About Us

Hello! Our names are Jessica and Ryan Neumann.  We just had our first baby, Cassidy, together back in April of 2020.  When we got pregnant back in 2019, we never would have guessed two major things were going to happen.  First, a pandemic would occur, and we would be going into parenting together totally alone without having the support of family or friends. Yes, my family was able to  come and help us out at our house after we had her which made the world of a difference to us, but they weren’t able to be in the hospital with us.  Second, Cassidy decided to come over six weeks early.  This is something we never even thought to discuss.  I had all the fears of being pregnant for the first time, but never thought we would be in the NICU for weeks.  We dismissed the idea so much, that even during our hospital tour (the one meeting that didn’t get cancelled due to COVID), when we got to the NICU they asked if we wanted to tour it and we had said no thanks. 

Pregnant before NICU

Before she arrived, we had no problems in pregnancy.  Everything went so smoothly that we were shocked that my water broke 6 weeks and 3 days early.  Ryan actually didn’t believe me that my water broke - he told me that I was probably just freaking out and everything was okay.  When we got to the hospital and the doctor said the words, “your water is totally broke, your dilated, and you’re contracting 4 minutes apart. You’re not leaving without having this baby”, Ryan’s face was something I wish I had a picture of.  The weirdest thing was we were told my water probably broke from the storm that came through the night before that broke my water due to the pressure outside dropping so much.  

in hospital before NICU visit


My doctor that I had for years was at a hospital 30 minutes away from the house we currently live at.  We decided that we trusted her so much that we wanted to drive past the other hospitals that were much closer to go have this baby.  We never discussed the idea of having to drive back and forth every day for weeks, and what that would look like for us.  Much less me having a C-Section and not being able to drive.  Much less being in the middle of a pandemic where only one parent was allowed in at a time. 

birth of NICU baby

So what did that look like?  Ryan driving me to the hospital, dropping me off without being able to go in with me to say hi to Cassidy, then driving a half hour home.  Coming back 10 hours later to pick me up, having me go sit in the car for an hour alone (Crying of course) while he went in and spent just a little bit of time with her.  It looked like my sister driving in from Denver to help us out with our older daughter, and not getting to go in and meet Cassidy at all while she was here.  We are SO thankful to have family who is willing to drop anything to come be with us. 

            While I was in the NICU, I would just sit there and look at Cassidy.  I would scroll through social media while she was sleeping, or just watch the other parents or doctors running around.  I would hear alarms going off every few minutes and just hope everyone was okay.  Cassidy was a rockstar - she came out breathing great on her own when she was born, she just needed some help keeping her temperature up.  They had her in an incubator they called it for a couple weeks.  She was on a feeding tube, so I had to pump to get her what she needed.  Since I wasn’t there to try and latch her to breastfeed, this was a little more difficult and is a story for another day.  I remember every day walking into her room, and immediately asking what her weight was, and if she even gained a fraction of an ounce it was a huge deal.  When they got to lower the temperature of the incubator because she was regulating her own temperature, it was a huge deal.  There were SO many things to keep track of, I just wish I had written it all down looking back at it.

NICU baby

            We finally introduced a bottle to her at about a week and a half old, but never forced it.  Every feeding I would either try the bottle, or if it was overnight and I was at home I would wake up to pump, and call after her feed time to ask how much she took.  If she drank even a few ML more than the last time out of the bottle, I would be more excited than I can put into words.  If she had a not so great feeding, I would get so sad and had so many emotions I was unfamiliar with. I knew that she was making progress, and it was two steps forward and one step back, but every single event would affect me so much.  I didn’t know anyone else who had gone through this before I had her.  People started reaching out to me saying they had similar stories and giving me advice on how to get through it.  They made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and even though my story is unique and every baby is different, I felt like I was part of a community of parents who needed to support each other and really understood one another.

            Another crazy part to our story: The day after I had her, I actually came down with double pneumonia.  During a pandemic like this one, that threw me into quarantine.  I actually didn’t get to go hold or see my baby until she was 3 days old.  My husband was allowed to go in and see her when my Covid results came back negative, and it was proven that I just had pneumonia, and I was so thankful for that.  However, seeing the pictures of him holding her silently broke my heart.  This was my first baby, someone I had waited my entire life for, and she was just down the hallway from me - out of my reach.  

            Day 13 of Cassidy being in the NICU was actually Mother’s Day.  That day, I spent 10 hours just holding her, wishing she would keep getting stronger so I could take her home.  Two days later, on day 15, I woke up to a phone call from the Neonatologist saying the words “do you want to take your baby home today”.  I dropped the phone and started crying, and yelling for my husband and sister who were downstairs that we get to take her home! 

take home day NICU

            We’re starting NICU Warrior Foundation to help support all the families who go through this unexpected journey.  We want to provide a bundle with items that we think would have been awesome to have, and resources of people with similar stories and advice.  We want to continue to create this community of people who have something they’ve been through or are going through that no one else can possibly understand.  Even a Husband and a Wife have different perspectives on how to get through this together.  Having a baby is something that is such a miracle and a blessing… then not being able to hold them, or rock them, or nurse them, or much less take them home, that’s just something that is indescribable.