This Thanksgiving was pretty special for us. Not only could we actually all leave the house, but everyone got to spend it with family. And by everyone, I mean the twins. Last year, the cloud of RSV and the FLU hung over our house and kept us isolated from our loved ones on the holidays. While I was so grateful to have the twins home from the hospital, I did miss our family traditions a little…ok a lot.
When I was younger, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite times of year (well after Halloween because I’ve always loved to dress up, not to mention the candy.) We used to load up the station wagon and head to my Grandma’s house in Michigan. It was a long ride, but me and my brother got along most of the time. Ok. Some of the time. We’d first head to my Grandma’s house in Detroit, then on Thanksgiving, we’d pile in the car again and go to my Great Aunt and Uncle’s house. We got to see all of my Mom’s side of the family, eat some of the best food, and sit at the kid’s table with my second (or are they third..who cares) cousins. I can still remember some of the outfits I wore…remember me and dressing up. One year, me and my cousin even had on the same corduroy jumper.
As the years went on, and my Great Aunt and Uncle got older, and as all us cousins went to college, the tradition sort of stopped. It seemed harder to get everyone together, so we’d just go to my Mom’s and sometimes my Grandma would come here.
Even though this year was special in one way, it was heartbreaking in another. My Great Aunt passed a week before Thanksgiving. She was my Grandma’s younger sister and they spoke on the phone every night to check in with each other. Both of their husband’s had passed, my Great Aunt’s just a couple years ago. It seems with her passing ends the hope of the Thanksgivings of the past. It makes me very sad, but also very grateful for the family that I do have. I want my children to enjoy the holidays as much as I did when i was little. I think that’s why I was so happy they could spend time with their cousins, grandparents, great aunts and uncles this Thanksgiving. Last year, even though we were protecting them, I couldn’t help but feeling that we were depriving them of something too.
I think many people don’t realize that having a preemie doesn’t end when you get home from the hospital. Things like isolation are real reminders that things are different for preemie parents. Not to mention, doctor’s appointments, eye appointments, therapy appointments, developmental clinics, home healthcare nurses, and did I mention more doctor’s appointments? It’s a whole other set of parenting rules I never even knew existed. Really hard rules, but rules I am happy that I have had to learn in order to have my two precious boys.
I guess all this Preemie talk is spilling over from last month’s Prematurity Awareness…another thing I never knew existed. Also, did you know Purple is the color that represents Preemies? Me either. Ribbons and colors never really had an impact on me until these last two years. Sure, I’ve supported other’s causes and fundraisers, but it is different when you are a part of the cause. Another thing that I didn’t realize and that I’ve learned from my babies.
Speaking of causes and fundraisers, I just wanted to share a little about my online auction. We raised almost $550, which will benefit the Walker and Willis Birthday Walk to Fight TTTS. That leads me right into what this month is about….TTTS Awareness. Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome is devastating and non-discriminating. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what country you come from, how healthy you are, or how many pregnancies you’ve had. It can effect any twin or multiple pregnancy that shares a Placenta. In very rare instances, when there are two Placentas that fuse early on, TTTS can also occur.
Throughout the month of December the Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Foundation will be sharing a fact a day about TTTS on Facebook. You can “like” their page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/International-TTTS-Awareness-Month-31-day-challenge-The-TTTS-Foundation/554724587937216
I will be sharing it on my Facebook wall, as well.
December 7th is World TTTS Day. Candles will be lit across the world and there is a Prayer and Vigil page at http://worldtttsawarenessday.org/prayer.php
I’m not a classically religious person. I come from a mixed religious background, and we were encouraged to decide on our own what we believed in. I’m not going to impart my beliefs on you, but I will tell you that I do pray. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that is in our power to do. I especially felt this going through my twin pregnancy.
Wow. I didn’t mean to get into such deep thoughts with this post, but TTTS, Prematurity, and Family can do that to you. I hope you all got to spend some time with loved ones on Thanksgiving or any day, for that matter.
I’m going to try to be more vigilant about posting this month as part of an awareness challenge to myself. Even though I have plenty to do (all three boys are getting over a cold NOT from Thanksgiving, so there is snot everywhere) this is important. I’m going to try to get all of the TTTS facts on a page, along with information on SIUGR and Prematurity. So, in between wiping noses, wrapping up the auction and some presents, trying to get a picture for the Christmas card where 2 of the 3 are looking, and maybe taking a nap and/or shower, I will try my hardest. 😉