Sunday, June 22, 2008

Too Little Too Early

I have a friend who recently birthed twins.

If she had had her way, they would have made their entrance after a nine month term as originally planned.

John and Ben couldn't wait that long however and sneaked unexpectedly into our company at 25 weeks-weighing 1.14 lbs. and 2 lbs. respectively.

Today was her baby shower.  It was a baby shower that was intended for several weeks prior to the babies' births but instead, featured them as guests of honor.  Even though they attended only in spirit from their incubators at the local NICU.

I can't imagine anyone more equipped to handle this challenge than my friend.  She is vivacious, strong-willed, intelligent, and surrounded by people who adore her.

Do you detect a hint of jealously?

Yes, actually you do.  Because I'm small and petty.

...are you just now getting that?  

But I wouldn't trade places with her right now for all the tea in China.

(Does anyone really know what that phrase means?) 

Big and Little both banged into this world healthy, hardy, and screaming for their first meal.

Big had a some problems making his entrance because, as his name suggests, he was, well, big. I'll spare you the gory details, but lets suffice to say that I had a reputation on the maternity ward for being the young woman who had the episiotomy and the Cesarean section. 

Little arrived as nature intended, slipping out of the chute and into the doctor's hands.  I remember being told to not look into the mirror at my feet to witness the arrival of my boy, but to look at it 'real time'.

I'm glad I did.

I felt the 'pop' of his head break through and saw Little writhe his way out of me and into our presence.

I have never known a more earthy, primal moment than that.  And I mourn somewhat the fact I'll never know that feeling again.

My babies ate well, were never colicky, and slept through the night at six weeks.

Yeah, I know. 

 I suck.

Little had frustration.  He didn't talk as early as he wanted and often communicated said frustration by screaming and banging his head on the floor.

But that was as a toddler.

My friend has many worries to overcome before she can experience these joys.

Her joy comes from the babies accepting pumped breast milk-from an eyedropper.  It comes from getting to see them side by side on Father's day.  It comes from every ounce that is gained and every day closer they come to getting rid of the PICC lines.  It comes from seeing them poop for God's sake.

Her joy will come when she finally gets to hold her babies.

Tonight Little went to bed before the rest of us.  I went in to give him a kiss good night and leaned over him and put my ear to his chest.  I've done this before so it came as no great shock to him.

I love to listen and feel his heart beat against my ear.  It is strong and steady and robust.  It screams health and power and miracles.

We pray daily for the miracles that will continue to happen for John and Ben.

...and simply, we won't accept anything less. 

1 comment:

Erica said...

Soon...they will have the same robust heartbeat. And she will bend down at night and listen to them thumping in their chests after an invigorating day spent playing with each other in the yard and bouncing around in colorful piles of autumn leaves.

I would sacrifice all I own, and everything that I am familiar with, to be able to have a baby, or seven, with the man I love (there currently is a possible relationship on the horizon - fingers crossed).

Tea in China: I guess, before the proliferated advent of tea bags 'n stuff, tea was a big deal. I'd commit crimes against humanity for an icy cup of Starbucks something or other. No I wouldn't...I exaggerate.


Your friend is in my prayers.