It’s been 6 months…
6 months have gone by. Half of a year.
Time now travels at speeds I did not know possible. It stands still in the middle of the night, during the tears, and while pumping for the millionth time. Yet, it seems I blink and gone are hours, days, months full of precious smiles, cat naps on my chest, newborn gurgles and toddler giggles.
It’s been over half of a year since I was admitted to the hospital with worrisome symptoms, after and an even more worrisome second trimester.
It’s been over half of a year since I had two steroid injections in my behind to help my babies’ lungs develop in urgency before they made their impending early arrival.
It’s been over half of a year since my biweekly ultrasounds turned into daily ultrasounds for a week straight. The ultrasound nurse and I making friendly chatter each day as she showed me how much room my little “beluga baby” (Baby A/Evelyn) was taking up in my belly, and the tiny corner that Baby B (Olivia) has hiding in. Both babies’ heart beats strong, their feet furiously kicking, but only one still fighting for her life.
It’s been over half of a year since that ultrasound nurse saw something different on that 7thday.
It’s been over half of a year since I heard “there’s fluid over Baby B’s abdomen. We don’t know what it means, but we don’t want her to get sicker”.
It’s been over half of a year since I was told, “you will deliver your babies this afternoon”.
It’s been over half of a year since I sat on my hospital bed, at 32 weeks and 1 day of gestation, called my husband at work and told him to get on the subway. “Come right away, we are having the babies today.”
It’s been half of a year since I sat sobbing in the operating room, my husband getting scrubbed up next door, the anesthesiologist handing me tissues, trying to stay still for my spinal injection to prepare me for my c-section. “It’s too early, she’s so small, what’s going to happen?”
It’s been half of a year since I lay on the table, squeezing my husband’s hand, holding my breath, waiting and hoping for my babies to take their first breaths.
It’s been half of a year since I heard Evelyn cry, they brought her quickly on the other side of the curtain so I could see her face for the first time, my little beluga.
It’s been half of a year since I heard the tiny squeal of Olivia, only being told of her arrival, as she had to be rushed to the resuscitation room right away. I would see her frail, bright red, fighting body shortly.
It’s been half a year since I held them both, after months of uncertainty, we were now a family of 5.
It’s been half of a year since my short- lived happiness and hopefulness was cut short, they saw something ominous in Olivia’s x-ray that morning. Air in her abdomen this time, likely a perforation in her bowel. The doctor could not give us much detail, we would have to wait for her to be transported to SickKids and the surgeons would tell us more.
It’s been half of a year since I stood helpless, as they prepped my 700g baby for transport and surgery. A team of at least 8 standing around her incubator, working seamlessly and furiously, putting a breathing tube down her throat, and at least one seasoned NICU nurse choking back tears of her own while holding Olivia’s tiny body still so the others could continue to poke and prod.
It’s been half of a year since I wrapped her tiny hand around the tip of my finger and sang “You Are My Sunshine” softly, as I had only days before been singing to my tummy, but now not knowing if this was the last time she would hear my voice.
It’s been half of a year since my husband pushed me in a wheelchair, still recovering from my own surgery, in a dingy underground tunnel from one hospital to the other, where Olivia would receive the surgery that would save her life.
It’s been half of a year since I tried my hardest to make sense of what all the doctors were telling us, what they were about to do, what all the risks were, and that death was a real possibility for such a tiny baby who needed such a serious surgery.
It’s been half of a year since the nurse who received Olivia that night, her name also Olivia, called us to tell us we could come see our baby at her bed side now. She was out of surgery, and as the surgeon would tell us, she made things easy on them and was one hell of a fighter.
It’s been half of a year since I let myself hope again, that I finally let down my wall, I hadn’t yet let myself get attached to the idea of two more babies. But they were here, now separated in two different hospitals, across the street from one another, but hopeful that the biggest hurdles were now behind us. They were.
It’s been half a year since my heart swelled two times bigger.
It’s been half of a year since I’ve started watching my first baby become a child. Since I’ve had to slowly let go of being her number one, her go-to, and let others fill some of the space for me.
It’s been half of a year of learning how to spread myself across three. To do the dance from one crying baby to the next, from a “boo boo” on the knee (or most often. head), to the next bottle, to the last bed time story. It’s all too easy to lose yourself trying to spread yourself too thin.
It’s been half of a year of realizing there is more than one “right” way to raise your baby/babies. I’ve learned that when there are two, you just can’t do things like you “used to” or even how you want to, or sometimes even like you feel you “should do”. You do them however you can. You survive.
It’s been half of a year since I let go of “perfect”, and wow, was that ever liberating.
It’s been half of a year since I was reminded how amazing my family and in-laws are. I can’t do this alone, and I’m unbelievably lucky that I don’t have to.
And, to be honest, it’s been half of a year since I discovered a strength I did not know I had. When it comes to your kids, you don’t have a choice. But boy, do I ever feel like a bad-ass mother some days.
It’s been a half of a year my sweet girls, a half of a year… and look how far you’ve come.