Why is it that sincere thank you notes are so much harder than ones you're indifferent about?
Today I sat down to write the most grateful thank you note I've ever written, probably ever will write, and the words just would not come.
The note was for the NICU staff at the hospital where the twins were born. A year ago St.Matt was on the first floor watching football and I was upstairs bedresting and reading --- and my water broke.
The Schmidtlets were two months early. They were tiny. I wasn't ready and they weren't either. Nothing in my years of babysitting or in our baby care classes had prepared me for incubators and feeding tubes and picc lines and lungs that kept collapsing and collapsing. Tubes and tubes and tubes taped all over my babies. Babies I wasn't allowed to hold. The Wild Imp – who wasn't wild, he was medicated and sedated into oblivion — I wasn't even allowed to touch because he was in so much pain.
And the NICU staff somehow held me together, gave me strength, taught me about gavage feeding, and breast-feeding, pneumothorax, and infant CPR. What every bell, alarm, and squiggly line on their monitors meant — how to tell a false alarm from an apnea or bradycardiac event. How to touch a preemie so that he wasn't over-stimulated and didn't hurt.
They were there to clap when St. Matt changed his first diaper. And to laugh when Asher managed to pee out the porthole on his incubator. They cheered with us when the boys began to self-regulate their body temps and we could finally dress them. Clothing, snaps, laundry!– this seemed like such a major victory at the time – and we all looked at the too-big size-preemie outfit and said "he'll grow into it."
And they've grown so big. They're so healthy. They're so happy and giggly. They're so mischievous and chatterboxy –-- no clue where they get that from.
I'm so blessed.
So appreciative of all the help, support and love the NICU staff lavished on us during our month-long stay.
I thought, way back a year ago, that I couldn’t possibly love anyone more than I did those palm-size babies.
How wrong I was.
Happy 1st birthday, Schmidtlets