Hey y’all! My name is Lyndsey Lewis and I am the Vice-President and co-founder of Early Bird Foundation! I am married to my best friend Alec and in that time we’ve been blessed with four sweet children! Our first set of twins, Brynlee and Jessa, were born in April of 2015 and our second set of twins, Ian and Emory, were born in December of 2016.
My experience with the NICU was very different from Ashton’s experience. The differences in our two stories helps show the huge range of circumstances NICU families may find themselves experiencing once they find themselves at the beginning of a NICU journey. It may be expected or unexpected NICU time, it can be hours to day to week to month long journeys, it can be a relatively uncomplicated stay to a stay where you feel like every step forward meets you with two steps backwards. However, no matter the path our different journeys in the NICU drag us down, there is one common theme that we all experience: the loss of precious time with our newborn babies.
I always say my NICU experience was relatively short, uncomplicated and ends sweet and for that I am forever grateful. It was, however, unexpected and undoubtedly one of the hardest times of my life.
Our second set of twins, Ian and Emory, were born at 37 weeks. After an attempted VBAC that ended in a csection, we found out that our daughter Emory Kay had undiagnosed intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and was only 4 lbs compared to her brothers 6 lbs 11 oz! Our first two daughters were little as twins tend to be but Emory was tiny. Her small size warranted her a week long stay in the NICU at UK as a grower! She was thankfully perfectly healthy otherwise.
For daddy and I, as thankful as we were that she was healthy, we were heartbroken at what the stay meant for us. Our hospital stay and subsequent first days home didn’t consist of snuggling our newborns, recovering from birth and getting acquainted with our new family of six. Because Ian couldn’t be in the NICU with his sister, it consisted of deciding between being in the room with Ian who I was nursing and being in the NICU with Emory attempting to nurse her, pumping for her for when I couldn’t be there, leaving her there and bringing her brother home, then finding caretakers for the three little ones we had at home so that we could still be with Emory during her care times at the hospital.
My short time with a child in the NICU and the challenges it posed for my family along with the emotional toll it took on my husband and I gave me a heart to help other families experiencing the same. Every story is different. Every story is important. I don’t want any momma or daddy to feel like they are alone in their struggles. Most importantly, I want every family to know the power and love of a Father who will walk with them every step of the way.
My prayers are that Early Bird Foundation gives Ashton and I the opportunity to walk with these families and to offer them support in whatever area they need it most! I look forward to meeting everyone the Lord will put in our paths, whether it be families who need our support or those who have a heart to help! Thank you all for your interest in our story and our passion.