It’s been a rough week. The twins have been going through a little bit of a rebellious phase, or as my husband says, “They are three.”
I’ve just been feeling like a rotten mommy because when the kids aren’t behaving, who else is there to blame?
Last night, I was having a discussion with some friends about my complicated pregnancy, and was reminded just how far we’ve come. It made me a bit nostalgic, and I thought I would look back at our CaringBridge site to give myself a reminder. While now seems like a rough time, it is nothing compared to how they started off in life.
This post is not meant as a plea for sympathy, but rather to show you what our lives were like when our boys were in the hospital. I also want to bring parent’s hope that are in that spot right now. There is eventually light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter how terribly the boys misbehave sometimes, they are here. They are healthy, and they are loved.
There is always hope, even when the doctors give you none.
Here is my entry from 2012.
70 days in the NICU.
I think it’s finally getting to me and really taking a toll. I’m completely and utterly exhausted. Physically my body needs to sleep for at least a week, and mentally, I don’t even know where to begin.
I’m just feeling a little down today. I guess it’s because I’m so tired, and also because breastfeeding didn’t go very well yesterday. My big guy had 3 Brady’s, which means he stopped breathing and heart rate dropped. My little guy did OK, but he had just had his eye exam, which didn’t go well. His ROP has gotten worse and he is borderline for surgery. The eye doctor will make a decision next week Wednesday.
So, the boys are officially 35 weeks today. Which means, 10 weeks or 70 days in the NICU. 70 days of driving back and forth to the hospital, circling the parking garage for a close spot, making the dreaded walk across the skyway to pick up the phone and ask to be let in to see my boys. 70 days of walking down the hallway that smells of disinfectant and antibacterial lotion, scrubbing my hands to my elbows until they’re cracked and bleeding, then saying a quick prayer before entering their dark room. 70 days of checking on their weights and asking how the boys are doing. Holding my breath and hoping for good news. 70 days of beeping and alarms and ventilators and tubes and wires and breast pumps.
And no matter how awful I feel or tired or sad, I know my boys have it worse. I know they are getting the best care possible and the nurses and doctors are amazing, but they are not even supposed to be out of my body yet. My body couldn’t take care of them and help them to survive and grow, so they had to be taken out way too early. My placenta couldn’t feed them both, and I couldn’t make the decision to sacrifice one for the other, so the outside world was better for them. They got taken from their warm, safe haven to be put in artificial wombs made of plastic. They have had to endure poking, prodding, IV’s, blood draws, blood transfusions, surgeries, tubes down their throats, tubes down their noses, X-rays, MRI’s, ultrasounds, eye exams, and countless other procedures. I know they probably won’t remember this experience (I pray they don’t) but I will forever remember and hope this is the worst they have to experience.
I love them so much and would trade places with them if I could.
Sorry if this post is a little dramatic or depressing, but I guess I just hit a wall today. Tomorrow I will knock it down and do it all over again, but for tonight I just need to sleep and forget for a few hours.
I just can’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing your personal stories and struggles.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate it 🙂
Aww I just can’t even imagine. I remember hearing the stories of little C and thinking that must be hard. But to hear your story about having to make a choice to sacrifice one of them or delivering them early is heartbreaking. I would have made the same choice. They are a miracle, and sometimes being a mommy is hard work. It’s OK to have a bad day, sometimes being a stay at home mom can be more difficult than having a job out of the home. I had really bad days in the beginning and still do now. Please don’t beat yourself up, sending you love. Today will get better and tomorrow will be the best
Thank you so much Renee. I’m so happy to have “met” you. You truly understand and know exactly what to say. Thank you!
This was so moving to read. It must’ve been so hard for you to see them like that, and to make that decision. I’m so happy that they’re now healthy and happy (although rebellious) three year olds.
Thank you so much Mattie.
Wow! Thank you for sharing your NICU journey. I too have twins and they were almost born at 28 weeks due to preeclampsia. They are now 11 months old, almost a year, and I too have those moments of feeling like I am a bad mother. But kids test boundaries, it’s how they learn at this young age. Have fun in the ridiculousness of it because trying to reason with a three year old is an expression for a reason.
Ha! Exactly. Thank you for stopping by, and for sharing your story with me too.
Crystal @ Dreams, etc. says
I teared up while reading this! My mom was in the hospital earlier this month and that was the longest week I’ve had in a long time. I was exhausted just after that week…I can’t imagine 70 days of visiting your children in the NICU.
Thank you so much.
Hey Shann! I have done that too, as I tagged you on Facebook, my little guy was in the NICU for 143 days. It was an awful time but it did have its moments of light and positive experiences. When I have gone back to his Caringbridge, I have just bawled. My son is far from “healthy” now but he is ALIVE, HAPPY AND PLAYFUL. What more could I want!? Thanks for sharing your feelings. Visit us! http://www.heylittlefighter.com
Thank you so much Michelle. I will definitely be checking out your blog. Thank you for stopping by and sharing with me.
Ah threenangers. They can be so trying at times! Hang in there – four is definitely better! It’s nice to look back at how far you’ve come!
Thank you Tiffany!
What a story! I’m sure it was interesting to go back and read what you were going through at that time. And you are right….what a great reminder of how far you have come!
Thank you so much!
That is an impressive journey. Hang in there 🙂
Wow. 70 days, I can’t even imagine what that was like. You are an incredible, strong woman and I’m so glad you all made it through!
Oh, that must have been so tough. I’m sure it helps to look back and see how far your precious boys have come. You’ll have to look back again when they are older at the crazy 3 year old stage.
Exactly. Thanks Tricia!
Because... I'm cheap says
Cannot fathom what you went through. Your boys are beautiful!
Melanie S. Pickett says
My son was a preemie. I have Crohn’s disease and not only did I not gain weight during my pregnancy, I lost 20 pounds. My intestines ruptured at 34 weeks and I have part of them removed while my boy was still in utero. He was born at 35 weeks, tiny and strong. I am so thankful. Everything he accomplishes is even sweeter because of the struggle he started out with. He’s a healthy, muscled teenager now. Even the discipline challenges are a victory because your little loves are here to be stinkers, so embrace every minute. <3
Wow. How scary for you. Thank you for sharing your story and your son’s story.
It’s crazy that it took 70 days for you to say that it was starting to wear on you and take it’s toll! You are a stronger woman than I am! Thanks for sharing this!
Mary Gilbert (My Life In Progress) says
I can’t even imagine how hard this is for you. Keep your chin up and trust in God!
Liz Mays says
Wow, what strength it takes to hold yourself up and be there for the babies too! So glad you’re on the other side now.
Thank you Liz 🙂
You always have such touching stories.
Thank you so much Shelah.
tara pittman says
That is a long time for being in the hospital. Glad to hear that they are doing well.
Thank you Tara.
Brenda Lee says
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I admire your strength to share the story with us but am thankful. But resharing where you’ve been, makes where you are that much better.
Thank you so much Brenda.
Debbie Woodruff says
Such a tough beginning. I’m sure it was so difficult for you as well as your boys. My niece had about 90 days, several surgeries, and a truly tough beginning too. Now she is a tiny but healthy 30 year old.
Thank you for sharing. So nice to hear of older preemies and their outcomes 🙂
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
The start of their journey was bumpy but it only makes the rest of it sweeter. even when they are three…
Yes. Thank you 🙂
Robin (Masshole Mommy) says
Your strength and theirs is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you Robin.
Claudette Esterine says
My granddaughter spent approximately 12 days in the NICU and we were all stressed so I just cannot imagine 70! Thank heavens they are well now! 🙂
Thank you Claudette!
I hit a mom wall today. Thankfully kids go to bed soon and I can have a glass of wine.
Amy @ Magic Moments Preschool says
I have never experienced NICU but always feel so much for those who have. I’m sorry you went through this. I’m glad we can come in at this point and see your thriving beautiful 3 year old’s. Even when they are a pain. 🙂 I have always said it’s really terrible three’s more than terrible two’s. Hang in there.
Ha! Yes, definitely terrible threes. Thank you!
Divine Elements of Design says
Oh my,,, You story will be on my mind all day. Thank you so much for sharing. You are so strong..
Awe. Thank you.
Do not blame a bad day on yourself…we all have them. You guys have come a long way and this was a good reflection of how far y’all have come. The one thing I like to ask myself and sometimes I ask my kids this, “are they (my kids) happy? Do they have a happy childhood?” If you answer, “yes” to this that means you are doing something right. I love hearing these stories…I tell you that all the time.
Thank you so much Jessica. I really appreciate that. 🙂
Those were 70 grueling days, but all worth it now that the twins are strong and healthy. I hope you’re feeling better now.
Yes, thank you.
Elizabeth O. (Esme Sy) says
We all have these moments. You don’t have to feel bad for this, just keep in mind that you’re doing our absolute best as a mom and as a parent. Twins are really a challenge, believe me, I should know. You’ve come so far to feel like this. Cheer up!
Thank you so much Elizabeth!
Wow…this reminds me of the time my nephew was in a coma due to meningitis so I know how you feel. You just want the nightmare to be over. It really does blow your mind when you sit down and reflect about how healthy they are now. So glad they fought through it!
OH my goodness. So happy to hear your nephew is OK. Sounds very scary.
Jasmine Espinal says
Rough start for a beautiful baby 🙂 Thankfully its just a memory now.
Yes! Thank you!
My girl was in the NICU for 47 days and did not have to have surgery. I don’t know how you didn’t hit a wall every. single. day. So glad everyone is doing well now!
Most of it was very hard. Any NICU stay is hard, so I’m sending you hugs for you and your daughter too. So glad she is healthy now too.
Rachée Fagg (@sayitrahshay) says
Hugs to you!
Thank you for sharing your story.
Thank you so much!
my son went to NICU for 2 weeks… it was the hardest part of my life. He is a strong and happy boy now..
I’m happy to hear he is doing better now 🙂
Jonathan Key says
We have friends who had their baby in the NICU for 5 weeks. This is such a tough thing to go through. Our cousins had this happen with all 3 of their babies. Thank you for sharing your story! You have come so far!
Oh no. I can’t imagine going through it three times. I hope all of your cousin’s babies are OK.
Jennifer C. says
I truly cannot even imagine. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
You’re welcome. Thank you so much for reading.
Takes courage to post something like this – personal issues and struggles. Great to know that you are really strong and tough mom.!
It is no fun when babies are sick. It is like a vice to the heart. I wish you all the best.
Thanks for sharing your story! shared!
You are a brave momma and I really appreciated this post. We spent a bit of time in the hospital too when my guys were born and i remember feeling some of those same feelings and I’m thankful that you shared.
Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate your comments. How are you babies now?