Gratitude & Gains

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Griffin and Daddy!

It has been a while since I last wrote on here.  Take that as a good sign –  I’ve been busy holding my boys!  Sometimes I lay in bed at night and a post comes to me, but I’m just too tired to get up and write it down.  I have been on the blog though and took a minute to look back at some of my first posts.  My eyes well up with tears to think about how far the boys have come.  I keep telling our nurses that I am amazed at how relatively easy the boys trip has been on this rollercoaster ride so far.  They too share in my amazement to some extent and then remind me of what it was like their first week of life.  It was so very stressful and there were so many unknowns.  But to be honest, I don’t really remember them all, I remember that I was stressed but I don’t remember the feeling of the stress.  Am I making sense?  It is like when you fell off your bike as a kid and scraped your elbows and knees.  You remember yourself crying, you remember the blood, the bactine and band aids but I bet it is hard to remember what the actual pain felt like, to feel your knee cut open and full of gravel.  This is a gift of the human mind that I am not taking for granted these days as I sit and hold my boys.  I will never forget their journey so far but I am so glad that when I look back it is not a painful memory.

Yawning Carter!

 

Our two little fighters have moved on to a whole new bag of stressors.  Take eating for example, Tim and I bottle feed them daily and they have done pretty well, but it is a bit stressful as I sit there and feed these tiny little babies with my untrained hand.   They don’t take a bottle every feed but they are learning the all important skill of eating and breathing at the same time quite well!  Griffin, true to form, is still having some digestion issues and brady spells.  Both of which we hope he grows out of in the next few weeks.  Carter is taking a little break from bottling at the moment as he showed some signs of sickness.  But all the tests say he is fine so we are hoping he was just tired and needed a break for a bit. Then there is the stress of making sure they keep their body heat as we hold them for hours and as they switched Carter over to a  crib last weekend!  He weighs 4 lbs. 10 ozs. already and has grown out of his “box”!!  Griffin will move soon too – he is getting close at 3 lbs 13 ozs.!  Then there is the stress of how low we can make their cannula settings and still keep them comfortable – there is a delicate balance that the respiratory therapists play with helping the boys learn to breathe on their own while still getting the support they need for their fragile lungs.  Both of them are doing remarkably well in this department.  Even Carter, with his chronic lung disease is thriving on his high flow cannula.  We went from two boys with three machines each next to their big clunky humidfying beds to Griffin with only a cannula that is connected to his wall and Carter with one small machine and in a crib!   I guess you could say that all of these stresses I don’t mind!!

Everyone asks so let me say on here, with this large audience – I don’t know when they will come home.  Yes, they are moving along quite well but if I have learned anything in the NICU it is that things can take a turn for the worse at any moment.  Today the boys are good, nearly great in fact, but there have been kids like them that have gotten sick and ended up back on the ventilator – adding months to their stay.  So…it is with a sense of trepidation and a large amount of cautious optimism that I say that the boys should have less than a month left until they come home if they continue to progress as they have been these past few weeks.  However, even then – one boy will most likely come home before the other, as is usually the case with twins.

Our family is busy getting ready for Christmas and as with most things in my life since the boys have been born I am careful not to take any moment for granted, and find myself grateful for everything.  Watching such fragile life everyday as I spend my days in the NICU provides a healthy dose of gratitude for all that I have and the love that surrounds my sons.   For no matter how difficult our struggle is at the moment I know it could be much worse.  God has made a way for us, from the lack of snow and easy driving to a free parking pass getting to the boys each day has been stress free.  In fact so many things have been better than we planned for, less stressful that I thought they would be since October 8th!  A scripture has been running through my mind lately that I want to share with you.  Psalm 50:15 And call upon me in times of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.  It sums up our journey with God this past two and a half months.  For we have called on Him, over and over – and he has come through for our family, over and over!

*The pictures in this post were taken by a friend of ours, and an amazing photographer Brian Battenfeld (www.brianbattenfeld.com) – thank you Brian for volunteering your time to capture our time in the NICU!!

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5 thoughts on “Gratitude & Gains

  1. It is Sunday morning and I am sitting on the living room floor wrapping presents when Roger comes into the room in tears. Before I can ask what’s wrong, he says, “There’s a new post.” I then find out that his tears are tears of gratitude, love, and admiration ~ so much gratitude for the progress Griffin and Carter have made, his love for all the Camps, and total admiration for how Tim and Alison have taken one day at a time and done what they have to and want to do with such stamina since even before the boys were born.
    I am also extremely blown away by the power of prayer. I know how many people here in Ithaca, and friends of mine from all over the country, who are praying for all of you. When I think of all those, in addition to who I know, praying and rooting for you and the boys and all those who care for them, I get shivers! I am beyond thankful.
    And 1 more thing ~ I loved reading, “I will never forget their journey but I am so glad that when I look back at it that is all it is – a look back, not a painful memory.”
    Love and Blessings, Aunt Cathy

  2. Dawn Checko

    So happy things are going well. I love reading your post and was glad for the new update. I love the family picture. The girls are beautiful. I have two more little hats for the boys from granny. This time they are green, white and black to match the rugby team. This was a request from Tim and Alan. Look forward to the next update. Have a great holiday!
    Dawn Checko

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