Every NICU family is going through something that is incredibly unique. And yet: Every NICU family is going through something that is incredibly similar.
An amazing community.
We are so incredibly blessed. Throughout our NICU journey, there were so many “little victories”. There were so many positives, that the negatives were outweighed completely. Having my babies at 29 weeks, wishing to have held onto them until they were 32, 33, 34 weeks inside my belly, I was meeting these incredible women – wishing they had been lucky enough to have held on to their babies until my 29 weeks. Ethan and Henry had their struggles, but they overcame most without intervention. Others aren’t as lucky.
I wanted to recognize the understanding that there are so many others out there going through so much more than I had to endure, than I will ever have to endure. Yes – we have gone through a lot, an experience unique to us and I have been praised for my strength throughout. But, if anything, my eyes have only been opened to this alternate reality that has always existed, one that I’ve just never taken the time to appreciate.
It’s overwhelming and humbling – in the same breath. I am unbelievably grateful. The reality of having twins has been completely overshadowed by this need for them to be ok. Give me sleepless nights, give me crying babies, as long as my babies are healthy – life is perfect.
I wanted to include this episode of Hank Azaria’s documentary “Fatherhood”. Caleb and I have spent a lot of time wishing we had taken more pictures, more video. This episode really brings us right back – his little boy being born around the size that Henry was.
Hank Azaria sums it up so completely when he says, “even if your baby is alright, which thank God he was, all around you are other babies not alright.”
Read about our NICU experience from the beginning with: Life in the NICU – Part 1
I should have entitled this post – “Chronicle of Small Victories” – because that’s really what it is. There were so many small victories leading up to the big victory of our boys coming home, my heart is so full reliving them all.
Just as I was getting into a routine at the hospital, we were told they would be moved. As of March 5th, 2014, they were no longer under Level III care and would have to move to a lower level facility to free up space for two other babies in need. I couldn’t be there to accompany them on their trip across the city, but I called the new hospital as soon as I could to hear how their trip went, and Caleb and I headed down there to get them “settled in”.
The next time either of those babies were moved, it was to go home.
Want to read about the little boys arrival? Head to – Graduated: Labour and Delivery
Everyone in that labour and delivery room made me feel like the hard part was supposed to be over. They were here and they were going to be ok. But the keyword was “going”. I still wasn’t quite sure what was in store for me as one part of our journey had ended and another began. I just knew we had a long way to go.
All I had read preparing for this moment had told me that these babies were meant to be here in May and not to anticipate them coming home sooner than that. They were no longer protected in the comfort of my womb, and so they were going to need to be protected in the comfort of the NICU until they were essentially full-term.
As I lay in bed awaiting the moment where I could be taken up to see them, I found myself asking, was I prepared for how fragile and small they would seem? An hour and a half later, I could answer that question. No one would ever be prepared.
Caleb met my mom and I and we all went up to the NICU together, buzzing with excitement. This was soon met with disappointment as they informed us that because of a terrible flu season, visitors were restricted to parents only. Not a happy start…
I could do my best to describe what it was like to meet my two perfect (albeit-too small) babies for the first time, but I could never do that justice. So here are a couple of videos that I hope will portray it a little better…