It’s been an eventful last 3.5 months for our family. We welcomed Abigail Rose Verzal to the world on March 16. She was a few weeks early, despite the progesterone shots and attempts to hold her off a bit longer when I went into labor. I had a planned c-section, and Abby went into the NICU for a couple of days to give her lungs a little more strength. I spent Sunday-Thursday in the hospital, and then came home that afternoon, worked until 2 a.m. and somehow managed to put together 11 graphic-intensive videos without spelling errors. Since then, life has continued at that same pace.

So when it was time to start writing again, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. There’s been so many really cool things that have happened with Alexis, and also some very challenging things as well. I’ve decided to write about the three unexpected things I’ve learned since Abby was born.

1. Recovery from having a baby is a b!$ch no matter how it happens.

I had some complications with my recovery after having Alexis, so I opted for a c-section this time hoping that it would be a little easier. I spent time reading other blogs about c-sections, and I’m glad that I kept up with the drugs. It made for some interesting conversations and some unexpected emails, but having an incision in your abdomen is not something to be taken lightly. I’m almost 4 months post, and I’m still sore to the touch.

2. I’m not as much over the trauma of Alexis being hurt as I thought I was

I’m sure it’s a product of living out our own horror story and seeing others play out before our eyes, but I would say that  I was often terrified during the entire pregnancy of something going wrong. What is funny is that Abby going to NICU and having oxygen and tubes on her didn’t panic me. However, the first night she stayed in my room and made a couple of wheezing sounds, my mind went right back to being in the hospital with Alexis. I’ve spent many nights holding Abby trying to figure out how any person can hurt a baby. The more time I spend with Abby, the more lost and confused I become about how Alexis was hurt so badly.

3. The power of a sibling is incredible

Let’s finish this out on a positive note. Abby LOVES Alexis. I am in awe of how much different Abby reacts to Alexis than Brandon and me. Alexis has the ability to calm Abby. We can tell that Abby is happiest watching Alexis. I had the best Mother’s day gift watching Alexis hold Abby and seeing Abby smile at Alexis and hit her in the face…and watching Alexis giggle about it. I think we have some magical moments ahead.


Tiffany Verzal

Tiffany Verzal was raised in rural Nebraska, and now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her husband Brandon and daughter Alexis (9) and Abby (2). In 2008, Alexis (then 14-months-old) was the victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her daycare provider in Texas. Alexis suffered severe brain damage and has spent over 2000 hours in rehabilitation since her injury. Tiffany continues to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury, shaken baby syndrome and child abuse. Brandon and Tiffany serve as members on Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Board of Trustees. Brandon is currently the Chairman of the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board.