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an apple update.

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whew. my emotions are all over the place.

We are on day 9 of being in the NICU. The last days (even despite lots & lots of progress & continued good news) have been in a word-weepy. I start thinking about how she lays in that same bed all day (when I cannot be up there) and no one is holding her or snuggling her or kissing her or whispering in her ear. 

Instant tears well up.

Tonight they told me they have to pull the “no bottles” order because the times I am not there and she is fed through the feeding tube aren’t cutting it. She’s hungry and needs more than they can give her through the tube. Of course I don’t want her hungry- so bottles it is. 
And hopefully by some miracle I will be able to get up there more often so that I can nurse her more than they feed her. Chris has been working all week so it has been tough to get up there during the days for every feed, but I just have to trust this will work out okay.

There was a man there tonight. 
He was (I am guessing) around 80 years old and he volunteers his time to come into the NICU and hold babies that don’t get held very often. He grabbed the baby that sleeps next to Apple- he rocked her and sang old hymns to her. I watched his old frail hands clench this little one tight to his chest. 

It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life.

Tonight as I sat there watching this man, and staring into my sweet girl’s eyes… I just literally couldn’t set her back in her bed. I couldnt leave and walk away. 
I felt like my legs were glued to the chair, like they weighed a thousand pounds and were holding me there…I couldn’t pull myself together.

The good news,
despite my sadness, is that there is small talk of her possibly coming home soon.
I desperately need this.
I want us all under one roof so badly.
I want to hold that baby and snuggle her and make up for every moment of lost time. I want to nurse her and to have her safe in our home.

I have soooo so many pictures that I want to share. I don’t know where to begin.
So many of her.
So many of the kids with her.
So many of the kids during their hospital ordeal.

So some picture heavy posts are heading your way :).

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Motherhood

August 30, 2012

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  1. JeNeal Brown

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Awwww I just love her! I am so praying that little Apple gets to go home SOON!! You are one strong MAMA!!!

    xoxoxo
    JeNeal

  2. Sonya Marie

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:09 am

    She is absolutely beautiful! I'm praying for a quick recovery and for her to be able to get home ASAP. Sweet little Apple is a cutie with a big future! God bless your heart, mama. This I can imagine, is NOT easy one bit.

  3. april@gingerbread

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:21 am

    She is beautiful…I hope she comes home soon!
    xoxo

  4. Rhiannon

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I just can't read these updates without my eyes welling up. Thoughts are with you and your beautiful family. I hope little Apple is home with you all really soon!

  5. Arianne

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Oh my heart aches with you, sister. I'm praying for you all, for Apple to come home, for your nursing relationship to stay strong. I can imagine how amazingly difficult this is for you. God has you, babe. Of that I have no doubt. xoxo

  6. Carmen

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:51 am

    I had a NICU baby as well. A month of going home without your baby is torture. But your A is in good hands, physically & spiritually,as was my baby A 9yrs ago. Definitely brought back flood of emotions. Probably only now giving myself permission to "grieve" for that time lost having read your post. I always felt so guilty knowing it could have been much worse. Thank you for this gift;) And all the very best to your sweet sweet family!

  7. eliz

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Am crying right now at the image of the elderly man holding babies & rocking them & singing…

  8. Hannah

    August 30th, 2012 at 7:09 am

    i had two NICU baby sisters and i am so happy to hear, that apple is doing well and hope that she's coming home soon!

    My little twinsisters were born in week 27 and had to be almost 2 and a half month in the NICU

  9. Amber

    August 30th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Sweet Mama, I know how your heart must hurt and your arms ache to hold your darling Apple. Please know that she is not alone! When you are not there she feels the comfort of being wrapped in the arms of our heavanly Father. Jesus sits by her side and whispers in her ear that she is cherished and loved, He delights in her. God is holding tight to you too my friend. There are so many prayers going up on your behalf and mine are among them. May God bless your sweet family and may He continue to hold you in the palm of His hand. Love you

  10. Kristine Foley

    August 30th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Such a sweet beautiful thing to witness! Glad you did. I pray she gets to come home soon. Bring on the photos! I absolutely love them. Hugs and love to you.

  11. Cathy

    August 30th, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Maybe it's my end stage pregnancy hormones (due Sept. 14)….but this post has my heartaching for you. Serious tears! I cannot even imagine how it feels to be separated from your new baby or your older babes. Praying you are soon under one roof! Many thoughts and prayers are with you!

  12. katie_shannon

    August 30th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    These pictures are just so beautiful and that is so sweet of that old man, made me cry.

  13. Kellie

    August 30th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Casey, in that second pic all I can see is PRAYER. Can't wait to see a pic of all of you AT HOME. Hang in there sister, it's coming! {{{hugs}}}

  14. Beth

    August 30th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    My eyes welled up when you were describing the elderly man holding the babies. What a beautiful reminder to how precious of a gift life is. Continued thoughts and prayers for Apple to quickly get home. <3

  15. meg

    August 30th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    she is SO beautiful. so happy for you. this post just made me cry. praising god with you!

  16. Emily

    August 30th, 2012 at 11:44 am

    She is beautiful

  17. christina

    August 30th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    praying for you friend! Your post just brought back a flood of emotions for me…my son was a little member of the nicu … hands down the worst 2 weeks of my life.

  18. Marybeth Thielke

    August 30th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Lots of tears and prayers from this Mama! God is there, and He is good. He is holding Apple when you can't be there.

  19. pakosta

    August 30th, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    so proud of your strength and beauty surrounding you. the story of the old man holding the baby made my heart VERY happy, what a beautiful thing to witness, wow!
    hope that precious baby comes home SOON so you can be with your family and bond together!
    hugs!
    tara

  20. Elisha

    August 30th, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I hope you can all go home soon.. Praying for you all!

  21. Anonymous

    August 30th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    awwwwww. she's so lucky to have you as her momma ๐Ÿ™‚ i love her name….

  22. Sarah Griffin

    August 30th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Praying that God gives your beautiful family peace of mind & strength for today! Saw a quote yesterday that said "God gives the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers." Proud of you! Your kids are so blessed to have you & Chris as parents.

  23. astr!d

    August 30th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    the nicu is a very sad place to be. i had a baby stay at arkansas childrens hospital for 21 days until she died. i never got to take her home. so this story of apple getting better every day warms my heart so much! i hate to hear any baby stories like this bc it brings back such a flood of emotions. the great news is that you WILL be taking your baby home. its just hard to wait! and to know that she has a home and a family that loves her is so beautiful! one of the worse things was watching babies up there that had absolutly no one visiting them- not one visitor the whole 21 days we were there. and that is heartbreaking! so thats why the older gentleman comes to rock the babies, to know that there is love and security. he probably has a story similar to mine, maybe he never had any children, who knows. but its really sweet. so just hold on, know that she will be coming home soon! sending lots of love and prayers your way!!!

  24. toria

    August 30th, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    this post made me cry. a lot. i am so happy that she is doing well. my heart aches for you. you are so strong. and i am very happy there there is a wonderful man like that in this world. thank you for sharing.

  25. Kelsey

    August 30th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Oh Casey…soo sad and hurt for you but sooo excited at the progress that's being made. Apple is gorgeous and very soon you will be able to hold her all the time with no putting her down unless YOU want to. Praying for you all!!

  26. Amanda Barnard

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I cry every time I read your posts about baby Apple. please stay strong, your pretty little girl will get home soon. and that wonderful gentlement must be a guardian angel watching over baby Apple and all the precious ones sharing the NICU. <3

  27. Charlene

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    so many prayers for baby, you, and your family. hoping she gets to cuddle with you all at home very soon!!

  28. Trรจs bien

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    I just caught up on all of your last few posts and am so emotional myself. I love the story about the old man. How wonderful and heart wrenching. Praying for you and your family and hoping for little Apple to be able to come home soon!
    Love on a Budget

  29. Mara and Jae

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    oh my. your story of the old grandpa coming to hold babies. makes me tear up! i so want to do that when i'm an old grandma. that is precious. prayers are still coming yours (and baby girl Apple's) way.

  30. Shar Martinez

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I don't comment every time I visit, but Casey, I absolutely love your posts! Especially lately, the ones about Baby Apple. I love the type of mama that you are!

    I really hope that she can go home with you all soon!

    xoxo โ™ฅ Shar

  31. Tonya

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I don't think I can say enough what a beautiful momma you are. I know from experience how hard it is to have your family split up, and how hard it is when you have a newborn you can't take home with you. When my baby girl was in the NICU, there was also an older man who came in and rocked the babies. He was especially fond of one baby whose mother was unable to visit often. He would rock her and talk to her and feed her bottles and it was just the sweetest thing ever. As far as nursing, I truly believe that if you want it to work, it will. It might not be easy, but you can make it work. I was very lucky in that my girl, who was started on bottles, took to nursing very easily on her own and from then on would easily take either a bottle or breast. I was so relieved for this. I pray this happens for you and Apple, but most of all pray for healing for all. You've already made it nine days closer to her coming home. Hang in there Momma.

  32. Kelsey Elizabeth

    August 30th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    stay strong casey! everything is in God's hands!

  33. Anne

    August 30th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    The mamma in me is crying for what you have had to go through. What a beautiful image of the old man's aging hands cradling sweet Apple's newborn skin. I can almost smell it. Soon she'll be home and you'll be under one roof. Until then, prayers for you.

  34. Colleen

    August 30th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Beautiful and precious family…praying for you all to be home together.

  35. Anonymous

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Stay strong Casey! How sweet of that man to take time and give the babies in the NICU some attention. I'm sure it helps him too. Reading this post made me tear up. I'm keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  36. HK

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    stay strong sweet momma. I know it's so hard having a baby in the NICU…and not being able to be there to see her everyday…or even once a day. I've been there. The emotions are indiscriable….

    sending love and prayers, that she'll be home soon…<3 <3 <3

  37. Cara H

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Oh my gosh oh my gosh, that old man, oh how I wish you got pictures of him holding the babies. How precious that would be – even if it wasn't your baby girl – to have photos of him rocking and singing to babies who need to be held. WOW so glorious. Also, God is so good. Your blog is absolutely a tool used by him to encourage others.

  38. czstout

    August 30th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Hey sweet Casey! Be encouraged! My daughter was in the NICU for 9 days. It was the hardest time of my life! Leaving her there while I left was so surreal. I wasn't able to nurse her for the first 6 days of her life. When I finally got to feed her, she had a hard time. I pressed on and she was a champion nurser in no time! All that to say, you will gain this time back, she will feed fine, and above all, the Lord is still on his thrown orchestrating this all for His glory! Praying for you and your sweet family of 5!!!

  39. Cerissa Sutherland

    August 30th, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I know everyone's story is different, but I also had a daughter that had birth complications and had to stay in the NICU for 3 months:( No one will know what you are feeling unless they have gone through a similar situation! Stay strong for your kids…soon it will be a part of your family's history. Time will heal the pain!

  40. Ladies Holiday

    August 30th, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Keep Strong. Love and Prayers. And she is one sweet, sweet, sweet little baby bundle!

  41. Amber

    August 30th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Casey, I am praying for your precious Apple to be home with her amazing family soon! You're incredible, stay strong! You're such a brilliant mama! All my thoughts and prayers and love are with you xo

  42. Unknown

    August 30th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I can not read these posts without weeping. You are truly beautiful. I love ya so much.

  43. his little lady

    August 30th, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    so beautiful! what a happy family! can' wait for her to come home with you all ๐Ÿ˜‰
    xo TJ

  44. Anonymous

    August 30th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    praying for you so hard. nothing else smart to say. just much love, tears, and prayers from a stranger.

  45. Jen

    August 31st, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Just wanted you to know I dedicated part of my blog post to you today. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for being who you are.

  46. Paige

    August 31st, 2012 at 4:05 am

    oh Casey, I know just how you feel! I had my Lucy at 26 weeks, she spent 3 months in the NICU. My heart broke every time I had to leave her. You are a strong mommy and you know this to shall pass. Sending hugs your way and prayers that sweet apple will be in your arms at home very soon.

  47. Soaking up Sunshine

    August 31st, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    oh Casey what a sweet girl. Have a great weekend, you will be in my prayers and when your needing a little more strength to get threw know were out here thinking about you and your sweet family.

  48. Mia Rodriguez

    September 1st, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Aww she's so adorable. I will be praying for her and the rest of your family. She"ll be home soon. Stay strong.

  49. hutch mom

    September 1st, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    i can't imagine how overwhelming it must be to have your little one in the NICU. i'm welling up w. tears just thinking about…
    praying PEACE for you & STRENGTH to little apple.
    This will pass.

  50. Ava

    September 1st, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    She is such a doll… I hope she gets home to you stat.

  51. Anonymous

    September 13th, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I have just discovered this page through bleubird's blog (sorry, my english may be a bit poor, i'm french). I am just moved to tears reading those lines. I had my seond baby girl in january, and i know how disarmed a mother can feel when her baby's not well.I send you all my best wishes and prayers for your baby girl! (she's so cute with her headband!)

  52. Easton wife

    September 25th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Newest follower here! You daughter is beautiful and so is your blog! mine is due in 4 weeks. Excited to read along and learn ๐Ÿ™‚ Eastonwife.blogspot.com

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