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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 51

Dear Charlotte Amalie-

You've been here for 51 days. For 51 days, I have left your bedside time and time again, knowing the nurses would take care of you, would love you, since I could not. They spend more time with you anyway.

For 51 days I've read blogs and journals, medical books and "How to Parent Your Preemie Baby." For 50 nights, I've gone to bed without worrying that your cry would wake me in the middle of the night. Instead, for 50 nights, I've worried I'd get that phone call in the middle of the night. I've worried that I would get any phone call in the middle of the night.

Over the past 51 days, I have pumped approximately 400 times. I have dialed the NICU about 100 times. I've whispered your name in prayer an uncountable number of times.

For the past 51 days, I have seen your father fall in love every time he sees you. I've watched him watch you, as if he would heal you with his eyes if he but could. I've witnessed his hands cover your body, holding you with every ounce of love that he has, willing that love to make you whole. I've held him as we both cried. Your father is not an emotional man, nor would I call him "warm and fuzzy", but girl, he has the warm and fuzzies for you.

For the past 51 days, I've wondered how to tell your big brother about you. He's interested, and scared. He knows that things just aren't quite right. He prays for you. He really just wants to go outside and ride his tractor. Or grandpa's tractor-- either one, but preferably, grandpa's.

For 51 days, we've wondered why you came early. We've cursed our Luck and thanked our Father in Heaven for our Blessings. We've been jealous of pregnant women, hurt by unkind words, and grateful that your tiny heart continues to beat. Oh, how we love that heart of yours.

We've prepared (can you prepare?) for what-if's. We've had talks about funerals and coming home parties. We'd really rather have a party, if it were up to us. That's just how we roll.

For 51 days, I've loved you-- I've loved the idea of you. But mostly, I love how you make everyone around you a better person. I love how people are kind, and for the most part, understanding. I love how concerned people are. I love how your very presence reminds people of the important things in life. There aren't many things in this world that can get people to do that.

By the way, in 51 days, we still haven't managed to figure out what your name is really going to be. Any preference? Charlotte? Charlie? Amalie? Molly? Charlotte Amalie? Charlie Molly? Let us know. People are starting to ask.

Your Totally-Clueless-but-I'll-Never-Admit-That-To-You Mother

Here's to another 50 days.


  1. What a sweet and tender post. Thanks for letting us share this journey, with its ups and downs, with you. CA is one lucky girl to have you two as parents.

  2. Such a beautiful post. You guys are in my prayers every day!!

  3. Wow Amanda, I should know better than to read your posts without a tissue handy. You guys are amazing-- all 4 of you!

  4. Wow, Amanda... this will teach me to not let me get too behind on my blogging. With all that is going on with my own crazy life, I don't often get to hear how my dear friends in Philly are doing. Thank you for your email (that I just now got) and for sharing your amazing and miraculous story. Tears of joy and happiness fill my eyes as I read your blog posts. You two are so inspirational and so strong, Taylor and I are in awe with the trials that you two have had to face. But through it all you still manage to hold your heads up high. We wish we could be there to offer our love and support. Your family is in our prayers.---love you guys... Amber

  5. I hope you guys are doing well. You are a beautiful writer.

  6. wow, i don't know how i missed this post earlier but i just read it and now i'm trying not to break down in tears. you are a beautiful family and we love you guys lots.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story on Bloggers Unite: Fight for Preemies. I remember so well counting the days in the NICU. I remember dreading whenever the phone rang, but especially in the middle of the night. Our preemies twins were born at 24-weeks. They are now happy, healthy 19 year olds, and to them, their preemie life is far behind them. To me, it seems like yesterday and I suspect it always will. To provide hope and support to those at an earlier place along their journey through preemie-hood, I am posting the journals I kept during our 5-month NICU stay. I wish you and your beautiful Charlotte only the best.