April 2, 2009 will be a day that I will remember in vivid detail for a very long time. I can't believe it's been a year since the kids were born.
Happy Birthday, Adam and Sara!
Mom has been down visiting and while coming home from shopping a few nights ago, we laughed that we were doing exactly the same thing a year ago. Shopping for maternity clothes because I had outgrown everything. So many people commented at how small I was. But you try to gain over 25% of your body weight in 28 weeks and see if you still feel small! On the first of every month of my pregnancy, Shannon would take a picture so we could track my "progress". But on April 1, I told him we would do it the next day. I was tired and for 3 days I had been having Braxton-Hicks, which really turned out to be contractions. I still regret not getting that last photo.
I stood in the shower this morning and could flash back to last year so easily. I was feeling very uncomfortable and the tummy pains were starting already. I pushed through and got myself dressed for work. It was during breakfast time, eating my cereal, that I told Shannon we should start timing the pains because they seemed consistent. After 3 times at exactly 5 minutes, we looked at each other with a big uh-oh.
Thankfully, I don't think I ever felt overwhelmed or in a panic that day. I clearly remember feeling dopy from the magnesium sulfate by the end of the day. That was when Dr. Kindred had decided we couldn't hold things off any longer and 30 minutes later I was looking across the room at a team of people surrounding my 2lb 12oz son. Out loud I said 'he's sooo tiny.' Not much time to concentrate on that because 11 minutes later I saw my 2lb 9oz daughter.
Sara Makenzie - 1 dose of surfactant and 44 days in the NICU. Our little rock star came home at less than 4lbs. We were nursing together before most babies even learn how to suck. Baby girl, I wish people could see the side of you that dad and I get to see. I love the times that we have cracked up laughing together. Your butt dance that started laying down and migrated to your high chair, the bath tub, well pretty much anywhere! You have the brightest blue eyes that are so full of life. You hear me say this every day and will for many more years to come...momma loves you, Sara.
Adam Joseph - we rescued you after 61 days in the NICU. 2 rounds of anemia, issues with a rapid heart rate, multiple tests to find out what tummy issues you were having, and tough news that you had suffered bleeding on your brain that was scored as a grade III. There are barely noticeable remnants and none of it holds you back - you are so busy all the time. Your happiness makes me happy. Momma's little monkey...I love you, my son.
After 5 years of trying, we were finally doubly blessed. My life changed drastically at 9:15pm on April 2, 2009, never to be the same again. We've had some hard days. But overall, I'd have to say I've had it pretty easy. The kids are on a schedule. They nap twice a day for a few hours. They sleep through the night. Teething so far has been a breeze. We have lots of days that there is no crying - from them or me! They are such a gift and I don't take it for granted.
Shannon and I greeted them early this morning - I think Adam was excited and just knew he should get up early.
We had breakfast, played for a bit, took a nap, had lunch...then headed to the NICU to start a family tradition of saying thank you. We picked up some cookies from the Cookie Shack on the way. It was such an awesome surprise to run into Dr. Pica in the hall. She was the kids' resident for their first 28 days in the NICU. We talked every day. And sometimes at 3am. That wasn't so fun. But once May 1 hit, she was off to another assignment. It was great to catch up and for her to see how well the kids were doing. It was a bit of a challenge for the kids to see a group of people. Adam cried a little. Sara just gave her mean stare. I loved reminiscing and saying thank you for helping my kids live. It was funny that one of the nurses remembered me walking the halls at 2am the night before Adam was going home - taking a memory walk and crying! After spending hours a day for weeks at a place, seeing the same people, it impacts you.
Even while I was mowing tonight, I found myself working through the emotions. We are so far from the struggles of last year, but at the same time I want to remember--to be grateful, to celebrate, to choose joy. I feel so very blessed.