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Erica and Boston's Baby Ella Grace Graduates From The NICU

Ella Grace Comes Home
Ella in her cap and gown

Ella Grace is now home, praise the big guy above AND the AMAZING NICU nurses at WakeMed Cary. I was a bucket of emotions the day we found out she was coming home. Ella Grace spent her first 5 weeks in the NICU after being born 9 weeks early. I was emotional because I became attached to these nurses, they were Ella's life line. I was scared, excited, happy, nervous....there were so many emotions because she was so little. After a crazy and scary (unexpected) early birth.... we immediately began our journey at the NICU. Those emotions stayed bottled up because our focus was Ella and Easton. I went right back to work to save my time for when she comes home...and spent our days at the NICU after the show. Boston would visit Ella every night, and I went every day and sometimes before the show. We of course had Easton at home and wanted to keep things as normal as possible. We took him out of daycare temporarily to keep germs out of the house as much as possible. To be honest, the "routine" helped keep me calm and positive. (Plus the moment she and I had when she was born, helped me keep the faith). She was born 3 pounds, 6 ounces and left the hospital at 5 pounds 9 ounces. Fast forward to 10 days being home....she is amazing and all of those "extra" nerves have calmed once we were home for 24 hours. She fits right in at our crazy house with a wild toddler, protective dog and of course her two nutty parents... (Boston and me).

She officially graduated from the NICU with a cap and gown. We played the graduation music and she walked by the nurses, even got a "fake" diploma. (Cap and gown from Kinder Keepsakes....they were fantastic. https://kinderkeepsakes.com/baby-graduation-caps-gowns/ )

We can't wait to take her back after flu season to visit the nurses to say THANK YOU! For the time being, we are staying put at home to avoid the germs. We are becoming "besties" with take out and good ole' PB & J sandwiches at home. Sleep is little to none, and my boobs are going to fall off from pumping. Approximately a billion poopy diapers per day...along with trying to get Easton potty trained. SMH....he regressed once Ella came. With all of the crazy of bringing home a new baby...it is so amazing and I'm thankful God made me their mama.

Easton is loving being a big brother - he keeps telling us to be careful with his baby sister. Be gentle! LOL - I love it!

Which BTW so many people asked me what happened...or why was she born early. So here's the story....

I felt so tired the whole pregnancy which is not like me... but I figured it was just the fact that she was a girl and sucking the energy away. I hemorrhaged early on, we thought we lost her but NOPE, still growing. Things went as normal other than being tired, I was great. 29 weeks pregnant I was told I had melanoma but hard to remove while pregnant. Then 2 days later I started feeling really weird. Went to CVS to check my blood pressure which I've never had issues. It was around 170 something over 100. The drs told me to go to the hospital. I figured it would just be a quick check and then back home, but they kept me 2 days. I found out I had mild preeclampsia. I went home Friday night on restricted bed rest (which I was in shock) and Saturday I couldn't feel her kick. I thought I was being paranoid since I had just left the hospital. So Sunday morning I went in to work to do a bunch of stuff for the week "just in case". I drink a huge cup of tea thinking it was me and that would make her move,....but nothing really. Go to the hospital with Boston, Easton and my mama all in tow. They admitted me for severe preeclampsia. I asked to say bye to Easton and they said I couldn't...I immediately had to get an IV. Easton wasn't allowed in because of the kid ban. I was then told I'd be hospitalized until I delivered - which the plan was to keep me there for approx. 5 or 6 weeks. I was a complete wreck because I couldn't see Easton. He was my world. We did a 24 hour urine test and things started to get worse and my health was in danger...with the risk of seizures/strokes. My body wasn't responding to the blood pressure medicine, so things got scary. I try to never think this way....but I called Easton to say I loved him just in case I didn't see him again. I was so scared! I was severely anemic, so a blood transfusion was supposed to happen. They gave me an iron transfusion and broke my water. I was told you will likely have a baby tomorrow....well Ella Grace said otherwise. I asked for an epidural and within 20 minutes she was coming. We were about to have a baby despite the fact the blood pressure meds were not working and the epidural hadn't kicked in. Then suddenly they couldn't get her heartbeat, so they willed me out for an emergency c-section. I was like nooo, I'm awake - you can't. As they were literally about to cut me, I yelled I have to poop....so they said PUSH. I did, feeling every bit of it....thank goodness she was a preemie...and there was Ella Grace. My arms had already been strapped down to the table and I asked one of the nurses (Geri), can I see her. She unhooked my arm and Ella looked me right in my eyes and grabbed my finger. That was a complete God moment for me and at that moment I knew no matter what, everything was going to be OK. That one moment we shared kept my faith the entire time she was in the NICU. Drs said I lost a lot of blood during the birth....and since they were talking a blood transfusion prior to having Ella...they thought for sure I would need it. BUT... somehow (God) when they checked me, I had more blood in my body than I did walking in to the hospital. Crazy thing is I have been reading a new daily devotional since Jan 1st (recommended by my friend Brooke Wall) and the day Ella was born....it said "today will be a hard crazy day with many challenges but I will see you through". That's the dumbed down version..... and man if he wasn't right.

I was supposed to have my skin cancer removed the day Ella was born, but had it removed a few days after leaving the hospital. To say things had been nuts in that 2 weeks, was an understatement. Now that she is here...I would do it all over again for this precious baby.....I feel so blessed. Which for the record...we are done having kids! LOL

So, there you have it! That was A LOT of typing (with several typos...sorry I'm rushing) but both kiddos are napping so I had an hour and I wanted to share her graduation pics!

Thanks for all the support from you guys...and of course, family and friends. We love you guys!

Erica


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