Day 101 –Friday, October 27, 2017
AGE: 14 weeks, 3 days old (39 weeks, 2 days gestation)
Lochlan:Weight is 7 lb 1 oz. (Birth weight: 1 lb 10.8 oz.)
Length is 18.3 inches (Birth length: 13 inches)
Lex: Weight is 7 lb 4.6 oz. (Birth weight: 1 lb 10.8 oz.)
Length is 17.9 inches (Birth length: 13 inches)
I sit here with an overwhelming weight of emotions as we reach day 101 of our NICU stay. Until this moment, I have purely been in survival mode and unable to look in the past or to think about the future in a productive way. Knowing that both of my babies get to come home allows me exhale in a way I have not previously known. Lex will be discharged today. Both of my 24 week preemies get to come home. For the first time I can say that both my babies actually get to come home. I did not always know this to be true, but today it is true. I am humbled and feel gratitude like never before.
How can I possibly thank the team that did for my twins what I could not do for them? They carried my twins to term giving them life. I can’t even say they saved their lives; they gave them life. The statistics weren’t great, but we were never treated as such. The NICU team showed up every day and offered a plan A, plan B and a plan C. The team was compassionate, realistic and never put the twins in a box of assumptions. The NICU team was my womb, my surrogate and guardian angels for Lochlan and Lex. They were the needed mother I could not be. Several of the nurses have spent more time with my boys than I have and some feel more like family than a medical team. We are blessed to have received the right team members, at the right time on the right days which has granted us the greatest gift of our lives, our twin boys.
Like a wrecking ball, I was reminded that we are not in control, we are never in control and that is okay. Fortunately, my faith never faltered, but what I come to know as my truths have been put into practice at full force. I have prayed for acceptance more times than I could possibly count because acceptance is what has allowed me to be present and able to fight alongside my babies. I have learned that as long as I stay present, I can manage everything. From the get go, anytime my mind started thinking about the future, anxiety began to overwhelm my mind. Equally, when I began drifting into the past events I would be overcome with feelings I was not able to process. Conscious, present thinking got me to day 101, the now, and today is the first time I have truly been able to reflect on this journey in a positive way.
I am absolutely overwhelmed and astonished at how many lives these 101-day-old babies have touched. Letters, gifts, messages and, most importantly, prayers have come from so many people even people we have never met. In a matter of minutes, our life drastically changed and all the things that didn’t matter diminished making our priorities crystal clear. We are blessed to have such strong support from our close family, but every additional prayer has been icing on our cake.
As I look at pictures of my 1lb babies and remember the emotions we felt in the beginning. I have never felt sadness throughout this journey, just all-consuming helplessness. Luckily for me, Kyle has big shoulders and was able to carry all four of us at times. And even luckier, he and I walked hand-in-hand through the celebrations and setbacks which has made us a stronger unit than ever before. At one point he said to me, “I now know why the universe put us together,” and this cannot be more evident to me as well.
The challenges, detours and triumphs all come together to build our story. Walking my son to surgery was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Holding my twins for the first time was one of the most impactful moments of my life. I don’t view any of it as necessarily good or bad, but I view each experience as a piece that creates the wholeness of our story. This journey is not one I would have chosen, but it is our story and so it is my favorite.
All of the medical equipment and the (almost) twenty doctor appointments on my calendar remind me that this fight is not over. I strive to not become complacent because there is much more work to be done, but for this moment we celebrate knowing that we made it. Our boys made it, they are home.
Simply, today I am grateful.