When I think about November 21st, 2013 I still think about the middle-of-the-night ambulance ride and my poor, poor oldest son watching the flashing lights outside while his completely unprepared mom was carried down the steps on a stretcher. I still think about the frantic arrival at the hospital and seeing my doctor all gowned up and ready to take on whatever me and the babies threw at her. I think about how I don't remember which baby I got to see before they were taken away and how I don't remember their cries (or if they cried) or who cut the umbilical cord. I think about leaving the hospital without them and having to be so strong and so "Mommy" for my two other precious kids at home. I think about the NICU, that's mostly what I think about, and how that was the "home" they were taken to and the place where they lived for 34 days. I was a visitor in their home, or so the sticker I had to wear told me. Instead of scooping them up in my arms and feeding them, I brought them vials of breast milk that were fed to them through tubes. I changed their diapers through holes in their plastic houses and had to ask permission to hold them.
Certainly, even through all of the doom and gloom I just poured out, I am able to see an ENORMOUS amount of good from their experience in the NICU. I know they were cared for by the absolute best of the best and I know that God had them in His hand. I also know that our experience could have been so much worse and I'm so very, very sorry if this whole thing seems insensitive to anyone who has gone through worse. I cannot even imagine for one second experiencing the loss of a child and I grieve deeply with anyone that has.
I'm incredibly thankful that Irwin & Will are here and that they've had this year to grow and become part of our crazy little family and I'll celebrate them in my own confusing way this year. Next year I'll try to focus a little more on the "happy" part of the phrase and not so much on the "birth" day part.