Happy Birthday Sweet 16s
By Shannon akaMonty on February 13, 2011
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET 16s!
'Tis time for the annual birthday post. Mostly I'm too lazy to re-write it, but I did at least put a new picture at the bottom. Actually today I'm sitting here wondering how I got old enough to have 16-year-old chilluns. (YES THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S ALL ABOUT ME ME ME!) AND how I've managed to not completely ruin them (yet) despite my very best efforts. Anyway, if you've read all this (several times) before, I give you my permission just to skip to the bottom & see the latest picture and my bit of addendum.
THE DUE DATE: June 4. But oh no, my impatient children arrived February 13. Yeah, that's pretty early. Born at 24 weeks after 24 hours of labor, which the doctors tried to stop. My son came first, in the usual way. (in this picture he was actually one month and one day old)
As they were wheeling me to recovery, my daughter's heart rate dropped to zero, and she was removed by emergency C-section fifty-six minutes after her brother was delivered. (and she is one month and one day old here)
Barely over a single pound each. Barely 12 inches long. They struggled for every single breath. They fought to live. And so they did. Thank you, God. For this little miracle....(my girl at about 2 months)
and this little miracle...(my boy at about 3 or 4 months)
The doctors gave them less than a 50% chance of survival. Fortunately they got my stubborn genes. My girl here is about a year and a half old, this is one of my favorite pictures of her~she looks so pensive.
And here is my sister with two skinny little babies:
One morning I discovered that my daughter knew how to climb into her brother's crib..
And she always....
...always has loved him best.
(yes, her mouth is blue...she was putting eye shadow on. On her lips. Yep. You should have seen what she did to me earlier that day with lipstick...whilst I was catnapping on the couch.) When she was about two, this is what "Go get ready for bed" meant:
Already trying to fill mommy's shoes, trailing that damned oxygen hose behind her (that I tripped on a thousand and one times):
Here's my little guy at about 6 or 7 months old, when he finally got to come home from the hospital...
He had the softest, wispiest hair so I let it grow and grow...
There was a lot of bleeding in their brains. There were under-developed lungs and folded ears and they looked like scrawny little red spider monkeys. There were central lines and ventilators and beds under heat lamps like the burger shelf at McDonalds. There were middle-of-the-night phone calls with doctors on the other end of the line telling me that they didn't think this one or that one would make it through the night. There were enlarged hearts and lungs covered with scar tissue and a million little junkie scars on arms and hands and feet and ankles from blood tests and central lines and perc lines and blood-gas testing every hour. There was six months in the NICU and 3 or 4 Thanksgivings and Christmases spent in the hospital. There was RDS and BPD and ROP and a bunch of other things with initials that I barely understood. Staph infections and even a broken arm that was caused by changing my son's shirt - tiny little brittle bones. All that and so much more... and yet, here we are today, 16 years later.
How could I not believe in a higher power? In miracles? I love you, my babies. I'm thankful for every breath that you take, every blink of your eyes, every morning that you wake. I love you with everything inside me. You make me laugh, you make me cry, you make me want to smack you upside your heads. If all the world was a beach, I would love you more than all the grains of sand added together. Times ten million.
Happy, happy birthday.
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