Mom spends her Mother’s Day in the NICU with baby
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - News Leader 9′s Gabriela Johnson got a rare opportunity to visit with a mother and her premature baby together on Mother’s Day in the NICU at Piedmont Columbus Regional where they’ve been since last year.
“I had figured out very early on that I could either feel sorry for myself, feel sorry for her, or I could look to it as we’re here, we’ve made it, we’ve survived and everyday she fights, I’ll fight behind her,” says Alexandria Hicks, mother of 5-month- old, Esther Grace Ann Hicks.
It may not be ideal to spend a Mother’s day, or any other holiday in the NICU with limited visitation, but this mother says she wouldn’t have it any other way. Esther Grace is the baby News Leader 9′s Gabriela Johnson had the pleasure to meet Sunday. Outside of her mother, father, doctors and nurses, Gabriela is one of the first faces she’s ever seen.
“Esther 4:14 says ‘perhaps you were created for such a time as this’ and she was born 14 weeks early,” says Hicks.
Born on Christmas Eve, Esther Grace Ann Hicks was brought into this world 3 months early, weighing just one pound.
“They said that her life and my life were both at risk the longer she stayed in. So, at birth because of all of her conditions and everything she was going through, they gave her a 20% chance of survival,” says Hicks.
Hicks says things are becoming joyous after a difficult pregnancy with her daughter.
“It’s been astounding to watch her grow from the tiny one pound to the 9 pound baby she is today.”
“I believe that every child is given exactly to the mom that they need them to have and I didn’t know I was capable of being a NICU mom until I was thrown into it,” says Hicks.
142 days spent in the NICU at Piedmont Columbus Regional, Hicks is learning that Esther Grace is a fighter and her faith is growing tremendously.
“In a sense that this is not a punishment from God, if anything, this is a chance to love and grow and become something I never knew I could be,” says Hicks. “I have learned that it’s okay to not be okay. it’s okay to not have it together because there’s always a time tomorrow to try again.”
This is Esther Grace’s ninth holiday in the hospital, Hicks says she would not have it any other way.
“I’ve started to notice what’s important and what’s not important. Things that I thought ahead of time would be ‘oh my God, I hope we don’t celebrate this holiday here, to oh look I get to spend it with the nurses.’ It’s just there’s always two perspectives and I try to look at it as the more beautiful side as we can either feel bad, or celebrate,” says Hicks.
Hicks says everyday she’s in the NICU is a day she can help another mother. When Esther was 3 weeks old, she started Project 4:14, a non-profit to send love to NICU moms and babies across the US.
“Part of our project is crochet hats and other little mementos for a mom,” says Hicks “It’s a small gesture but it opens up the door to communicate and open a connection.”
There isn’t a release date for baby Esther yet. However, Hicks says one of the first things her, her husband and son ,Cooper, will do with Esther Grace is have her dedicated at church and after that take her to the zoo for a good look at the sky.
“Throughout all of this we’ve never once felt like we’d lose her, we just felt like we should keep praying and trusting that she will make it through.”
WATCH below to hear the full story of Esther Grace, Project 4:14, and Hicks’ message to NICU families:
Copyright 2023 WTVM. All rights reserved.