Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 7 (Final)

If you’re still around for this FINALE of Hudson’s Birth Story, I wish I had a medal for you, or at least a HUG! I’m seriously sooooo grateful you could celebrate Hudson’s recovery with us and how God healed his little lungs. We are beyond grateful that God chose to spare his life and these past two months we’ve been given to love on him. I can’t wait to finally wrap up this series on his birth so I can share more about our life with 5 boys! 

If you are still catching up, I don’t blame you. Here you go! 

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

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 5

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 6


After celebrating Hudson’s major accomplishments on Tuesday of first bottle, open crib, and getting to visit his brothers, Wednesday felt like a hurry up and wait day. We knew Hudson was starting to flirt with the “H-O-M-E” word, that you don’t dare say out loud in the NICU for fear of setbacks. He went back on phototherapy for his jaundice, but this time was able to wear a blanket version, so we could continue to care for him and hold him.

Our little dude was figuring out the whole eating thing like a champ. Although he didn’t have nursing down just yet, he loved his bottles, finishing 7/8 feedings completely.

Can’t you visibly see the change in him through these pictures? We were loving this newborn look!


With his vent and chest tube removed, we were able to be much more hands on parents, which was so nice, even though it made it harder to leave him when we had to return home.

Wednesday was our last day to have our favorite nurse, Erin, who I’ve gushed on already in these posts. It was an ugly cry goodbye for me, because I felt like she had truly fought for and loved on my son in such a personal way. {And yes, I’m still tearing up just writing this!}


On Thursday Hudson got his face back! For the first time in over a week we were able to see his face without a feeding tube or a nasal cannula. And what a precious face to behold! 


Things started moving on his “escape plan” and conversations started taking place between us and our team of neonatologists. Our neonatologist on duty was kind, conservative and cautious. He wanted us to be prepared for possible setbacks. However, we felt strongly that he was almost ready and were anxious to get him out of the NICU. As much as we loved the people there, we wanted him HOME so badly, and were tired of the back and forth tango. This also wasn’t our first NICU rodeo, so we knew he was never truly “safe” from infections this environment. We also felt prepared transitioning from NICU to home, having already survived it x4. We had our first successful nursing experience, which was a huge confidence builder for bring him home as well.


Friday, you could feel the anxiousness in the car ride up to the hospital. Brad and I had had several conversations about when/if we would push for dismissal. At this point Hudson’s oxygen levels were perfect, and his lungs were no longer showing any signs of distress. He nursed all of his feedings when I was present like a pro, which typically doesn’t happen so easily when they are transitioning from a bottle. The only thing we were waiting on was his weight gain to be headed up – he had lost almost a pound with not being able to be fed the first few days, decreased feeds, plus the normal newborn fluid shed. All other indications were that he was ready to come home to us. I packed his going home outfit in the diaper bag to have ready for him when the time came.


When our neonatologist, Dr. Jansen (who we had also had with our quadruplets) made his rounds for the morning, he stated that Hudson was on track for a Saturday dismissal as planned in his notes. Brad calmly asked him, “Any chance we could talk you into today?” Instead of a pushback, he quickly and confidently responded, “We could do that”.

We were ecstatic, relieved, and a little shocked. Things moved so quickly from there – paperwork, calling the boys to let them know (one of the best moments ever!), texting/calling family and friends, hugging fellow NICU parents who graciously came by to celebrate with us, calling our pediatrician to make follow up appointments, packing up things from his bedside, making trips back and forth to the van, grabbing a final lunch out, cleaning the van, etc. It was the happiest rush!


After one last hospital feed, saying goodbyes, and signing some final paperwork, Hudson was ours for the taking. Our 11 day unexpected NICU journey was coming to a happy ending. We made one last walk out the locked down NICU doors, down the long hallway, into the elevator, and then out into the sunshine of that first day of July.


Our hearts were grateful that God had given us this moment, knowing that there were no guarantees for a homecoming just a week prior.

After we had a little time to get adjusted, our friend Amy dropped off our boys. They came in running and could not wait to hold him.


My four boys holding their little baby brother – I didn’t think my heart could handle it without bursting. 


And that, My Friends, is Hudson Bradley’s birth story – from early labor, to uncertain NICU days, to home and healthy. Only God knows the number of his days, but we are so thankful He walked with us through his challenging first 11. He held Hudson when we couldn’t, and continues to shine His faithfulness through these past 12 weeks.

We are so thankful for these 5 miracle boys and the joy they bring to our lives! We are all adjusting extremely well. Thank you for continuing to allow us record our journey here. You’ve been incredibly kind to us over the years and we are looking forward to sharing this new chapter!


Photo by: Rachel Vanoven