Saturday, March 28th we celebrated the girls’ one year home with a pink and gold filled party attended by friends and family. Then, yesterday, we celebrated the staff at the hospital who made it possible for our girls to come home.
Before the girls were even born there were people who took care of them, people who loved them. Our girls being mono mono meant they had a lot of quality time at the hospital. Weekly ultrasounds tracked their progress, but also gave me a glimpse of their personalities, their constant motion in my tummy.
Sometimes, those ultrasounds showed things that were scary, things that we had no control over, but there were always reassuring faces nearby, answering questions, being supportive, and most of all, honest.
Then, I lived in the hospital. I had nurses who shared a love of celebrity gossip with me during our daily monitoring sessions. Sessions meant to be twenty minutes, but that usually turned into hours. Nurses who talked about my son, about Jas and I being newlyweds. Nurses who were loving, but also funny, sweet, and sincere. I had support staff bring me meals and clean my room, always with a smile, always on time.
Then, I had doctors and nurses telling me we had to deliver. Nurses who prepped me for surgery, who told me the magnesium would make me feel like shit. Doctors and nurses in a sterile, cold room, and outside waiting, peeking through a window to wrap up our girls and keep them safe. Those same nurses who laughed with me about celebrities comforted me after my c section, helped me express drops of milk, loaded me into a wheelchair to meet my girls.
Then, there were new doctors and nurses. Ones who were taking care of my girls outside of their squishy swimming pool, in the real world. Nurses who know how scary the NICU is, how tiny our babies seemed, how precious each moment is. Nurses who helped me hold my girls, to comfort them, to feed them.
Then there were the nurses and doctors who saved Ella. The nurses who knew something was wrong, but also knew what to do. The nurses who brought her back to us, and brought us back to her. There was the nurse who helped me hold her for the first time, after so long a wait. The nurses who made sure to get every test result as soon as possible so I knew how she was. The doctors who talked to us about her brain bleed, her hydrocephalus. The unknown of what it meant then, of what it means now.
Then there were the lactation consultants, social workers, and family worker who helped me feed the girls, learn my options, and to heal. There was my doctor who wanted updates, who was shaken when I gave her the news about Ella. There were so many people. And there still are so many people.
There’s the follow-up team who watched my girls grow, who saw Raegan become an adventurous monkey who can’t sit still, and watched Ella struggle to keep up. The team who helped her get therapy, equipment, funding, and a future.
So many of those people have told me how scared they were when Ella was sick, how worried. At first, I was surprised, thought that much worse must happen there, but then I realized that it’s because they care. Every day, those nurses, doctors, and staff wake up, say goodbye to their own families, and care for ours. Every day they see terrifying things and amazing things. Their hearts are fuller than most, they must be.
Thank you for this year. There was a time I didn’t know that I would get to bring two girls home, and now we’ve been home a year. Thank you for supporting us, believing in us, and helping us.
Thank you for your strength, for your laughter, and your tears. Thank you for believing in my girls, for believing in my family, and for believing in me. Thank you for letting me be their mum, thank you for this year.
Thank you for walking those halls, for being there when you’re needed, and knowing when it’s time to slip away. Thank you for answering questions, for being patient, thank you for listening, and for talking.
Thank you for your excitement when you see the girls, for the trips down memory lane. Thank you for your eternal sunshine, your warmth.
Thank you for our year home. Thank you for the smiles, the giggles, the walks in the stroller, the new adventures, the unknown, the past, the present, and our future.
Thank you, Sunnybrook, for our year home.