Monday, April 18, 2016

Happy birthday times THREE!!!!

Today is the 19th time I have had the privilege of wishing Benjamin, Mason and Claire a happy happy birthday! And yet, I will tell you the truth that that is not even close to enough to make up for the fact that I didn't get to see them -- much less hold them -- on their original BIRTH day.

I got to hug all three of them this morning. I took Benjamin to classes and we dropped Mason at Millsaps. I even went back and delivered his laundry and made his bed with clean sheets! I have talked with Claire on the phone and texted her more than once. We are missing each other today. We are used to getting all the hours of this special day to celebrate.

But that original birth day wasn't even like this. I SAW them today. But the day they were born was terrifying and frightening, scary, and uncertain. And the most beautiful day ever.

On April 18, 1997, I had already been in the hospital for weeks. Early contractions had landed me on bedrest at 19 weeks pregnant. By 22 weeks, I was in a bed on the Labor and Delivery floor and didn't even wiggle a toe off the edge of the bed again while pregnant.

At 28 weeks exactly -- a magic number for the University of Chicago who had success in keeping premature babies alive at that mark -- I began to hemorrhage. And though amazing doctors stopped labor for four more days, my body had simply had enough and when I began to hemorrhage again on April 18, we knew the babies were on their way.

Though they all three came out crying -- something we had been warned they might not do -- they were whisked away by a team of Neonatal specialists in order to save their little lives. A kind recovery room nurse, trying to keep me happy as well as healthy, pulled out a polaroid camera and sent Wade to the nursery so I could SEE my babies. I have never wanted to hold anything like I wanted to get out of that recovery bed and go hold those three teeny tiny little beans.

Staring at the Polaroids, writing the name of each beautiful gift, and hoping and praying they would be ok, THIS day was far far away. And yet, on this their 19th birthday, I have three finishing their freshman year in college. I have three successfully stretching, reaching and doing the work to obtain their goals, their own dreams.

So today i celebrate these three and say thank you Benjamin, Mason, and Claire -- on April 18, 1997 you made all MY dreams come true!

Happy birthday!!!

Carol - The Blessings Counter