Born @ 27 weeks
2lbs 7oz

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shaw Has Another Brother...

Actually, Shaw's first "brother," was the one that rested beside him in an incubator for 122 days in the NICU. Meet Josiah King,

Josiah, whose name means, "God Saves Me," was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1lb 5 ounces. Similar to Shaw, Josiah was very, very sick. The two boys randomly landed in 'Pod 6' and a friendship was born. Shaw and Josiah, nicknamed by the nurses, 'The Brothers' quickly won the hearts of the medical staff.

Here is a picture of when they first met (complete with matching quilts, donated by our amazing nurse, Lenore):

Once Michael and I learned that Josiah's Mom, a first time, single mother, was commuting an hour+ each way to/from the hospital each day, we invited her to stay with us.

For months, Domekia and I carpooled to/from the hospital. We shared most meals as a family with Nash. We also shared many dark days. I can remember one night she woke Michael and I up in the middle of the night, because she had received, "The Call" from the NICU to get there immediately. Believe me, NO ONE wants to receive the middle-of-the-night NICU call. We all know what it means.

By the grace of God, Josiah survived, as did Shaw - and here they are today!

Domekia and Josiah now live in Raleigh, but ventured to the Queen City this weekend for the annual Hemby NICU Reunion Picnic.

Over 2,000 families are invited to an exceptional carnival (complete with train, bounce houses and a ... Bee). The attendees each have a NICU graduate and come to celebrate with their doctors, nurses and friends how far they have come! Celebration, hope and resilience are contagious with these families. Personally, I think the picnic should be called the Picnic of Hope!

Each NICU survivor is asked to complete their name tag, by including how much they weighed when they were born. Speaking to a vibrant 8 year old, who can't sit still because she is racing to be with her friends, who has a tag that reads 1pound 5 ounces. It is simply amazing.

Fellow NICU graduate, John-Michael & his Mom, India.
Team Yatko - Rob, Adair and sweet NICU graduate, Weston
Team Cheatham - Nash's best friends, triplets John, Walker & Thomas.

This year, we had another layer to celebrate. Bee Mighty had a booth at the picnic. Our goal was to let all of the families with graduates that support is available!

I found myself squealing like a school girl when I bumped into former friends and lost myself in how far our children had come - how those dark days seem so long ago. Thankfully, Cameron Uher, Heather Hucks, Christine from Level 4 and Court from Parent Financial were there to hold down the fort and discuss Bee Mighty!

Christine from Level 4, one of our valued partners, manned the booth the ENTIRE time!
We gave all preemie Moms Reunion tshirts, "Beelieve in Miracles"

Court Creeden, Parent Financial, a gracious sponsor and volunteer at the Bee Mighty booth. 
And then, there was the Bee.... I don't know if I somehow convinced my husband after two glasses of wine or if he just said Yes to shock me. Nonetheless, he strapped on his wings and pulled up his tights and sported the first "Bee" at the picnic!

Bee Michael & Nash

Me & My Bee

Team Hoard, Greta & Rob have FOUR boys! And two of the most recent NICU graduates. 

Michael, Dr. Rama, Candace, Shaw and Lissa

Back home on the ranch, Shaw & Josiah decided they were pooped after the Picnic and wanted to hang out. We spent the next two days telling stories about where we came from and most importantly where we hope our kids are heading!

God Bless Domekia and Josiah! They lend a tremendous amount of support and encouragement.

Chillin' & Catchin' up

Mighty Josiah & his Mighty Momma, Domekia

Proud Mommas

Nash & Mr. James

Mighty Bees

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