Zev’s NICU Journey
Zev was born at 23-weeks gestation, which was under the age of viability. He was given a 1% chance at living, and a 95% chance if he did live of having such severe cerebral palsy that he would never walk, talk, eat, or breathe on his own. Through his first five months of life in the NICU, we navigated the razor-thin edge between life and death, made impossible decisions about his health and quality of life, battled hopelessness and fear with trust and surrender, and time and time again, we witnessed incredible miracles, in Zev, in the deeper parts of ourselves, and in the world around us.
Zev battled lung collapses, severe brain bleeds, heart issues, nutrition complications, infections, blindness, promising steps forward, and devastating stumbles backward in his health during that time, but in that intense and challenging season, we learned how to reclaim hope in the midst our most hopeless moments and rise to receive the gifts of the larger journey set before us along the hard road.
Today, after beaten every odd stacked against him, Zev lives as a healthy and thriving 3 year old without any major complications from his early birth and no signs of cerebral palsy despite the statistics. We celebrate his incredible story of endurance and survival, and honor those who came before and after us who have born witness to the highest peaks and lowest valleys that come from experiencing the grief and glory that is life in the NICU.
Love for Lily was an incredible support for us as we navigated our time in the NICU. They were there with a listening ear to offer insight, emotional care, and affirmation when Zev’s future felt uncertain and unknown. There was a depth of understanding that brought profound comfort and and intentional sense of kindness that kept us connected to one another as we experienced all the emotions we faced along the way. They were truly a lifeline when we needed it most, a touchstone for our grief and our joy, and a safe space to come as we were on any given day. The journey was so much sweeter because they were such a distinct part of it. They offered healing in ways that can hardly be described when we look back at that time in the NICU, and we are eternally grateful for their loving presence and unyielding support.