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  • Writer's pictureKrystal Wallick

How Is He Now?

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

Sometimes I do forget about all the crazy of the NICU life. It feels like a dream, maybe it wasn’t real. You know those dreams that felt so real, that you’re unsure of what to believe? Was it that? But then someone asks, “How is he now?” and I’m jolted back to the time when he wasn’t okay. It absolutely was real. Day to day baby Ari is a healthy toddler, constantly on the move and the chunkiest chunk that ever was. Although physically he has scars and a sunken chest, his lungs do function at 100%.

Physically, we are all ok. Emotionally, I don’t know that I’ll ever come back. The anxiety stays with you forever. I hover over him watching his breathing (more so than I ever did with my older babies). I get nervous to rough play and go out in public. When people compliment how cute he is, my first thought is usually “don’t come near us!”. It comes from a place of fear for my baby’s life, not from rudeness. I get the stanky face from others when I inch away, but they don’t understand the ever present fear that comes with the after life of a NICU baby.

I think that little bit of fear for our kids is in all of us regardless. We all want the best for our children and we want to shelter them from any pain. We have big dreams for them and we imagine what life will be like. This surely isn’t what I imagined. But that’s what makes Ari the Brave so special. Life isn’t what you ever imagine. Life can feel pretty unusual sometimes. In 2021, a flying alligator might not surprise me so much anymore. But it is also so fun, so adventurous, and so beautiful to have braved the battles and come out on top…. together!

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