Learning to breathe again…

Every day we enter through the NICU doors, I hold my breath.

I wait until I see there is no flurry of activity around Zoe’s room, and then I breathe.

Maybe it’s just my experience working in critical care as a nurse, but I hate coming in to see doctors & nurses hurrying & alarms buzzing, because I’m afraid it’s my child. I was a nervous wreck calling at night to check on Zoe until I realized the nurse would call me if something were wrong.

I feel as though I’ve hopped onto some sort of emotional rollercoaster, and each morning I climb uphill as we start off the day, get good reports, & spend some great time with our baby girl. But that coaster starts to drop off as evening approaches, after seeing tons (NICU currently has 70+ babies as in-patients) of babies, most of whom are a lot sicker than Zoe. Some of those babies have been there 6+ months. My heart breaks for those parents, many of whom have never had the chance to hold their baby. I held Zoe the day after her birth. John held her the day she was born.

It was such an odd feeling for John & I, to pass by the “normal” newborn nursery, knowing those babies would go home in 2-3 days and ours wouldn’t. Yet, as we entered NICU, we almost felt guilty as we realized Zoe was the youngest baby in her pod, yet also the biggest & she would probably go home before any of the others. I guess we’re sort of stuck in the middle somewhere, but for that I am thankful.

I’ve learned so much from my time here. I’ve learned to pray every morning before we head to the hospital for the Lord’s protection over our baby girl & strength for our family. I’ve learned sometimes I have no choice other than to accept help from others, even though I want to do things myself. I’ve learned to not waste my time looking too far ahead of myself at things I have no control over.

I’ve learned being split between my two girls feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

I’ve learned God remains present & good in the middle of fuzzy, chaotic circumstances we wouldn’t have chosen otherwise but to which I’ve become very thankful for.

I hope to post lots of pictures soon & I wish I’d been able to blog more about our NICU experience. Until then, thank you all for covering our family with your prayers. I know there are more people (in other countries besides the U.S. even!) who have been praying us through this. We are truly thankful & blessed!

Here’s my favorite pic so far of Zoe (my first time holding her!)…

“The Lord has done great things for us, & we are filled with joy.” -Psalm 126:3


7 thoughts on “Learning to breathe again…

  1. I felt many of the same feelings when Madison was in the NICU. She was by far the biggest, healthiest baby there. It seemed almost like she really didn’t need critical care, she was just recovering from surgery. Major surgery, but not an illness, or prematurity issue. I thank the Lord still for the amount of simplicity we have been blessed with.

    Lord be with you and your family. You are going to love being at home with them. 🙂

  2. Hillary,
    You and John are such a blessing and inspiration. Your honesty and faith have deepend my love for the Father. Thank you so much for sharing this time in your life. I continue to pray for each of you.

  3. i felt those same feelings when mattie was in the nicu. scared, thankful, torn between 2 kids. I try to block out those 2 weeks she spent in the NICU. Hope little Zoe continues to thrive and do well and you recovery is speedy. I really enjoy your blogs. Keep it up. I’m always so inspired by them. God bless the Lovell’s

  4. You are such an inspiration! Congrats on a beautiful baby girl who couldn’t have asked for a better mama! You look wonderful for having just had a baby 🙂

  5. I know I don’t know you very well but I wanted you to know that I have been praying for you, Zoe , and your family. This blog just gave me chills! Your faith is so inspirational, and you always have the most wonderful posts on your FB page. As I said, I don’t know you very well but your blogs tell alot about the person you and your husband are, and I can already tell that Faith and Zoe have wonderful parents and God is blessing you because you walk beside him. Being away from Faith Im sure is really hard.. It killed me to be away from my son when my daughter was born. May God Bless you and your family.

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