Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 5

Thanks so much for your patience as I write out Hudson’s journey. I didn’t intend for it to stretch out this long, and I apologize if it’s too wordy. I’m recording it for our memory in addition to sharing God’s tremendous work in his life with you all.  

We’re getting to the good part, PROMISE. Hang in there…

However, Day 3 of Hudson’s life started with another major setback. Hudson developed a second pneumothorax on the opposite side, and this time it required a chest tube to be surgically placed to constantly relieve the air build up. It was another hard blow to take, but our neonatologist on duty was so calm and reassuring that it helped our hearts tremendously to endure another large bump in the road.


Understandably, the heaviness of Hudson’s condition combined with my postpartum hormones started taking a tole on my emotions that morning. Both the cleaning lady and the social worker made me cry with their encouraging words. Brad went into the bathroom and I was fine, and when he came out the housekeeper was bear hugging me while I sobbed, which gave us a good laugh later.

Nevertheless, we were in much better spirits that Friday morning. Sleep was a good reset, we were so encouraged by those praying, and we felt so assured by the care we were receiving.

As the day continued, Hudson’s oxygen requirements were higher than we were hoping after the chest tube placement, but our nurse reminded us that with his ventilator they had more room to increase support. He also needed to go under the phototherapy lights for his bilirubin levels, but that was one of the least of our worries.

Our prayers for the rest of Friday were for a stable day and no new lung tears or scares, which the Lord so graciously provided.


Day 4 became a turning point for Hudson, as so often the 72 hour mark is for NICU babies. We arrived at Hudson’s bedside with this note on Hudson’s sweet little bum, written by one of the BEST nurses in the world, Erin.


I still tear up when I think about how she loved and cared for little Hud so well. It’s so reassuring when you strike gold with a nurse who is there for them in a way you can’t be. We could tell it was personal for her, and she became one of Hudson’s greatest advocates. So incredibly grateful for her care for all of us and friendship along the way.

It was a GREAT day indeed. Instead of having something else go wrong, things began to finally stabilize and even improve.


By lunch time, Hudson was able to receive a gavage feed via the tube in his nose. It felt so good to be providing some “mama milk medicine” for my little one, when I couldn’t do much else for him.


I look back now at video from this day and see how sick he still was with the vent, chest tube, and watching how still his body was, but in the moment there was a visible shift of improvement.


I remember going back to my room to pump and hearing Brad’s laugh for the first time in days. We were getting through this one day at a time.

Things continued to be steady into the evening and which had several highlights:

  1. We got to see our precious boy’s eyes both open for the first time.
  2. My recovery was going remarkably well. Having a baby in the NICU pushes your limits physically and leaves little time for rest, but my body responded incredibly well.
  3. We got a great visit in with our four first borns.


It had been hard on them to be away from us when things were so unexpected and uncertain, and it was just good for all of us to be together. We were thankful that things were lighter than their previous visit two nights before, and it was so good to see them being more themselves.


We continued to guard our hearts, knowing that things can change and deteriorate rapidly in the NICU, but things were finally looking up for our little Hudson…


Read the previous Birth Story posts:

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 1

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 2

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 3

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 4