Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am so thankful that the girls are here, and that I can see and touch them.  I am so in love with them, and at the same time, it's just a new "hard".  I cannot tell you how many times in this "pregnancy" I have said, "this is the hardest thing I have ever done", but I'm just sure it's true of the NICU. I miss them so much when I'm away, and I'm stressed by every alarm when I'm there. I hold back tears every time they get pricked, probed, or prodded. I hate that when they cry, I can't hold them to comfort them. It is so hard to trust the nurses with their care, and let go of control of my children over and over. I wonder if they will be ok, if we'll all make it. I'm learning how to cope with this, but have not figured it out yet, it's a different pain than anything I've known. Some days it agonizes me to look at my 2 pound, Evangeline. She is just SO small and looks more like a fetus than a baby. I HATE TTTS for what it did to my child. I know it was not my fault, but it pains me so much that my body was such a harmful place for her.

Objectively, the girls are doing well for their gestation. They have had a few hiccups; Audrey's IV blew and burned her little leg, & Evangeline has low heart rate drops that seem to last forever... But, mostly they are doing what is normal for 32 weekers. They continue to go up on feeds and are both still breathing on their own and off photo therapy for now. Audrey got her IV out, which Momma is so thankful for because it means no more chance for burns! Evangeline is weaning off her PICC line too. We are starting to work on breast feeding!

It is really hard for me to draw on the truth of the Gospel right now. I can barely utter the words, "Your will be done". But, it is true that Jesus has carried my family through each difficult stage of this pregnancy, and He continues to give us enough grace to get us through each day one at a time. I think the girls will make it though their NICU journey, not because they are fighters, but because Jesus is fighting for them. 

Thank you for continuing to check in on us! 


  1. I am praying for your family. I am an old friend of Ryan's from UT and have followed your story. We experienced the PICU with one child and NICU with another child and you are is sooo h.a.r.d. You will find your routine though and get into a niche and eventually you won't even hear those dings and bells. Its your "new normal" and before long you will thrive in this "new normal". I know you are a wonderful mother to those girls...keep being that wonderful mother even though its not the way you imagined being their mother. Sing to them, hold their hands, pray for them, talk to them, read to them. You can do all those things even while they are in the incubators. I love seeing Ryan do Kangaroo care...definitely one of my husband and I's favorite things. Ask to do that as much as they let you...good for mommy and daddy and good for baby. I'm here if you ever want to talk.

  2. Laura you made me cry, at work :) with this entry. I just want to hug you so bad as I felt the same joy/pain of NICU only 11 months ago. Mason was a big boy 8.7lbs 22 inches and born at 37 weeks and just couldn't get the hang of breathing on his own as his lungs were under developed and caused him to have hypertension as well. Mason was on a feeding tube for 5 days (low stimulation), then bottle feeds only for 2 days and then I could breastfeed him for the remaining 5 days in NICU.

    Though I was urged to leave as they did IV's, intibated him, and put a line directly into his lung from his belly I just couldn't leave him. I convinced myself that he was uncomfortable so I should be too. I would push myself to get up at 5am to get to the hospital for the first feeding and not leave until 11:30 that night because I couldn't bear to be away from my sweet boy that I carried for so many months before.

    I am AMAZED that you strong girls can breath on their own. I am AMAZED that you are already breast feeding! They are doing so so well. I know this all hurts more than anything you have ever experienced before in your life but I can't wait for you, Ryan and your girls to go home and you will SOBB because you can't believe you are home. And when they turn one you will look at their chubby faces and not be able to believe that you once feared for their days the way you do now.

    They are God's precious gift. Hold them tight in your heart and your arms as much as possible. NICU nurses are angels I swear! In the beginning it feels like they are keeping their baby from you, but as they do better they will give you the opportunity to really care for them as you would at home in the hospital.

    My continued prayers for you both.

    -Sarah Surgener Coleman

  3. Praying for you, Ryan, your girls and their care givers. Your words speak to what a good mother you already are. It's amazing.

  4. Laura, please re-read your last paragraph that you wrote...write it in your heart and in your mind. These are true words. Jesus is fighting and He is in control of this situation. Praise God for each teeny tiny success. I continue to pray and think of you all. xo Our God is Great!

  5. Laura, Claudia is right. Imprint that last paragraph on your heart, print it out and put it in your NICU room. Forgive yourself and your body for not being "perfect" for your children to be full term babies in. God's will is in are doing His work! I am sharing with you below, Erma Bombeck's essay "How Preemie Moms Are Chosen":

    Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?

    Somehow, I visualize God hovering Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

    "Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."

    Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."

    The angel is curious. "Why this one God? She's so happy."
    "Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

    "But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

    "I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has a world of it's own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

    God smiles. "This one is perfect. She has just the right amount of selfishness. "

    The angel gasps, "Selfishness! Is that a virtue?"

    God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "momma" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clear the things that I see - ignorance, cruelty, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

    "But what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

    God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

    Isn't that great, Laura!? I am sending you much love and encouragement! --Erica Snipes

  6. Friend of Ryan's from CTS. Praying for you as surely there is and will be for sometime, post -traumatic stress. And the trauma is still coming! The Lord be with you all.