On Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 between 11:06 and 11:08 am we welcomed our four beautiful little boys into the world. Our babies no longer to be called A, B, C, and D have been named and obviously did not get the memo as they did a little switcheroo on the way out :)
(A) Aiden Joseph, weighing in at 4 lbs. 1oz. and 18 inches long
(C) Beckham Lewis, weighing in at 4 lbs. 1 oz. and 17 inches long
(B) Liam Jack, weighing in at 2 lbs. 9oz. and 15 inches long
(D) Griffin David, weighing in at 3 lbs. 13oz. and 16 1/2 inches long
In case you're doing the math, that is 14 lbs. 8oz and 66 1/2 inches of baby! Whoa, I hadn't added that up until now!
Shortly after delivery, the symptoms of preeclampsia set in and I spent the next 36 hours trying to get back to normal so I could see my babies!!! I had taken a short trip through the NICU and a wave hello while I was very blurry eyed, one of the lovely effects of preeclampsia. While back in the High Risk Labor & Delivery room I kept telling Matt that they all looked alike! He assured me they didn't, but I was convinced ;) When the magnesium settled in I kept telling myself that I was in control and that all was just fine, but when I was taken off the awful stuff 12 hours later I realized I was definitely not myself! Thankfully and suprisingly to me one of the NICU nurses brought all the babies up 2x2 and let me give them some loving...my dear husband had decided he wouldn't hold the babies until I did. Of course I would have been completely fine if he did, but he wanted me to have that first moment after all my hard work, and that was so special to me....thank you honey!
All-in-all the day was so incredible and truly monumental for us! I had been in the hospital, away from my guys for 51 days. Having arrived home, I broke down, and hadn't realized how much I missed it. I hadn't allowed myself to process it. Each day since I have really appreciated all the little things I love about Ethan and how much joy he brings to my day. Only with strength from above was I able to get through that time. God sent spectacular nurses to care for me and wonderful doctors and truth be told I felt such strength beyond my own possession that I will never forget. 33 weeks those little guys grew and grew. Of course being my over-achieving self I first was upset that I didn't make it to 34 weeks, and then I realized I did get 3 of my boys to room air, which was my goal all along. While Liam and Beckham both had to be intubated at birth, only Beckham remained on CPAP. I think this is the beginning of a me who stops beating myself up about things I didn't do and realizes the accomplishments I have made. I owe that gift to my boys. :)
I realize there is such a long journey and story to be written ahead but we did it!! I am so proud of Ethan for all the overwhelming changes in his life he continues to be positive and so incredibly loving. On the way home from being discharged on Saturday, he was worried that my love to the boys would be all the love I had, I explained that mommies and daddies have a never-ending supply of love. He said, "mom I have that too." And he truly does.
And my husband, who God love him was thrown into a single parenthood overnight, did such an amazing job keeping things together. I think about how we usually complain if our husbands are gone from us travelling on business for a few days or a week. I was gone for over 7 weeks while he handled nearly everything on the homefront. I think we certainly have a new appreciation for what we both do to keep this family running, and I hope we never lose sight of it!
This experience in a whole has been so humbling. 1 week after birth and I still cannot wear shoes, and have edema so badly it physically hurts but I try to hold onto why I feel like this...because I gave birth to 4 boys! Everytime I look in the mirror and feel discouraged I then remember that this is all going to take time and any sacrifice I would gladly make to be the mom of my boys. And of course I appreciate Matt telling me how beautiful I am.
We have relied on people in ways we never dreamed of, and many we have just met along this journey. We have truly had to swallow our pride and accept help and thankfully it was there to be given. We have appreciated our family and friends in new ways...such as actually looking forward to my youngest sister's frequent hospital visits to tell me all about her single in the city life. :) And hearing the same voice on the phone every week, Miss Helen, to cheer me on and remind me of all I had done so far. And there are so many more things that I hope I have expressed my gratitude. What has been truly the biggest gift of all is having our "guardian angels" contact us...people we had not met before this grand event offering their help and services and easing our burdens greatly just because they want to help us...what an act of selflessness and compassion.
This post is the first in a book I am so excited to write! I know they all will not be this reflective and deep (God help me!). I look forward to all the adventures that await and invite you to join us on the ride....