The funny thing about having a blog is that you need to remember that you actually HAVE a blog. I've gone without a blog for so long, it kept slipping my mind that I had even "revived" this one. (Quotation marks, because, let's be honest. This blog isn't revived yet). As I approached the littles' 6th birthday, I found myself as I do every year; thinking about what was going on surrounding the days of their birth.
When I was first admitted to the hospital, Brian and I were told that the babies would likely be born that weekend. At 22 weeks. Just below the threshold of survivability. We had to have an excruciating conversation about what interventions, if any, we wanted should they be born then. Luckily, they held out for almost 4 more weeks, entering a gestation that removed any input from Brian and I. Per the state of Minnesota (at that time), any baby born after 25 weeks and 0 days gestation was to be given life saving measures. Littles were born at 25 weeks and 6 days.
I know I painted a slightly different picture on this blog and social media when they were first born, but they were very sick. Maybe I was being naive? Maybe I was protecting my own heart? Maybe I didn't want to let on to others how touch-and-go it was? In any case, it was scary. It made me want to throw up. I had never felt so completely powerless in something so important in my life. We had head doctors saying that there wasn't much more they could do, so they hoped the interventions they were doing would work because we were pretty much out of options.
Luckily, it all worked. Luckily, they grew bigger and stronger, they began to eat and breathe with less and less difficulty. Luckily, after 97 amazing, horrible, wonderful, agonizing and unbelievable days in the NICU, we were able to load up the most precious cargo we will ever have and drive it two hours home.
It's hard because here I am, 6 years later, and I still remember things like it happened yesterday. I remember the feeling when my hospital phone rang at 2 in the morning, with the head Neonatologists calling to tell me that they couldn't get Addison stabilized and I may need to come over to say goodbye. I remember how a nurse stood right behind me and cheered me (us?) on as I fed Grace her very first bottle - she ate 3 milliliters. I remember the dread of hearing the code alarm sound in the NICU, even if I knew the alarm wasn't sounding for one of my own; that sound meant another mom was living her worst nightmare. I remember the friendships I made in those NICU nurses, and how they supported me through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows (I'm looking at you, Laura, Chelsea and Roxanne).
As I spent last weekend celebrating six years with my loves, don't think that I took any of that joy and celebration for granted. To watch my now healthy children haul full sized inner tubes up 50 stairs, so that they could then be rushed down a waterslide, all while squealing happily, was astounding. The amazingness of our circumstances are not lost on me. I know that miracles are possible when I look into their faces.
What's the point of this post? I don't know. Maybe to get it out there that while I am insanely happy every year when we celebrate their birth, I'm also thrown into a plethora of memories. The unexpected arrival of two tiny girls and one tiny boy, born 15 weeks before they were supposed to be born, doesn't define us, but it has certainly shaped us.
Six years. Just like that. Amazing.