Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Feature Family

At the beginning of each month Ella's Halo will have a NICU family tell their story about life in the NICU with their baby. Our hope is that by featuring different families others will have a better understanding of the difficult, roller-coaster ride many face when their baby is in the NICU. Ella's Halo created the Feature Family series, if you are interested in sharing your story, please email us at to share your NICU story and to be a future Feature Family. 

However, this will be our final post of Feature Family on a monthly basis. 

And what better way to end our series than having Ella's Daddy tell his perspective of being a dad in the NICU.  Ryan tells his story and what it was like to be a parent of a baby in the NICU so well.  He brought tears to my eyes.  I am so proud  and so lucky that I get to call him my husband and the father to my babies.

Ella Jo Krumwiede
Written by Ryan Krumwiede
Former NICU Daddy

Life in the NICU
Spending three months in the NICU was the longest, most difficult time of my life. And not being able to bring our baby home at the end makes it even worse. When Ella was born, I knew we were in for a long, difficult struggle, not only for her to grow and develop, but to survive.

Ella was born at only 24 weeks gestation, and was dealing with a lot of issues, her lungs weren’t fully ready, and she needed support from a vent to help her breathe. Her blood pressure was also unstable and it was a problem we couldn’t ever get figured out.

There were many days that I just felt lost and hopeless, because it seemed that no matter what we did, things just wouldn’t get better. It is a feeling I hope to never feel again, and wouldn’t wish it upon anybody. As a father, you have a responsibility to take care of your family. You are the rock, and the one that is supposed to make sure everyone is safe and ok. But when your child is lying in a hospital bed, and there is nothing you can do, you feel like you are letting everyone down, not doing your job as a father. It hurts more than you can imagine.

The good days were great. The days when Ella was feeling better, and making improvements, it was unbelievable. We were able to hold her, and feed her, and it felt like we were a family. Although we were in a hospital, we still got to spend those precious moments with her, and do the things that parents normally take for granted.

In the NICU, it’s like you’re in this bad dream. You have this feeling like this can’t be real. This can’t be really happening to me, to my child, to our family. You are always wondering, “when am I going to wake up?” But it is real, and unfortunately too many parents and families have to go through it everyday. It truly is a roller coaster. One minute you are feeling good, and feel like things are finally getting better. And the next minute everything changes, and you feel like you are never going home.

A lot of prayers were said during our time in the NICU. And I thank God everyday that Ella is a part of our lives. She brought so many good things to us in such a short time. She is the reason that Ella’s Halo exists, is successful, and is doing so many great things. And I hope that for the others that are following in our footsteps, we can make it just a little bit easier. Just give them one less thing they have to worry about during a time that is so confusing, worrying and stressful.