September is NICU Awareness Month

September is NICU Awareness Month, and I have to congratulate three strong little boys who were graduates of the NICU.

I have three nephews, Preston, Elijah and Isaiah. All three of my nephews were born premature and had to spend time in the NICU when they were born. It was an experience that my sister and entire family was not prepared for. We were grateful for the NICU staff, because it would definitely have been harder if it wasn’t for them.

My NICU Graduates

Isaiah N. Lapread – my youngest nephew

Isaiah is my youngest nephew, and the second-born twin. He was born at 26 weeks, and spent 159 days in the NICU. He faces some pretty significant challenges in life, but one thing I love about him is that he is resilient. Despite what he faces in life, you can see the joy in his eyes. His smile literally lights up the room when you see him. He is hearing and vision-impaired, but despite that, he makes up for it in happiness and love. You can’t help but leave his presence with your heart full. In a few months, he’ll be 4 years old, and steadily breaking down barriers with each passing day!

Elijah K. Lapread – my middle nephew

Elijah, the oldest of the twins, spent 165 days in the NICU before he was able to go home. He’s definitely a little firecracker. If his brother’s smile is a mile wide, his might be a mile and a half. He loves preschool and is learning all sorts of new words. Elijah has a few challenges of his own, but like his brother, he doesn’t let that stop him. He is just as strong as his brother, and the protective older brother even at the tender age of three.

Preston A. Izzard – the oldest and wisest nephew

Last but not least; the oldest of the three. Preston is my oldest nephew, who will be 7 next year. He had the shortest stint in the NICU, but that was truly a blessing, because when he was born we did not know how long he would be there. Based on his picture, you can clearly see he was a pretty healthy baby in the NICU. He was born at 34 weeks, which was still premature, but was 6 lbs when he was born. He received the best care and by the grace of God, in six days he was able to go home with the all clear. Six years later, he is healthy and thriving and the best big brother his little brothers could ever ask for.

Today, my nephews are three of the healthiest, strongest boys I’ve ever met. I’m a proud auntie and blessed that they’ve overcome so many obstacles that some wouldn’t even believe!

(Left to right: Elijah, Isaiah, Preston) ❤️

The NICU Experience and Appreciation for Those Who Serve

NICU awareness is very important aspect to childbirth and will always have a place in my heart. My sister, nephews and family all experienced first-hand what it was like to have babies that we love in the NICU. I can remember is seeing my nephews going into the NICU, and sometimes the limited access that my sister had to seeing them. Also, the difficult transition to going home knowing your children have to stay in the hospital and cannot go home.

NICU nurses and people who volunteer in the NICU are some of the best people that we met when my nephews were in the hospital. They were kind, understanding, and always willing to explain things and made sure my sister understood what was going on. I remember them making bracelets and necklaces for my nephews, they had special blankets and and hats. The NICU nurses really did everything they could to make babies and families feel special and important, despite the circumstances.

For more information on NICU Awareness, you can click HERE to gather more information, resources and volunteer opportunities in your local NICU!