LAKEWAY, Texas -- A special reunion Sunday between families and the doctors and nurses who cared for their little ones who used to be really little.
Many of the parents say those in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) were truly life savers.
"There were some complications at birth, had to have an emergency C-section,” said Mitch Pope.
Victoria and Mitch Pope's son, Grayson, went to the NICU at Baylor Scott and White Lakeway.
"All throughout the pregnancy with him there were no issues, so it was a complete blindside surprise for us,” said Pope.
The second time parents watched as their son struggled to breathe.
"It was really hard,” said Victoria.
But they say the NICU staff was there to care for Grayson, and calm their fears.
"It was a crazy emotional rollercoaster for us, but they definitely made it the best possible that they could,” said Mitch Pope.
"It means a lot, we really appreciate everything they did for us,” said Victoria Pope.
It's a similar story for the Mendez family.
"Christian was six weeks early,” said mom Christine Mendez.
Mendez said they spent a week in the NICU.
"Christian had a feeding tube,” said Mendez.
He’s now seven months old, and as Mendez looks back, she said the NICU team was crucial.
"Being able to have the nurses there to help us, and walk us through everything,” said Mendez. "It was great for them to talk us through everything, yeah it was really scary.”
Randan and Brendan Steinhauser's twin girls arrived at 33 weeks.
"It's really scary from the first moment, especially when you are in labor,” said Randan Steinhauser "It was definitely hard the first few days when we couldn't hold them.”
Now at three months old, they bring their twins Ella and Rose to visit the nurses, who they say are family.
"We would not have made it, the support that they gave us and the love,” the Steinhausers said.
And that's why Sunday’s reunion, bringing these families together with the Baylor Scott and White NICU doctors and nurses, was so special.
"It's an amazing bond,” said Baylor Scott and White Lakeway NICU Nurse Halie Knuff.
Knuff said they care for babies who are 32 weeks and older.
"We just love on them and give them the extra care that they need,” said Knuff.
She said they make sure parents know how to feed, dress and monitor the health of their baby.
"We get to take care of not only the babies for the first couple weeks of life, but we take care of the parents too,” said Knuff. "We want them to feel 100 percent comfortable taking care of their kid.”
Now, little ones like Grayson, Christian, Ella and Rose aren't so little.
"As you can see, he's grown,” said Mendez.
"He's doing great compared to how it was, this is amazing,” said Pope.
"It's wonderful, because usually when we discharge the babies, they're still that newborn stage, and five or six pounds, and all of a sudden we have toddlers running around ... they're sitting at the tables coloring now,” said Knuff.
Growth that these parents say is in part thanks to the doctors and nurses who cared for them like their own.
"It's feels genuine that they're just so happy to see them growing,” said the Steinhausers.