Celebrating mother's day in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

She was told to say goodbye to her baby when she was born, but 80 days later her baby's still alive.

AURORA - Elaine Hungenberg will spend Mother’s Day about 63 miles from home and with at least 62 other moms.

They are celebrating in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Elaine’s baby girl Adalyn was born in February. Her due date is today.

“She was about the size of her dad’s hand,” says Elaine.

Her mom and dad couldn’t hold her for seven days, because she was so sick and fragile. She had to be flown to Aurora from Loveland, after Elaine unexpectedly went into labor at 28 weeks.

Elaine and her husband have two little boys, ages 2 and 3. They’ve only seen their little sister four times.

It has been a struggle, but one that Elaine doesn’t regret. She now has several new heroes in her life.

“When you walk these halls you’ll meet a million heroes, every day. A mom’s biggest fear is losing a child or having a sick child, and these women in this hallway are living out everyone else’s nightmare and they’re doing it with a strength that will utterly amaze you,” she said.

The staff in the NICU at Children’s Hospital treat infants from Colorado and ten other states.

One of Elaine’s newest best friends is from South Dakota. She calls them her NICU family.

Every mom on this floor wishes their baby would be well enough to be home on Mother’s Day, but they are grateful too.  

Elaine says it will be a good day on Sunday.

“We’ll have cake. We’ll tell each other that we’re great and we’ll hold our babies at the end of the day.”     

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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