Danielle Fishel Celebrates Her ‘NICU Graduate’ With Sweet Instagram Post

topanga-baby
Danielle Fishel/Instagram

Fishel shares a heartfelt message about what being a NICU mom has been like since delivering her son

Giving birth to a baby earlier than their intended due date is, undoubtedly, one of the most terrifying experiences any parent can go through. It’s always a relief when the babies can finally go home, safe and sound. Danielle Fishel is sharing her family’s moment of happiness in a new Instagram post.

Fishel, best known as Topanga from Boy Meets World, gave birth to her son Adler three weeks ago. After spending the time since his birth in the NICU, Fishel says he’s officially “graduated” and going home.

She thanks the staff at Children’s Hospital in LA and Adler’s two primary nurses for helping them through the emotional rollercoaster of her son’s hospital stay.

“We never wanted to know this hospital and its staff so well but now that we do, we can say with certainty there is no better place for children with medical needs,” she writes. “Now we hope to never be back.”

A week after he was born, Fishel shared the news of Adler’s arrival on Instagram in a heartwrenching post. She said her water broke at just 35 weeks gestation and delivered her son after doctors found fluid in his lungs. She said at that point, she and her husband Jensen Karp “entered a nightmare we’ll never forget.”

View this post on Instagram

One week ago today, on 6/24 at 4:52am, Adler Lawrence Karp made his entrance into the world, 4 weeks early. My water broke on 6/20, one day before my work week directing at Raven's Home ended and my maternity leave began. I was hospitalized that night and put on magnesium sulfate because Adler was only 35 weeks old. Unfortunately, after doing an ultrasound, our amazing OB discovered fluid in his lungs that was not there during our last appointment only 10 days earlier – and thus we entered a nightmare we'll never forget. We still don't have Adler home with us because the deeply good doctors and nurses in the NICU are working diligently to find out why the fluid is there and determine the best way to get it out. This has been the most trying week and a half of mine and @jensenkarp's lives but we have gotten through it with the support of our incredible family and friends who have shown up for us in unexpected ways. Jensen and I have also become closer than we ever thought possible and the love between us has grown exponentially as we have leaned on each other during both our highest highs and our lowest lows. We feel helpess and powerless and useless and we wanted so badly to follow our "birth plan," unsurprisingly none of which involved leaving our beautiful baby boy at the hospital for the first weeks of his life. We have also struggled with making this announcement – we are THRILLED Adler is here and we want to shout it from the rooftops but we know posting about his birth and it's complications opens us up to prying eyes – aka paparazzi staked outside our house, following our every move they way they did several times during my pregnancy. We are much too fragile for that right now and I pray wholeheartedly that we can have some space as we navigate these next few weeks. I can't wait to share more details about him with you (he hates having a poopy diaper for even 1 minute, he loves bath time, he has the cutest sneezes I've ever heard) and sing the praises of his NICU care team but I prefer to do that when Adler is in this crib in his nursery at home on a still unknown future date. P.S. the fox will be removed from his crib before he's ever in it. 👶❤️

A post shared by Danielle Fishel Karp (@daniellefishel) on

“We still don’t have Adler home with us because the deeply good doctors and nurses in the NICU are working diligently to find out why the fluid is there and determine the best way to get it out,” she wrote at the time. “This has been the most trying week and a half of mine and @jensenkarp‘s lives but we have gotten through it with the support of our incredible family and friends who have shown up for us in unexpected ways.”

She explained how she and her husband, much like many NICU parents, felt “helpless and powerless” and just wanted so badly to follow their initial birth plan, which did not involve “leaving our beautiful baby boy at the hospital for the first weeks of his life.”

Enduring a scary delivery and subsequent hospital stay comes with so much stress and heartache. Fishel mentioned she and her husband even struggled with whether they should publicly announce the birth of their son — something that brings so much simple joy to those who take it for granted, but can cause apprehension in NICU parents. Especially when one of them is famous, which unfortunately comes with an additional downside.

“We have also struggled with making this announcement – we are THRILLED Adler is here and we want to shout it from the rooftops but we know posting about his birth and it’s complications opens us up to prying eyes – aka paparazzi staked outside our house, following our every move they way they did several times during my pregnancy,” she wrote. “We are much too fragile for that right now and I pray wholeheartedly that we can have some space as we navigate these next few weeks.”

She and her husband spent the past few weeks navigating as best they could, visiting Adler as much as possible and being loving, happy new parents.

View this post on Instagram

We're still in the hospital but Adler is getting better and stronger every day. @jensenkarp and I keep reminding ourselves that we are extremely lucky – Adler *will* eventually come home with us – and therefore this is nothing but an enormous test of our patience and willingness to relinquish control. Two things I have never been plentiful in but are absolutely necessary in parenthood! 😬 He is also receiving the best possible care from the most loving, warm, kind, intelligent nurses and doctors the world has ever known! Literal angels. Thank you to everyone who has sent their messages of encouragement, hope, love, and prayers for our family. They have comforted us and been such an inspiration when we've felt down. Now, I must get back to dressing our baby in all my favorite restaurant onesies. 😘

A post shared by Danielle Fishel Karp (@daniellefishel) on

Fishel and Karp ended their “NICU graduation” message with a shoutout to other parents who have found themselves in their position: “Finally, our love and hugs to every single parent who has ever spent time in the NICU and especially those we left behind today.”