As I readied myself for bed last night, watching Robin feed Avery I was reminded of how much we all take for granted every day. When Maddie was born she was a strapping eight pounder. And despite the fact that she had to stay in the hospital for an extra two days due to jaundice, she was very strong from the beginning. When Robin got pregnant I told her to prepare for our baby to be the same way. Then, when we learned that we were having twins, I told her that we were in for double the trouble. But life has a way of throwing curve balls sometimes.
I never thought that I would be the father dealing with micro-preemie daughters and I wish that I had never had to learn many of the terms and procedures that I now know. I was always one that heard the stories and felt bad for those that were enduring the pain, but never imagined that it would happen to me. I wish that it never had. I wish that Robin had not gone into premature labor. I wish that the doctors had been able to stall the labor after it started. I wish that we had not lost Sienna. I wish that Avery had not been through so much. I wish, I wish, I wish. But as my Dad once told me, “you can wish in one hand and spit in the other and then tell me which one fills up the fastest.”
But as I watched the baby nursing I was also reminded of the miracles of the situation. As I wrote before, we were told right before we lost Sienna that we were also going to lose Avery. We were told that she would never have ANY quality of life and that she would NEVER have any normal motor function. It was recommended that we discontinue support.
Unfortunately we did have to make that decision with Sienna. Neither of us has ever shared that on this site and we’ve only told a few people in our real lives. We had watched her little body swell for days due to the lack of urine output, and when it finally got to the point that the nurse told us that she was at the highest dose of pain reliever that was possible, and she was still writhing in pain, that was when we decided that we could not allow her to suffer any longer. I have to remind myself daily, though, that WE did not actually make the decision, all we did was stop her suffering by allowing her to go peacefully.
But looking at Avery we just always had a different feeling. She seemed much stronger and she has continued to prove the NICU staff wrong. She takes all of her feedings by mouth, something we were told would not be possible (and something that our home nurse said surprises her). Avery clearly expresses herself when she is hungry and she sucks on her fingers to pacify herself, both of which I plainly remember being told she would never do. She reaches for things, mainly her mommy or me when she feels like she is going to be dropped. On occassion she rolls over. And during her exercise times I have seen her, more than once, push herself along the floor.
So, as I laid myself down I whispered to Avery that if I could be offered a deal that would erase all of the pain of the past six months, but would also not have her, I would refuse that deal. I then kissed Avery and Robin and I said the first thing that came to my mind. A Perfect Miracle.