a happy ending

I've been MIA for a bit.  Things have been busy.  Our Ryan came down with the flu (so scary) and hasn't been sleeping well at all so I just haven't had time to post.  That, and the fact that I've been lacking inspiration at the moment.  Sometimes I feel like I've written everything there is to write and I would hate to bore you all by repeating myself all the time.  But then, something happens, and all of a sudden I have so much to say.

Case is point:  Yesterday I was browsing my blog stats, as I do every so often.  Part of the data that blogger (the platform on which I am blogging) collects is a series of phrases that readers google which have led them to your blog.  One of the phrases that popped up yesterday was "preemie happy ending".  

My heart skipped a beat and I was instantly brought back to to the night I delivered the boys.  Seamus had gone home to sleep in a real bed (I urged him to go because he spent the previous four nights by my side sleeping in a chair).  My mom had left for the night as well and I had settled in with my laptop and some chocolate.  Something in me desired to search for success stories of babies born too soon.  So I googled and typed, and happened to come upon a post on a message board entitled "Now & Then".  When I opened the thread I was flooded with stories of babies who were born at 23, 24, 25, 26 weeks etc.  All the women who posted had included a photo of their kids at birth and where they are now.  I was comforted by these photos.  

Little did I know, that some of these women would become a source of support for me through our NICU journey and even now, almost 18 months later.  I went to sleep and woke up to be rushed to the OR to deliver my boys.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Someone was at work there.  

My point is that when life gets tough and we find ourselves in scary situations, it is in our nature to seek out people who have experienced similar situations.  I imagine (and this could be totally false) that this person searching for a preemie happy ending may have just delivered a preemie.  Or maybe it's the friend or loved one of someone who just had a preemie.  Who knows.  They may have stumbled upon my blog and actually read some what I've written.  And in all honesty, even though the toughest times are behind us, this person still may have been discouraged by what they saw.

After all, our new normal is a life filled with therapists, doctors and diagnoses.  On average, we have therapy at least once a day (between both boys), specialist appointments 2-3 times a month and so far we have three separate diagnoses.  This can all seem overwhelming to an outsider.  To someone who hasn't lived it.  And to be honest, when we were new to this I was overwhelmed.  

But as the boys have gotten older, we've adjusted to our daily, weekly and monthly routines.  And we have accepted the fact that we will always be a family surrounded by medicine.  And while yes, we have spent our fair share of time sleeping in hospital rooms with our children hooked up to all sorts of machines, we do lead a normal life.  

We work.  We play.  We organize.  We plan.  We sleep.  Sometimes we don't sleep.  We try to raise our kids the best way we know how.  Sometimes Most of the time we even forget about their shunts and CP and hearing loss and developmental delays.  We are a family and we love each other.  We cuddle our babies toddlers, and tickle them.  Play with them and make them laugh.  Show them new things and teach them to wave and clap and all that good stuff that all other typical families do.  And we aren't overwhelmed anymore.  Life is good.  

So, dear "preemie happy ending" seeker.  I hope that the road ahead for you is as easy as it possibly can be.  I pray for your strength and resilience.  I send you hope and faith.  And I hope that one day, you will visit us again and you can share your own happy ending.  Because this is ours.  And while it's just the beginning, a chapter did indeed end.  And we are happy. 

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