July 31, 2011

Visiting Their First Home

I know that, for the sake of brevity, I cannot do a full post for everything we did or every person we saw on our trip. But, there are some things that I feel warrant a full post (even if I don't necessarily have the pictures to back that up). This is one of them.

In March I started planning our trip to Boston (excited much?). It only took a few seconds of looking at my list of people I HAD to see and places we HAD to visit before I realized that, even if we didn't sleep, there wasn't enough time to see everyone and everything I wanted! As the trip got closer I kept making cuts. Finally, the week before, I narrowed it down to a painfully short list of the people and places I would be devastated if we didn't see. This place and these people were at the top of the list.

Those who have been with us long (since before the twins were born), know that there is a big hole in the story. I stopped blogging the day the twins were born, and didn't start again until almost 2 months after they were home. Why? Mostly because I was too sad, and then too selfish. Too sad while they were in the NICU to write anything that wouldn't (or so I thought) make everyone who read it sad. Too selfish when they came home to share even a moment online with anyone. I was hoarding my babies.
Our first look at the twins. Allie had endured a really rough labor & it showed...
Ryan popped out fresh as a daisy after his sister paved the way!
Unfortunately, now I look back and that hole makes me sad. I've chronicled so much of the mundane details of their everyday life, but there is this giant, gaping hole that covers those monumental first weeks. Now that I look back, I want that time recorded. I've included tid bits here and there, but thought - since it fits - that I would put some more pictures and memories here. Because the place at the top of my priority list was their first home - The NICU at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.
Allie under the Bili-lights.
Ry-guy eating - his favorite thing!
I will start with a confession: I still feel envious when I visit a mom in the hospital & she has her baby in the room with her. I feel a pang of jealousy when I hear moms tell stories of those first precious hours together - of holding their babies after they were born - when mine were whisked away to the NICU and I only got to visit. I remember my cousin calling me after they were born and mentioning that she always felt a little hollow after her babies were born. It so perfectly described how I felt, especially in the days & weeks after I went home and they stayed there. Every moment I got to spend with them was a treasure. Every time I left my heart broke a little. Every minute away seemed like a painful eternity until I would see them again. I often think this is why I'm not keen on leaving my kids now. It's not that I don't trust the people I'm leaving them with, it's because I'm still hoarding my time with my children after those early weeks apart.
Faces so beautiful you barely notice the feeding tubes protruding from their noses!
That said, our time there was actually a very positive experience! And it was truly all because of the fabulous people who took care of our children. Especially the nurses. Especially 2 of the nurses. When I was sick and couldn't go in to visit them, it was these women who gave me thorough & cheerful updates over the phone (never making me feel ridiculous for crying because I couldn't be there)), and sent goodies home with Lucas - like footprints & their little hats. When I woke up in the middle of the night convinced that something was wrong with Allie, it was Nurse Stacy who calmly took my call, reassured me that everything was fine, and never made me feel stupid about my irrational panic. When we were still a little unsure and nervous about handling these tiny babies, it was Nurse Ginny who taught us how to give a bath and wash their hair. These nurses took the absolute best care of my children I could ever imagine, while at the same time offering encouragement & support to me (whether they realized it or not). They are angels.
Nurse Stacy taking care of Allie
Pausing for a picture :)
We have kept in touch with Stacy (I didn't remember to get any contact info for Ginny at the time), visited a few times when we still lived there, and let her know we were coming to the area and wanted to visit. She took such great care of the twins (I'm pretty confident she was with them more than any other nurse during their stay), that I really wanted her to get to see them older, healthy, active, and ridiculously cute. They are doing so great, and I really feel it started with the great care they received in the NICU. A bonus surprise was that Ginny happened to be there too! I didn't get great pictures (my camera has too much zoom so I focused on taking pictures with Stacy's camera), but I truly treasured the few minutes we had with these 2 wonderful women who were played a key role in the twins' life. Totally worth the drive in & out of Boston, in rush hour traffic, during which Garmin took me to the wrong location and I got lost!
Giving Ginny high fives!
Contemplating giving Stacy a hug :)
Sure, the twins ended up being shy and more interested in the fake fish than anything else, but I enjoyed seeing these 2 incredible nurses and showing off my kids to them. The simple words "Thank you" will never be enough to truly convey my gratitude to them for caring for my babies when they were their most vulnerable while also comforting & supporting Lucas as we impatiently waited to take them home!
p.s. if Stacy posts the pics from her camera on facebook I will add them to this post. So maybe check back in a couple weeks for better pictures :)


Anonymous said...

Once again tears!! I want this book when you publish it Kim :) Great job and thank you for always remembering we are miles apart but so so close on our computers. Love you all ...Nana
or Nina...harper's new name for Nana. I totally understand the not sharing thing Kim, anyone who is a mother gets it. :) "Don't beat yourself up"

Anonymous said...

Yes,Kim. Most mother's totally get the 'not sharing' thing. Those precious first weeks and months go by so fast. One wants to soak up every second of it. Nurses are truly angels, aren't they? Your Dad came home with half an inch thick of photos of those first days at the hospital so I recognize their sweet look. See you very soon, Grandma

Anonymous said...

I too remember those heart felt days and knew my time was going to be short with them when they got home. That was so very hard to leave. If I could have been in Nebraska with papa and you in Mass. I would have done it. love to you all and my eyes are tearing up too.Gigi