Celebrating Firsts

Spending the first portion of Olivia’s life in the NICU is certainly not what Luke and I had envisioned for our family, but it is what it is and here we are: #NICUlife. There are countless things that cross my mind while being in the NICU, many of which include the laundry list of ‘typical’ memories we are missing – or hopefully simply delaying. Our first night at home, walks around the neighborhood, car rides, errands around town, visits with friends, afternoons at the park, evenings on the deck. Not to mention summer vacations, trips we had planned, and places we wanted to take our sweet girl.

Also on the list of events that are unfolding unexpectedly are holidays.

We spent our first mother’s day in the NICU, not at home how I had hoped. I turned 30 while hanging out with our sassy gal in the NICU. And today marks the beginning of summer holidays: Memorial Day. Olivia’s first Memorial Day! Instead of spending the day with outdoors, introducing Olivia to our friends at a picnic, we’re still here.

Celebrating these firsts… experiencing our family’s early memories in the NICU… is sad. My heart is often flooded with sorrow, sometimes jealousy, and even resentment. But at the same time, my heart is full. While sad, unexpected, and not exactly typical, this is our situation, our life right now. And so despite our environment, despite where Olivia spends her days or where she sleep, despite her condition and the string of unanswered questions, we carry on. We spend every day with our little girl, just as we would have under ‘typical’ circumstances. And we celebrate all sorts of firsts, as any other new parents would… just with slightly different surroundings.

So today, on Olivia’s first Memorial Day, we celebrate the start of summer and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country, NICU style: with a decorated bed and festive clothing.







  1. Celebrating in style I see. Ditto on all the feelings. You are all the best of the best. Love you to pieces! Nana💞

  2. “Every moment one lives is different from the other. The good, the bad, hardship, the joy, the tragedy, love and happiness are all interwoven into one single, indescribable whole called life. You cannot separate the good from the bad. Perhaps there is no need to do so, either”. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

  3. Love y’all so so much and think about you every day. Hoping and praying you’ll soon be looking back on this time as you’re playing with sweet Olivia at home and doing all of those things every mom and dad has planned.

  4. Hi Luke and Whitney, those pictures are priceless, she is beautiful! Your post is very heartwarming and I really believe no matter where we spend our holidays, as long as we are with our families, we have so much to be thankful for and she is a beautiful gift. I also believe she will make so much more progress and you will be having those special times at home very soon. She has made great progress since her birth and we are praying for her and for your continued strength and faith. We are here for all of you everyday. Love you all.

  5. Hi Whitney and Luke, I’m happy to read your updates and see how Olivia has progressed since her birth. Your writing is so heartwarming and wonderful. I hope that Olivia keeps strong and you both too. You two sure have proved to be amazing parents already. She sure is one lucky girl! And so beautiful too! All our love from CA. xoxoxoxo

  6. Whitney, it looks like, from her pictures, that Olivia agrees with the day’s feastivites. She compliments her red white & blue, brave & courageous. She wears those colors well
    Love Grandma

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