Jordyn Baby Jordyn: A Family’s Story of Gratitude

I am also grateful to all the CBMC staff. I am grateful to the doctors who sat on my bed and let me cry because I was separated from my newborn baby. Thank you to the L&D nurses that asked how the baby was every time I came back to my hospital room.

My pregnancy was going great…until it wasn’t. Just that quickly, what was a normal experience turned into a medical drama. I woke up around 1:00 am on Wednesday, June 14, with a lingering pain in my chest. As someone who suffers with gallstones, I was familiar with the feeling. Normally, I would take over-the-counter pain meds and go on with my day. The problem this time was that I was 28 weeks pregnant! Wanting to be careful, I called my OB who said I should come to the hospital to be evaluated. Confident this would be a quick visit, I packed my work bag, asked my husband to drop me off and I would take ride share to work. I’m glad he didn’t listen to me! I spent the next two weeks in the hospital followed by 5 weeks of daily visits to the NICU. In dramatic fashion, my daughter, Jordyn, was born at exactly 30 weeks on June 23. I was unconscious for the birth, but I am told she was quite lively and loud when she was born! My next memory is waking up and being rolled to the NICU in a hospital bed to see her briefly.

The first day I was able to see her was the hardest. She was in the incubator, with tubes and sensors covering her 2 pound, 12 ounce body. Her eyes were covered, but she was alert. We couldn’t hold her yet, but could touch her through the slots in the incubator. The nurses were kind and let me know when they would be evaluating her during the day. This way, I could see her without her eye covering, take her temperature and change her diaper. The day nurse reassured me “by the time she leaves here, you will be doing my job!” Those moments changing her diaper and taking her temperature felt normal and I longed for each of them!

JordynThe second hardest day was when I was discharged from the hospital without her. After being discharged, I spent the rest of the day with her in the NICU, not wanting to leave her side. Her nurse that day encouraged me to go home and rest. “Soon, she will be coming home, our babies go home!” Those words were a glimmer of hope that I needed on the days when she lost a few ounces of weight or needed a new feeding tube or a blood transfusion.

The next memory I have is the day Jordyn was transferred from a pod to a private room. On this day, I arrived at her pod to find she wasn’t there! What felt like forever was just a few seconds before a nurse took me by the hand and walked me to a room. “Jordyn has graduated, she is closer to the exit door, closer to going home!” I didn’t see much through the tears that filled my eyes, but I followed her voice, holding on to her reassuring words until we stopped and I saw my daughter sleeping in her new room. I left her sleeping peacefully to get a coffee in the NICU Family Room. The Family Room was empty and I let the tears flow. Not knowing where Jordyn was, even for those few seconds, was an emotional rollercoaster ride. Soon, another NICU mom came and sat down in the Family Room too. She told me her daughter was born full term, but needed surgery, and her son had spent significant time in this NICU. “They are great here,” she reassured me, “Jordyn will be fine!” We talked and cried and prayed together over coffee and water. We have kept in touch, but our first meeting was magical for me. I am forever grateful for that encounter and hope others utilize that space to connect as well.

JordynI am also grateful to all the CBMC staff. I am grateful to the doctors who sat on my bed and let me cry because I was separated from my newborn baby. Thank you to the L&D nurses that asked how the baby was every time I came back to my hospital room. I am grateful for the apple and cookie they had waiting for me because I missed lunch and sometimes dinner. I am grateful to the doctors who visited me in the NICU so I could spend more time with Jordyn. Above all, I can’t say thank you enough to the NICU Staff. Thank you to each nurse that wiped her down, brushed her hair and dressed her. I appreciate the nurses that warmed her feedings and gave her medications. Thank you to the doctors who explained everything that was happening and the milestones she needed to meet before being discharged. Thank you, Dr. Rani, for caring for my daughter’s medical needs and making me aware of upcoming procedures so I could be there with her. For each person who cared for little Jordyn in my presence and in my absence, I am forever grateful.

On August 5, Jordyn left the NICU and came home with us just as the nurse said she would. One week later, during her first checkup, a hernia was discovered. She was readmitted to the NICU for surgery. I cried, but, this time, only briefly. A familiar face, a NICU nurse, reminded me, “Mom, you know we will take good care of her, she’s in good hands!” and I wholeheartedly knew that she was!

The last few months, we have been donating some extra special snacks for families to enjoy in the NICU Family Lounge and I have been attending the NICU Family Advisory Council monthly meetings. I feel this helps me stay involved and keep finding ways to show and share my gratitude!

With thanks, Jordyn’s Parents

Learn more about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center.