John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Officially 2 years!

So yesterday was special in my heart of hearts. Two years ago yesterday, January 28, 2009, we brought two precious little baby boys home from the Brookwood NICU. I remember it all so vividly. It was bitter cold, we were so over-joyed, yet petrified to think of the responsiblity of caring for those very tiny special needs preemie babies. James weighted on the dot 4lbs (I almost think it was 3lb 15oz) and John David was 4lb 5oz. They were 36 weeks gestational age when we arrived home. They look like baby dolls in their car seats. Anyone who has brought a newborn baby home,can atest to how tiny they seem at 8 or 9 pounds, so imagine bringing home a baby HALF the size of a typical newborn.

I can laugh about it now, but the first night home I literally DID NOT GO TO SLEEP AT ALL. I sat next to their bed and watched them all night. If I began to nod of into a sleeping stupor, I'd walk outside in the 20 degree weather to WAKE UP. Then resume my post of 'watching them sleep'....I know it sounds insane, but I was completely terrified that they would stop breathing and I wouldn't know so without the hospital monitors.

SO, now as I tuck them in at night and cross my fingers they don't crawl out of their cribs, I will never forget the first night home with those boys watching them sleep, as they take in and release every single breath.

Also too, I remember the over-whelming joy of knowing that they were in a safer place free of GERMS, but nonetheless, I didn't allow anyone to visit our home with small children until April 1st. I demanded nurses to come to my house to administer RSV shots instead of taking the boys into the doctor office. Yes, I remember several heated conversations with nurses and insurance companies over the battle of RSV shots for the boys. When my girls arrived home from school, I immediately took them up stairs and bathed them. How funny the day when we were all ready for bed time at the ripe hour of 4pm. I actually remember telling my mom and mother-in-law to wash their hands with soap and water before holding the boys. The audacity I had when it came to telling people what was and wasn't allowed with the boys, still makes me giggle when I think about it.

SO, as I reflect that special time two years ago, I am still standing in AWE of what a miracle God bestowed upon us. The story just continues. Not only did they beat the odds with the pregnancy, the NICU hurdles, but now as typical, healthy, thriving, developing two year olds.

I picked up those little stinkers yesterday from school (after thinking all about the NICU days and bringing them home), and I just savored a really special moment when I picked them up from school....

I approached the fence at Joan's to find John David sitting at a pic-nic table with his friends, eating snack, and as he looked up and saw me, he said, "Hi Mommy!"....and then jumped up to show me the kitty running through the yard. He said, "Ook Mommy, its Doan's (Joan's) titty tat!"....and I almost had tears. Just to see them so healhty and whole and loving their sweet days at Mrs.Joan's house with their buddies (and their sister), brings a great deal of peace to my life. I thank God for it.

Lastly, I wanted to mention the Early Intervention therapist that have been keeping an eye on the boys since about 6 months old, to watch for concerns. They left me a message after "re-evaluating" both boys yesterday because they DON'T see a need for continuing services....WOW...I talked with Joan about it briefly (because she has amazing background/experiences working with special needs pre-schoolers from our past Eclipse program at Oak Mt. Elem) and she said, "I think they are doing wonderfully, and on some accounts they are doing many things that older toddlers who were not preemie and are typical aren't even doing."

I am grateful for how wonderfully they are growing and learning, but part of me still wants to keep them in a nice padded bubble with lots of extra help and support! I will update as soon as I receive the evaluation from Shelby Arc.

And for those of you who had to endure me, two years ago when we brought the 'miracle babies' home....THANK YOU FOR ENDURING ME....I can only imagine how neurotic I was....


The Sweet Life said...

Happy Birthday to them. I just now realized that I share a birthday with them.

BrieandSteve said...

Dana! I love reading up on the boys fantastic progress! They are such sweet boys!

Shannon said...

Dana, I so vividly remember reading about them and seeing those pictures that you've posted! Their stories are amazing and you're one amazing mama!

ABF said...


I want to thank you for your beautiful inspirational blog. I just found out I am having mono-mono twins as part of a triplet set. It has been (and I'm sure will continue to be) a very scary and exciting time. I'm saying a lot of prayers and hoping to have a family as healthy and happy as yours. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your fears and your happy outcome.