It’s been almost 4 years since our identical twin girls were born. And while that may seem like a long time, when I think back on our journey, the memories are as vivid and present as they were on September 22nd, 2006.
It seems that as each birthday approaches, I seem to re-connect with the feelings I experienced as a new father. And part of that catharsis has been to revisit my journal and try to appreciate and attempt to comprehend how we were able to accept, hold on, and have faith.
It’s been quite the ride.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2006 3:52 PM, EDT
We had a great day with the girls yesterday. It was the first time one of us got the chance to actually hold them. For an hour yesterday, Val was able to hold Zoe in her arms for the first time. It was a very special time for all of us…
But, after we left, our cell phone rang and it was the NICU telling us that Zoe’s latest echo indicated an open valve in her heart just like her sister’s. So now she is getting an Indicin treatment (3 doses 12 hours apart) to try and close the valve. If it doesn’t succeed by Thursday morning, they may opt to send her over to Children’s for heart surgery like Ava did. And considering her size and the fact that she’s already been through so much, it’s difficult to even think about that yet.
Ava is slowly but surely recovering from her surgery. She is back on the conventional vent and is losing much of her ‘puffiness’ from the fluids that she was given post-op. She was a bit sleepy yesterday, but she’s just happy to be on her side for a change.
We’ll know more about Zoe’s heart valve after an echo on Thursday sometime.
Preston [the dog] is feeling much better.
Val and I didn’t really take the news of Zoe’s latest issue so well. Just when you think you are out of the woods for a while, you get thrown back in and it’s difficult to always rebound very well. I guess this is a glimpse of what many of you already know being parents yourselves. You just want to protect them and keep them from being hurt or experiencing any pain. It’s hard to sign a paper that says they need to do all those things to your baby in order to make them feel better in the long run.
But I guess that’s the rite of passage of being a 12 day old parent.
This seemed appropriate (by Emily Dickinson):
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Twelve days after the girls were born, I still had not been able to hold either of my babies. 12 days. The instant and immeasurable love you have for your children may be one of the most powerful feelings you can experience in life. And for 12 days, all I could do was watch, wait, and hope to hell that something would finally go ‘right.’
Things did eventually go ‘right’ but not without countless ups and downs. I did get to finally hold Ava & Zoe and I’ve never let go since. I hug them before they go to sleep, I hug them when they wake up, and I hug them when I walk out the door. Every time.
Make sure you hug your kids today because I never want you to know what it feels like to not have that option.