Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I am sitting in the rocker in the nursery as I watch my two sweet little boys sleeping soundly and I am left to reflect on just how blessed I am.  These boys, with all they have been through, being where they are now during this holiday season.  Last Thanksgiving was utter despair, and this year we have much to rejoice in.

I joined a preemie awareness group and have loved seeing the posts from others, seeing these tiny ones develop into toddlers, teenagers, adults through all the pictures.  So many little miracles.  But then I read about the 30 weeker still on oxygen at home, the 28 weeker with brain bleeds, the 27 weeker with NEC...and it goes on and on.  I am just left in awe of how smooth our NICU ride was.  We were in there for a LONG 87 days, but mostly it was just waiting for the boys to breathe on their own and then waiting for them to eat on their own.  I didn't go in each day terrified of what news we would get.  Every single test was normal by the time they came home - brain scans, heart scans, hearing, ROP - it all checked out.

When I think of my time there, I have very few truly scary memories.  It was a nervous wreck when they each had to have blood transfusions and when NEC was mentioned for Warren (negative).  The worst moment was when Warren (poor guy) had water dumped down his cpap and he got choked on it, maybe around 2-3 weeks old.  I watched him choking (nose plugged with the the breathing tube and chin strap on, so no way to get any air in), turning blue and fighting to get in some air, and I sobbed.  And then called Andrew and sobbed.  And then sobbed all the way home as I remembered the moment.  Warren was perfectly fine after an hour or so, but I was not.  And for having two micropreemies, a simple "dumping" was the absolute worst it got for us.  Praise the Lord!  No surgeries, no procedures, no reason for them to ever call us while we were at home.  I watched the little girl across the way from us battle with several surgeries, NEC, sepsis, and eventually MRSA and could only stand amazed at how well our boys did.

As I read about these preemie stories, I feel so different.  We knew in advance we would have preemies, knew they would have a long NICU stay.  There was no moment where everything suddenly changed or water broke or anything.  I never expected to leave the hospital with the boys when they were first born.  And so my early NICU days were not spent worrying and stressing but just being so excited!  I couldn't wait to get there each morning and hated to leave.  We feel as though the boys' biggest battle was not in the NICU but while I was still pregnant.  That was when we worried and prayed for a safe delivery and healthy boys.  And God answered that prayer in a mighty way.  He chose not to have me continue to carry them as we sometimes prayed, but gave us two incredibly healthy boys.  We have 27 weeker twins who are sleeping 7 hours, have no special medication, no brain issues, and are growing strong.  When I think of all that could have gone wrong, I realize how incredibly blessed we are.

It is so easy to take it all for granted.  Especially when they are both crying.  But during this week of Thanksgiving I am feeling extra grateful and appreciative of where we have come from last year, all the changes in our lives, and these two little miracles who were sleeping soundly when I started this...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Graduating to another size!

Our boys are so big!  And they are finally growing at a more acceptable rate...both up over 8 lbs now! (official weights coming again next week)  Our newborn clothes are becoming too short as they grow so tall!  I just found another few adorable newborn outfits in a bag in the closet, so I am sticking the boys in those for the next few days...and then we will pack away the box.  I always thought this would be my favorite stage as I've always loved the little babies.  I love holding them, their little baby moans and cries, the way the snuggle right up against me.  And I am sad to have to box up the clothes they have worn for these past several months.  (Felt the same way when I had to box up their preemie outfits).  BUT, I am excited to watch them grow.  I love that they are engaging their toys, smiling, laughing.  I'm ready for them to have head control so I can hold both of them when they are crying without feeling like I've got some bobble-heads on my hands.  I'm ready for them to space out the feedings so they can be awake for longer time periods to play.  And I can't wait for them to start recognizing and interacting with each other!

I just put some size 1 diapers in the drawer for nighttime since they are sleeping longer.  They swallow them up.  I don't know what 8 pound baby would have thighs big enough to fill those holes!  And then I saw their preemie diaper from the hospital.  Look at where we've been, where we are now, and where we're going!

The same with their little outfits

To think those preemie outfits were so big on them we had to roll the sleeves up twice!  And now at 5 months old we are graduating to the 0-3 month size. Way to go Warren and Dean!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


We are finally settling into some sort of a routine.  And some days I even feel like a person!  I no longer dread each feeding and I am only pumping a handful of times after they nurse each day, giving me so much more time to spend with them.  We now try to play a little, which is just adorable to watch.  And then we attempt naps, which are successful about 10% of the time.  But at least I get to shower about every other day now!  And each week is better than the week before.  I love watching the boys develop personalities and learning how to comfort each of them.

I was up last night for several hours after the boys' middle of the night feeding thinking about where all we have been and what we have been through this past year.  From giving birth and watching our daughter taken away to bedrest and hospital stays to home.  And I am just amazed an in awe of what God has done for us.  Losing Reagan was the most horrific thing I could imagine.  To know your daughter, name her and have her room all picked out, to feel her kicking, and then be told suddenly she was gone.  You don't just recover from that in a month or two.  It changes you.  And it makes me sad that some people just cannot deal with that or understand our need to grieve both then and still now.  But God used Reagan to reach so many, to mend relationships, to strengthen friendships, to teach people about Him.  And we are so blessed for that, for all those who shared how much she changed them.  Because who can say that about a child so young?

And she paved the way for her younger brothers, healed the endometriosis that was rampant in my abdomen.  There were so many times during that pregnancy we thought we had lost the boys.  I still vividly remember the nurse in the hospital telling me my water was breaking back when they were only at 8 weeks.  We mentally said goodbye and started grieving again until the ultrasound proved God was bigger than any symptoms.  The specialist then told us just a few weeks later that we needed to prepare for the inevitable.  He did not believe the babies would make it.  But they did!  And when I went into labor at 21 weeks, the admitting doc told me that following week he did not think I would make it through that night.  But we did, and made it another 6 weeks after that.  God carried these babies through the worse of situations.  They are truly little miracles that no one thought would make it through.  I am just amazed at how big God is.  And how quickly I forget.

Last Thanksgiving was tough.  I said to Andrew that day that I felt as though I had nothing to be thankful for.  Our daughter was gone and everyone else was happily pregnant or caring for their newborns.  I felt like I had no where to turn - I couldn't tell these women how much pain it caused me to see them so happy when I felt like I was dying, couldn't figure out how to put into words that I was happy for them to have that but devastated I didn't, and I lost a lot of friendship because of that...which only made the pain harder.  Last year I had hope only in knowing that Reagan was in heaven and we would be reunited one day.  And this year?  This year we have so much to be thankful for.  As I move further away from Reagan's birth, I can be thankful for each and every day with her and the time together in the hospital.  I can celebrate her life, our firstborn child.  And I can be thankful we serve a God who is bigger than all circumstances and can bring peace no matter what.  I am also thankful for Warren and Dean, for the joy the bring me - the little smiles and giggles, the baby sighs, how they lay their heads on my chest and just snuggle in to sleep.

At times it is easy for me to have myself a little pity party...to think of all we've lost, the life I once had.  To feel trapped in the house, unable to go out because of the boys' mandatory isolation.  I went from menopause to morning sickness to grieving to bedrest to hospital and now isolation.  It's been a long 2 years, a lonely 2 years.  And there are 5 more months ahead of me before that will change.  Some days I dwell on that and think how unfair it all is.  But then I think about everything above, remind myself this season is temporary, and am thankful once again.