To say that today was a difficult day for Robin and I is an understatement; it has been one week since Sienna passed away. We’ve come to terms with it but neither of us will ever be over it, nor should we.
To say that the past three weeks has been emotional would be another huge understatement. We have faced challenge after challenge after challenge. We have faced the untimely birth of our daughters and the untimely death of one of them. We have felt angst and loneliness despite being together and having a tremendous support system. We have been frustrated, angry, sad, scared and lost. We have sat quietly next to plastic boxes with all manner of wires and hoses coming from them so that we could visit our daughters. We have smiled at the sight of Avery and Sienna and then cried at the same sights. We have lost count of the number of trips from our home to the hospital and back. We have learned to celebrate minutes and hours as blessings with days and weeks being nothing short of miracles. We have had to plan a funeral for our daughter. We have joined two clubs that no good parent ever wants to be part of.
Nothing can prepare a person to be a NICU parent. No classes can be taught. No literature would accurately describe the horrors that one would face nor the pain that would be felt. There simply are not words.
But we have also seen some beautiful parts of humanity. We have met a man whose wife passed away unexpectedly while she was pregnant, yet thanks to miracles his daughter was born. This man would have every right to be bitter. Instead of being that way though, he has gone out of his way to help others, all the while visiting his daughter everyday. We have seen neighbors, both past and present, stop by our house with food, cards, and hugs. We have seen my co-workers stand by our front door after we received terrible news, to stop people from coming over at the wrong time. We have seen a friend leave her own surgery and go to the hospital to be with us during a bad day. We have seen friends cease the celebration of their own daughter’s birth to help us with the planning of Sienna’s funeral. We have seen emails from people we have never met offering us words of encouragement and assistance. We have seen wonder.
Robin and I decided to give away our Tiny Warrior bracelets so that people would remember to pray for Avery, but then asked that those that receive them consider giving us $1.60 for each one so that we could donate that money to March of Dimes. In the first two days we have run out of the 250 bracelets that we bought. We have raised over $400 before the first check has arrived, and the offers keep coming. Because of the demand for these bracelets we have ordered 300 more so that everyone who wants a bracelet can have one. I am humbled by the generosity.