“What are you looking at mommy?”

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I tried breastfeeding and I was unsuccessful because Emma would burn more calories trying to feed then calories she would eat. This was the HARDEST struggle for me. Till this day my heart breaks knowing I was unable to breastfeed her. I exclusively pump for her!

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Wait…wait…wait…I’m TWO months old now!!!

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“Just checking to make sure you’re still here mommy”- Emma

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Daddy feeding his angel!

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Very concentrated on eating. For preemies sucking and swallowing along with not forgetting to breathe is a HUGE accomplishment!

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Tummy time!

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Mommy, daughter love!

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MY FIRST REAL BIG GIRL BATH!!!!!

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Our AMAZING/FANTASTIC/UNFORGETTABLE/SUPPORTIVE/WISE….I could go on forever NURSE!!!! Our hearts are full due to her amazing guidance through this difficult time.

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We adopted her into our family!

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LAST feed in the hospital before going home!

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Our bags were packed and READY to hit the road!

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Going home outfit I had since we found out it was Emma in my belly.

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Emma DID NOT want to be left behind…she was holding on REAL tight!

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Had to get a picture with Dr.Z, we thank God for her everyday. She was the only person who suspected Emma had Cystic Fibrosis. If it weren’t for her suggestion we wouldn’t have been able to be so proactive with Emma’s diagnosis.

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Needed this adorable family pic!

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In the car…all strapped in…ready to begin our journey as mommy, daddy, and Emma (at home)!

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