Wednesday, January 6, 2016

3 Years of Thank Yous

Thank you.  I can't say it enough.  There are people who will read this that I want to thank and there are countless others that will never see this. 

To our OB that delivered James and Penelope, thank you.  Thank you for being there to deliver our son and daughter.  For listening to their tiny heart beats with your stethoscope and letting us know they were still alive.  For carefully and quickly getting them cleaned up so we could have as many minutes as possible with them before they died.  Thank you for asking us what their names were.  Thank you for telling us how beautiful our son and daughter were. To our Labor and Delivery nurse, thank you.  Thank you for giving us time to snuggle our precious babies.  Thank you for carefully dressing them in their tiny gowns and wrapping them in blankets. Thank you for taking pictures of them, both dressed and undressed, knowing that those pictures would be all that we would have to look back on to remember what they looked like.  Thank you to the volunteers that made those tiny gowns, hats, booties and blankets.  For knowing that parents giving birth to a one pound baby does not come prepared with micro preemie clothes.  Thank you to our families.  My parents and sister that stayed in the delivery room with us the whole time.  Thank you for staying to meet your grandchildren and niece and nephew.  To my husband's parents that drove as fast as they could from out of state to be with us and meet their grandson and granddaughter.  Thank you to our friends that took in Gwenevere for the day while we faced the hardest time in our lives.  Thank you to the nurse that cared for us in the Special Care Unit.  For letting us keep James and Penelope in our room all night.  For being patient while I held them both one last time before being wheeled off to be cremated.  Thank you for calling me at home the next day to let me know I had left my bra at the hospital and that you would hold onto it for me if I wanted to pick it up.  Thank you for understanding that my lost bra was the last thing on my mind and I couldn't go back to that hospital.  Thank you for every friend and family member that sent us a card or flowers or e-mails.  Thank you for letting us know that we were not alone in our grief.  Thank you for every prayer that was said and every candle that was lit for our family.  For every person that brought our family a meal, thank you.  Thank you for knowing that grocery shopping and meal planning were not going to be happening for a while at our house.  Thank you for keeping us fed.  Thank you for understanding that thank you cards did not get sent. Thank you to my husband's coworkers and boss.  Thank you for giving my husband all the time off that he needed.  For bringing heaping bags of groceries to our house and sending dinners.  Thank you to everyone that attended Penelope and James' funeral.  For sitting with us in grief and acknowledging our profound loss.  Thank you for the friends that visited us during the days and weeks following our loss.  Thank you for showing up and being there.  Your presence meant so much.  Thank you for asking if we wanted to talk about the tragedy that had unfolded.  Thank you for listening to our story when we did want to talk and thank you for understanding our silence when we didn't. Thank you for your kind words at a time when you really don't know what to say.

Thank you for the ongoing support.  Thank you for not being afraid to say our baby's names.  For attending our one year memorial.  For knowing that the grieving period never ends, it just changes.  Thank you for donating money to charity in honor of our twins.  Thank you for joining us at various walks and fundraisers.  Thank you for the get togethers and play dates that I often showed up to with red puffy eyes from crying.  Thank you for acknowledging that James and Penelope are still part of our family.  Thank you for realizing that Victoria is not a replacement child.  Thank you to my expansive medical team that got me through my pregnancy with Victoria.  To the nurses that gave me progesterone shots every week.  To the Nurse Practitioner that recognized my fear and called me at home after hours with my test results.  To the ultrasound techs that checked my cervical length every other week.  To the nurse in Labor and Delivery that sat with me in triage for almost two hours at 2am while we waited for an ultrasound machine because I was alone and having a panic attack.  To my parents who were always there to watch Gwenevere during my countless appointments.  Thank you to everyone that has liked and commented on my blog posts.  Thank you for letting me pour out my guts when I felt like my world was crashing in.  Thank you to my amazing support group.  To the strongest group of parents I know.  Thank you for sharing your stories of loss and listening to mine. 

Most of all thank you to my husband, my partner in grief.  Thank you for grieving with me.  For being strong when I couldn't be, but also showing your own grief so that I knew I wasn't alone.  Thank you for always taking my side when it felt like nobody understood the nightmare that I was living.  Thank you for your unfaltering support and love.  Without you, I don't know where I would be.  Thank you for helping me gather enough courage to try again.  For listening to every worry I had and both comforting me and acknowledging my fears.  Thank you for being the best husband and dad that I know.