Category Archives: NICU

Looking Back with Gratitude in My Heart

Facebook sure has a funny way of messing with my emotions. This memory popped up yesterday and man did it take me back to a time of lots of uncertainly, fear, and stress.

It was during this time, three years ago, that I really thought we were going to lose Rayleigh. She was so, so, so sick. In fact, she was in heart failure. I remember holding her before her surgery wondering if it would be my last time to hold alive. We experienced lots of ups and downs and scary moments during the quints NICU stay, but I I have never been so scared in all my life as I was when the medical team came to take Rayleigh back to the cath lab. Walking to the waiting room was tough. Sitting and wondering what they were doing to my baby was agonizing. They gave us an estimated time of how long the procedure would take and when the doctor walked in earlier than expected, I was scared. I didn’t know if that was good news or bad news, thankfully, it was all good news. Rayleigh recovered quickly. The surgery had immediate positive results.
Today she’s a healthy, happy, and thriving little girl.

While all this was happening with Rayleigh, Tessa was back in the NICU at Dallas Children’s Hospital. So I had 2 babies still in the NICU at Baylor, 2 babies in the NICU at Children’s, Brant at Paula’s house in Dallas, and Brady (who was only 2 years old) was back home (3 hours away) with family members. Talk about loosing your mind, I honestly don’t know how I didn’t lose my during that time. I’ve always believed in the power of prayer, but it was during this time, in particular, that I really felt the power of prayer. I was so scared, but prayers and God carried me through.

Tessa had surgery to have a feeding tube placed and was released from the NICU again. Both Gracie and Mia had their surgeries to have their g-tubes placed. After a couple of days recovering, we were able to bring them home. Rayleigh, who originally did the best after birth, was our last baby in the NICU and wouldn’t come home until the end of July. But…we got her home and for that I’m forever grateful!

I look back at these memories with so much gratitude in my heart. God was in control the whole time. He guided us through this experience, putting the right people in the right place to help us when we needed it most.

So, I want to spend today in prayer. Leave me a comment on my blog or Facebook page, text or call me, send me a private message, however you want to contact me, do it. Tell me what you want me to pray for and I’ll start talking to God on your behalf.

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,
Michelle

Tessa’s Homecoming Day

Three years ago we brought our sweet Tessa home from the NICU. Which meant we had 2 babies home (Brant and Tessa) and three in the NICU (Mia, Gracie, and Rayleigh). Having two babies at home was busier but not so bad. My family was amazing and came out to Dallas to stay at home (actually Paula & Dave’s home) with Brant and Tessa so that during the day I could still go to check on the other 3 in the NICU.
Our NICU didn’t allow us to bring babies back after they had been released.

It was also during this time when Rayleigh got so sick. And by sick I don’t mean a little cold, I honestly thought she was going to die. It was the scariest time in my entire life. I was so happy and thankful we were able to have 2 babies home but on the flip side I was on the brink of losing my mind over the thought of losing Rayleigh. But as we know, everything worked out and we eventually came home with all 5 of our quints.

Tessa is my loud child, and by loud I mean really, really, really loud (I seriously could keep going with the reallys). She’s so animated when she talks, its hysterical. She tells the best stories, most of the time we don’t understand what she’s saying but she thinks it’s funny and laughs at herself which makes everyone else laugh too. She is my girly-girl and loves to dress up and have her hair done and she always wants a bow in her hair. Tessa has brought us so much joy, laughter, and love. ❤️


Happy 3rd Homecoming Day Tessa!

💙💗💗💙💗💗
Be blessed,
Michelle

 

Brant’s Homecoming Day

Three years ago today, we brought our precious only boy quint home from the NICU. That moment, this day, is one of those memories that you never forget. Throughout my pregnancy and at the beginning of our long NICU stay, I honestly didn’t know if we’d bring any of the quints home, so when the day finally arrived to take Brant home I was overcome with so many emotions. I was overjoyed, overwhelmed, scared, excited, thankful, and so, so, so blessed to name a few.

Our NICU days are a distant memory now. But I will never forget how amazing everyone in the Baylor NICU were to us. I’m forever grateful to everyone single person who worked with, cared for, and loved our quints. ❤️

This picture popped up on my Facebook newsfeed today. And there is a big part of me that wishes for just a few minutes to go back and snuggle my little guy because he’s not so little anymore. He’s all boy, full of laughter and mischief. He has the most adorable wink and smile. I’m thankful for how far Brant has come since the day we brought him home. He has filled our lives with so much happiness and love. 💙



Happy Homecoming Day Brant!!!

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,

Michelle

March of Dimes 2017

Another March for Babies is in the books. We have been participating in this event since the quints have been home from the NICU (2015 was our first year because they quints were in the NICU in 2014). The first year we went to Longview, TX for the actual walk, last year we were rained out, and this year we went to Shreveport, LA for the walk. In the past we have had team shirts made, but this year I took easy route and didn’t design shirts. We just have too much going on and I really didn’t want to deal with it. So Steven, the kids and I all wore our NICU Reunion shirts. Kristian and Gavin went with us so they wore one of the shirts from the past walks.

We woke up early, loaded up, and headed to Louisiana. This was the quints first trip to Louisiana. When we got to Shreveport we couldn’t find the event. So we were 30 minutes late and when we finally arrived everyone was starting the race. 😩 So we walked about.16 of a mile and called it quits when we started meeting other walkers coming back to the finish line. 😂 It was fun though. The kids got to jump in the bounce house and climb in a fire truck.


So far we’ve raised $317!!! It’s still not too late to donate. Every little bit helps babies born too early.

https://www.marchforbabies.org/sealsquints











Thank you to everyone who has supported us these past 3 years. Thank you to everyone who has donated. We are so blessed!

💙💗💗💙💗💗

Be blessed,

Michelle

World Prematurity Day

Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day and it’s no secret that premature babies is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart. I’m so thankful for my 5 preemies. They have taught me so much about strength, perseverance, and the will to live.


Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) holds a very special place in my heart. I know I say it all the time, but BUMC is truly the best and that is because of the people who work there. From the time I checked into the hospital on January 31, 2014 until we left with our last baby, Rayleigh, on August 29, 2014 everyone treated me and our entire family with so much love. I know the quints are thriving two-year-olds because of the amazing medical care they received from the Baylor NICU staff, doctors, nurses, therapist, etc.

Once we had all babies home, I will admit, it was quiet the adjustment. I had become so accustomed to being able to ask the nurses about any questions I had concerning the quints. I trusted them. I felt so overwhelmed with the responsibility to caring for FIVE fragile babies, it was very scary for the first several months. Thankfully, our primaries, Lindsay and Sara, stayed in touch and were wonderful to continue to answer all my questions from home, via text messaging. They didn’t have to do that, but they did because they loved my babies. As time went on and the quints got stronger and healthier, our texting back and forth decreased. I’m thankful I’ve been able to stay in touch with them and several other nurses from the NICU via Facebook. It’s hard to go from seeing people every day to not seeing them at all. But of course, life goes on, the kids have kept me very busy, and the nurses continue to save tiny lives in the NICU.

Last month we attended the BUMC NICU Reunion and it was so good to see so many of the nurses and doctors that took care of the quints. I’m thankful we have the reunion every-other-year so we can continue to see and visit with everyone. I  look forward to going to as many reunions as we can. I know it will get harder as the kids get older and more involved in extracurricular activities. The staff at the NICU will change as it already has in the 2 years we’ve been gone, but hopefully a few will remain and we can meet up and share stories from our 4 months we spent every day together.

I will forever be thankful and grateful for everyone at the Baylor NICU. They saved my babies. Without their care and expertise, the quints would had died because they were too little and weak to survive on their own. They loved the quints. And they were amazing to me during the scariest time of my life. A simple thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough so I hope that every time they see pictures of the quints they think, ‘hey, I had a hand in saving those babies’.

So thankful, so grateful, so blessed!

Michelle

Hello Tuesday!

Hey y’all!

Last week was wild and crazy; Steven was in California so that left me all alone with our six munchkins. But as always, my amazing support system stepped in and helped me out. I am such a blessed girl to have so many people love me and my kids.

This weekend I was in clean out mode. Steven got home last Thursday night so on Friday, I cleaned out our room. I got rid of so many baby clothes, four bags full to be exact, we had so much clutter and I couldn’t stand it any longer. It feels so good to have a clean and somewhat decluttered room and bathroom.

Shelley took the boys on a field trip to the dairy on Thursday to let them see how cows are milked. They had fun. On Friday, Mia got to get away with Nana and Kristian. As you can see, she loves to shop.

We skipped Brady’s soccer game this weekend. The Baylor NICU Reunion was Saturday and we’ve been looking forward to going back to seeing some of our nurses and doctors for a while now. It was so awesome to see and catch up with some of my most favorite people in the whole world. I’m going to do a separate post on the reunion in a few days.

Be blessed,

Michelle

Rayleigh’s Big Day!

It’s hard to believe two years ago, I brought our last quintuplet home from the NICU. I say I because I was all alone. Steven had to work and was getting everything ready at home for our big homecoming so I put my big girl panties on and brought Rayleigh home all by myself. It was a day of mixed emotions; I was so happy, thankful, relieved, excited to finally have all five babies home, however, it was the end of an era for me. I had to say good-bye to some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met, our NICU nurses. They held my hand through some very difficult moments and loved on my babies when I couldn’t, and that is something a mama can never say enough thank yous for.

The fact that Rayleigh was the last baby home still seems crazy to me. She was by far our most stable quint at birth. She didn’t have to be ventilated like the other 4 did; she was so easy at the beginning. And then she got sick, and by sick I mean, almost died sick. It was by far the scariest time in our whole NICU  experience. Thankfully, after her heart procedure, she was great and ready to come home.

Since the quints were born in Dallas, which is 3 hours away from our home, I was staying with my friends, Paula and Dave during the NICU days. We stayed in Dallas a few days after Rayleigh was discharged just to make sure everything was okay with her and then we headed home. We spent our first night as a family of 8 in Dallas with friends. The words thank you just don’t seem adequate for everything Paula and Dave did for us during those almost 5 months of us staying at their house. They got to witness us bringing baby after baby home, to their home, and they handled it was so much love. I had so many family members come out and help out with the babies that were home so I could continue to go to the hospital and Paula and Dave were so hospitable to everyone who came through their doors. They are truly the most awesome friends a girl could ever ask for; I am so blessed to have them in my life.

And just like that, our babies were all home. They were little, still had lots of medical needs (feeding tubes), but they were home and it was the most amazing feeling in the whole world, exhausting, yet amazing!

I forget how little Brady was when the quints came home. He was the exact same age that they are right now. I know he had no idea what was going on. For months after we got them home he would say, “take them back to the hospital”. Thankfully, he doesn’t say that anymore. I can’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to become a big brother of quintuplets. It was a tough transition, but he survived it. He is an amazing big brother now.

I don’t deserve all the blessings God has given me, but I am forever grateful! I’m so thankful that after 4.5 months in the NICU all five of my babies came home. I’m so thankful they have continued to grow from tiny little 2-3 pound babies to healthy toddlers that are into everything! They wear me out, but that’s okay, I’m thankful they are here and that they are mine. I’m so thankful to be the mama of the Six Sweet Seals. God is SO GOOD!

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Our baby girl, Rayleigh Ann.

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Paula and Dave with their hands full of babies.

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Paula always went out of her way to make Brady feel right at home.

Be blessed,

Michelle