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Friday, May 14, 2010

Love Letter

Oh Charlotte. Oh Amalie.

Someday, you won't have tape and masks and tubes on your face and we'll pick a name for you. I promise.

A little boy, Maximus, became your roommate today. He was due June 21, 2010, but he came a bit too early for his mom and dad. They sat by his crib and cried today. They cried because he couldn't come home with them. They cried because he isn't able to latch on, because scary things happened, because he's in the NICU. Mostly they cried because just a few days ago, they weren't sure if he would survive. But there he was. Breathing on his own. In an open air bassinet. With his eyes wide open and without any IV's. His parents were able to reach down and simply pick up their son. They didn't need a nurse to hold their baby.

For a moment, I was angry. {I know, you're shocked-- your mother is not perfect.} June 21, 2010 was supposed to be your due date. June 21 was supposed to be the time that I met you. These parents had 11 weeks of pregnancy I didn't have. These parents have a baby that can breathe. A baby who can take a bottle. A baby who's heart is whole and who's time in the NICU will be a fraction of your stay.

And I was angry about it.

Until I wasn't.

I was angry because they didn't appreciate what they had. And I realized, I didn't appreciate what I had either. That instead of resenting them for their "good fortune" I should be focusing on all that we have. Because we have so much.

Yes, I can't wait until the day that we can walk into the NICU and just pick you up. Sigh. I can't even imagine what that would be like. I cry just thinking about it. (Seriously, I'm crying right now. Your father thinks I'm nuts). But despite that desire, I love your ventilator. It keeps us from holding you but it gives so much.

I love that machine-- the one that keeps your lungs moving, keeps pushing air, in and out, in and out of your tiny {but getting larger} body. I watch the air flow on the monitor and it sings to me, calming me with its gentle rhythm and soft melody. In and Out, In and Out. Up and Down goes your chest. Up and Down. In and Out. Forty times a minute.

Instead of yearning for a baby yet to come, or clinging to the memory of a baby lost, I get to stay by your side, while the ventilator sings me a lullaby. There's nothing sweeter than that.

I love you. And your ventilator. {But anytime you'd like to get off of it and start breathing on your own would be OK by me. Just sayin'}.

I love your strength and your courage. I don't know that I would keep going, but you do. You keep going. You always keep going.

You're resilient. You're constant. (You're a tad bit needy, but you get that from me). You bring genuine smiles to those who interact with you. You have so far to go, but you have come so far. You believe in yourself. When the odds said you wouldn't make it, you laughed at them and said, "Watch this."

We're watching, baby girl. We're always watching. Thanks so much for puttin' on a show.
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  1. As I lay here in the hospital at night listening to healthy, full-term babies cry (cry-can you imagine the concept?) I wonder,"does that mom know how blessed she is to have a baby that can cry so loud?"
    then I think of my toddler, how naive & unappreciate of him and the miracle he was that I have been & I feel more like you. We are still here-our babies are fighting the odds. We are being made better through it. But man, somedays the road seems long-thanks for paving the way.
    Thanks for the post-you made my sleepless night better.

  2. Thanks for sharing about Charlotte Amalie. I'm following your blog and thinking a lot about her and the rest of you. You're all in my prayers. Hang in there!