Remember the day you found out you were pregnant? Remember that excited "Oh my God" moment? Do you remember the reaction of your significant other? Do you remember the speechless feeling?
Now, think back, do you remember the day you saw your baby on the ultrasound for the first time? Remember the sound of their heartbeat? Remember growing, and feeling the first kick, the first hiccup? Do you remember the day you went into labor? Surrounded by family? Do you remember the birth, and then moments later do you remember seeing your baby and holding them for the first time? Do you remember?
Remember that feeling...that "I am going to protect you, provide for you, and love you for the rest of your life....no matter what" feeling?
Although my first pregnancy was way off of the expected norm, I too remember these feelings. I remember like it was yesterday our first ultrasound....leaving breathless, speechless and pardon the language but scared shitless. I remember making phone calls to announce that we were not only expecting one little Hargis, but TWO. I remember the constant wave of sickness I felt, the utter disgusted feeling I had anytime I spotted or smelled chicken. I remember the first kicks from each baby, I remember sneaking in the back at work to Doppler the babies heartbeats. I remember the labor, and from that moment on I remember all the bad things, every ache, heartbreak, obstacle, and just utter horrible days we then faced day in and day out of our 141 day hospital stay.
But what I never talk about is the people I remember! I remember the NICU nurses and respiratory therapist whom not only took care of my babies, but who fell in love with our babies.
They were my hands when I couldn't hold Blake.
They were my eyes and ears when I had to be away from my sons bedside.
They were my sons caretakers, my sons life savers!
Not only did they take care of my son, but they took care of me. They held my hand when it needed held, they hugged me when I needed a hug and they sat and listened when I just wanted to scream!
They somehow would know when all I needed was for them to lift the lid of my sons incubator for 1 minute so I could lean in and give him his first kiss.
They would let my husband play blake his first lullaby on the mandolin at his bedside.
They would send us a text message of Blake (they will remain nameless) even though technically against policy, so that we did not worry when we had to travel back home for our son Conor's funeral.
They made us special signs, cards, and scrapbook pages on special days.
They included my son on their fun holiday celebrations...for example, half Christmas!
They would even give us a few minutes (as we acted ignorant to it) before telling us we had too many people at the bedside, even though they knew we knew better!
These women were a part of our lives for five months, and I don't know if I've ever taken the time to write on how much they meant to me and my family! The emotional strength they have to have, to come to work day in and day out in such a highly emotional situation for most families is incredible! So to the girls at Deaconess that cared for my sweet baby Conor before his passing, I thank you so much for working as hard as you did, and those that took care of Blake and allowed my whole family to sleep at his bedside for 24 hours when we swore he wouldn't make it through the night....I thank you!
And the same goes for my Riley girls! Oh lord, seriously you put up with my emotional high strung self for 4 1/2 months and laughed with me, cried with me, and were just amazing through it all! The surgeries, the bad days, the good days, really you were there for it all! I can't believe it's been over a year, and that in 6 months my son will be two! I know he would not be alive if it wasn't for the spectacular care we received from both hospitals! So, for what you do, from my husband and I we love you and can not ever begin to express how much you did for our little family! I don't have pictures of all of you, but you know who you are! Thank you so much for doing the jobs you did, and that some of you still do....the impact you had on our lives will never go away!
You all are AMAZING!!