Tuesday, December 31, 2013

bouncing back

It's been over seven and a half months since our twin boys, Ellis and Julian, were born using a gestational carrier. Just now, almost eight months later, I feel like I am finally adjusting. I've been wanting to write so much, but couldn't find the time, energy, or enthusiasm to get started. Then there were some technical and logistical difficulties as well: a crappy internet connection due to an old router, not having a quiet space to sit down with my laptop, and with the ease of all other forms of social media, who needs to blog? I think I need to blog. I forgot how cathartic and relaxing writing can be. Right now, it's less than ten days until Christmas, 4 days until our first family Christmas celebration. I should be baking, wrapping, cleaning, or sleeping. But no, let's get caught up on the blog instead.

Julian Christopher and Ellis Nolan were born on the afternoon of May 4th, 2013. Ellis, also known as baby B, was starting to lag behind his brother due to umbilical cord issues. Blood wasn't flowing back and forth to Ellis, therefore he wasn't getting all of the nourishment he needed. Our OB decided at 34 weeks it was time for them to be born. Both babies were breech as well so our amazing gestational carrier had to have a c-section. Neither of us had experienced this before so we were both really anxious. While we waited for our turn in the OR, we took pictures, prayed, took a quick tour of the hospital, and prayed some more. Another wonderful friend was also there for moral support since our GC's husband was on a flight home from a business trip in Europe. The prep and surgery was smooth and we couldn't wait to meet our boys. I was sandwiched between my beautiful friend on the operating table and Chris, all of us hugging and squeezing hands. Julian was born first and let out the most incredible cry I had ever heard. It was the most awesome sound and I wept with joy that he was born, and that he was alive. Ellis came out next with a cry as well. I scream-cried tears of joy, relief, and a gratitude words will never explain. Chris and I were rushed over to the warmers where our 3 and 4 lb. boys were being assessed. Ellis weighed in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. and was such a little fighter. He never needed oxygen and was breathing on his own right away. Julian weighed 4 lbs. 11 oz. and needed oxygen for over a week as he not only screamed when he was born, but breathed in a lot of fluid.

The babies and I camped out at the NICU for 17 days. I never thought I would be able to handle having my babies in the NICU (This was a task for stronger, more faithful mamas), but I did it. The nurses finally made me go home after living at the hospital for a week. I returned every day to feed and care for our boys and then most evenings Chris would go see them while I tucked Charlie and Sofie into bed. The NICU days passed and finally we brought our tiny gifts home with us on May 21, 2013.

Once we were home, it just felt like deja vu. We had done the tiny twin thing, only this time I had not just given birth. I was exhausted, but I felt so much stronger and more capable than I did when Charlie and Sofie were newborns. This was just one more blessing our friend and gestational carrier gave us. She took on the burden of pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery so we could have these babies. She bounced back so beautifully I couldn't believe it! I was reminded again why she was the perfect person to help us on our journey. It truly believe she was picked by God to do this incredible task.

So, to summarize the last 7 months with Ellis and Julian, I would say it's been difficult, challenging, amazing, fun, and beautiful. I've cried because I didn't think I could handle four children. I've screamed at Charlie and Sofie to just give me a minute of silence. I've gazed in amazement at these babies that look so much like Charlie, Sofie, and Mila. I've thanked God and our GC over and over for the chance to parent these boys even when I didn't know if I would be cut out for it.

Today I feel like I have come out from under. It may sound weird, but I'm getting used to Ellis and Julian being here. The truth is, I wasn't sure they would ever get here. This all just seemed too good to be true. Let's just say that if ever there was a reason to believe in miracles, in a higher power's plan for us, this would be it. I have to be honest. There have been days when the babies were screaming at me to be fed and I just wanted to sleep, or eat my lunch, or pee. In these moments I thought, "If Mila were here I wouldn't have to deal with any of this crap." Sometimes these babies make me miss our little girl more than ever. Most of the time these babies remind me that Mila is right here with us, orchestrating this miracle of life and love.


Knaus said...

I can't fathom all that you have been through but your writing is precious and wonderful. I pray you and your family continue to grow strong in every way. Cheers to a new year!

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

Thank you, and happy new year to the Knaus family.

Laura said...

Thank you! Happy new year to the Knaus family as well!