Three Years Ago...

And one hour and 25 minutes. And 22 minutes, respectively.

A blur of panic and fear and relief and regret. A surge of unaccustomed energy, partly from the adrenaline rush, partly from the strange hormonal cocktail of advanced labor... but mostly because they finally stopped the mag drip.

Freedom was on the horizon, and already, it felt so good.

I was racked with guilt over it. Did I somehow make it happen? I certainly hadn't tried to, but there was a part of me that wanted to, wanted to so badly. I was at the end of my rope. I'd felt like I could not go on a single day more... and there it was. I didn't. I certainly hadn't tried to make it happen, but in a sense I surely must have. Because it happened, and it was me. Could I have stopped it? I didn't know. But I did know that there was a level on which I'd stopped trying. I just didn't have anything left with which to try to prolong my ordeal.

It was a party in the OR. It happened over the morning shift change, so everybody was there. And I was glad they were there, too. These people had fought for these babies right alongside me. They belonged in that room. The whole medical team was so excited, so happy, so congratulatory, as I wondered if I'd just killed my babies, or maimed them for life. "You did it! You made it!"

32 1/2 weeks. I hadn't made it to 36, when they could have come home with me, or even 34, when they would have been growers-and-feeders. The lady with the triplets down the hall had made it to 34. I hadn't met her, but our nurses talked to us about each other, and about their dreams for each of the five fragile little babies, the galloping heartbeats that would grow up to be teachers and doctors and firemen. The triplet lady had made it to 34 weeks... why couldn't I? But I'd made it past 29 weeks, which meant they had a fighting chance of survival. What's more, I'd made it to 32 weeks. They were probably going to be normal. Maybe. If they could pull through the long battle ahead.

I didn't know whether to celebrate or mourn.

But I do know now.

Today is not just the anniversary of their birth, today is their birthday. With cake and ice cream, but not for breakfast, and no, you may not open your presents until this afternoon!

Thanks be to God!


Shelley said...

Yeah!! Wonderful post and I hope everyone had a wonderful celebration!!

slowlane said...

See if you can squeeze in a kiss for each of them from me. (The reason I say squeeze is because I know that with all of the kisses from you, there may not be room for a kiss from me.)

Brian said...

Happy birthday to the Wuggy boys!