Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

My guest post for this month is up.  I wrote about how many people stepped in to help us when the twins were in the NICU.  Our family and friends went out of their way to make our lives a little easier.  I was most surprised by the kindness of strangers who bought raffle tickets to help with our hospital bills and added us to their church's prayer list.  Even though I never got around to writing thank you notes, I hope they all know how thankful we are to have had them in our lives during the most difficult time we have ever faced.  You can read "The Kindness of Friends and Strangers" on  Leave a comment there sharing the most memorable act of kindness you received when your child was in the NICU.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Time for Pre-School!

Last week was the twins first day of pre-school.  They have been doing much better than I would have expected.  I knew Cade would be fine.  He likes to do his own thing and go off to find things to explore (i.e. destroy!).  Camdyn, on the other hand, cries and clings to me EVERY time I take her to therapy.  I expected the same thing to happen at school.  I was pleasantly surprised. 

I tried to take a picture by the front door on their first day, but the sun was already up too high.  Camdyn is saying, "EYES, EYES, EYES!"  here.  It was pretty cute. 

This is my newest favorite picture of them.  Look at my big kids walking into school with their cute backpacks and matching lunchboxes.  Yes, the holding hands was prompted and did not last long but cute nonetheless.

When we got into their classroom, we hung their backpacks up and put their lunchboxes in their cubbies.  Then they were off to explore this cool school bus play center. 

Next, it was time to get messy making fingerprint pictures.  What 2 year old wouldn't like that?

Cade's turn to get messy!

Then they found this cute kitchen play area and were very busy there.

The director of the pre-school came around visiting each room.  She looked at me and said, "Okay Mom, are you going to be alright?"  In other words, "you can leave now!"  I told her, "I'm taking a few pictures.  I'll leave soon, and yes, I will be okay." 

I had been praying for a time like this since they were one pound babies.  For months, we didn't know if they would be able to walk or make friends or learn or do anything that kids their own age were doing.  I was not going to be rushed.  I was going to take my pictures and revel in the glory and miracle of the fact that my former 24 week babies were doing exactly what their peers were doing.  It may have seemed to her like a mommy-hovering moment, but it was actually a Thank-You God moment!

Here they are at the start of week 2 of pre-school and still no tears!  I hope this pattern continues.  I am so proud of them.

Their teacher leaves us notes about their day.  I love reading the comments at the end.  Camdyn's comments have been, "She is very caring," "Camdyn loved playing in the rocks today; she was pretending to cook with them," and "She was reading books to her friends today!"  On the first day of school, Cade's comment was "He is very curious, but so sweet" which I translated to mean, "My gosh, he was into EVERYTHING and made lots of messes so it's a good thing he is a sweetie."  I was reassured the next day when his comment was, "He was very generous with the hugs today; it was great!"  His last one was, "Cade and some of the other kids started a truck race down the slide.  It was so fun to watch them work together." 

I am so excited that they get to be around kids their own age.  It sounds like they both are playing with other kids well.  I'm starting to notice Camdyn talking a little more, but I don't know if it is from therapy or her just putting it all together or from school.  It's probably a combination.  I'm happy to see her progress.  I hope they both continue to like school.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Heading to Pre-school Tomorrow

My former one pound babies are starting pre-school tomorrow.  I almost can't believe it.  Where has the time gone?  Can they possibly be big enough to go to pre-school with other 2 year olds?  Friends have asked me if I will cry when I drop them off, and I'm sure I will.  I nearly cried today in Target buying them backpacks, and I already cried tonight just seeing those two adorable little backpacks sitting on the counter.  I won't be crying tears of sadness that they are growing up too fast.  My tears are full of so much more.  My tears will be great big crocodile tears of relief and pride and triumph for my former micro-preemies. 

Looking back, I don't know if I could have even envisioned this time.  Camdyn and Cade were on ventilators for 5 weeks.  We were told Camdyn had too much white matter in her brain.  They both had brain bleeds.  Their hearts had open valves that did not close without surgery.  Camdyn had collapsed lungs.  Cade had air pockets in his lungs.  I watched both of them get bagged to remember to breathe. They both had chronic lung disease.  We were told Cade may need a tracheostomy for life.  Cade had (and still has) a paralyzed vocal cord.  Cade would not eat.  Both of them were given dexamethasone with unknown long-term risks to wean off the ventilators. . . . And now, my miracle babies will be walking into school tomorrow carrying their cute backpacks with matching lunch boxes.  We will pack food in their lunch boxes, and they will eat it! 

Oh yes, I will be crying and smiling and celebrating and rejoicing!