Saturday, June 19, 2010

NICU Reunion

If you can't go to the NICU reunion, sometimes you have to bring the NICU reunion to you!

The NICU is a weird place. You fall in love with the babies that you "meet" there, though you often know very little about them. Because of privacy issues, medical fragility, germ containment, grief concerns, the tenuousness of life, unexpected transfers and discharges, the insanity of the NICU roller coaster, and other potential social land mines , it can be challenging to make "friends" in the NICU.

But friends we did make! I met some lovely mommies during our NICU journey and we have all become friends through the wonderful world of blogging. Our babies were all at the same hospital, preemies born within 2 months of each other. In fact, most of the babies were at both hospitals together, if you can believe that. Darbi was the only one of the group that we had seen in person since discharge... until this week!

Meet: the miracle critters!

From left to right: Whit, his twin sister Reese, Crew, Darbi, and Paizlei.

And another photo op, because you can never have too many with this much cuteness under one roof.
This is Paizlei. She was born at 33 weeks. She's a darling little doll, the mover and shaker of the group. She didn't spend any of her NICU days at Primary's, but we don't hold it against her, ha ha! I met her mother, Heather, in the parent lounge at UVRMC between pumping sessions. I had always been curious about the little baby so memorably named "Paizlei" and was glad to finally find out about this little mystery girl!

Heather found me online after their discharge. She also found Kelli (Reese and Whit's mom) and put us back in touch with each other. She is also responsible for spearheading this awesome NICU reunion. We held it at my house because I love to cook and I make no bones about it. Mmm..... ziti. Heather's family lives a few hours south of here, so we are very grateful they made the sacrifice to come up to spend a memorable afternoon with us.
This familiar little face belongs to Darbi. Darbs has been Crew's longtime girlfriend, and first love. Crew and Darbi had neighboring isolettes at Primary's during our final stretch. We couldn't believe the bizarre coincidence that landed us right next to the little 23-week miracle that Crew had given up his Giraffe isolette for just a few weeks previously in another hospital.

We loved Clint and Audrey immediately, but we were convinced our friendship would be short-lived (at best) once they were eye-witnesses to the crazy-woman carnage and havoc I wreaked at Crew's bedside all over our surgeon. Fortunately, they found the colorful and dramatic demonstration of my fury to be very entertaining. And the rest is history.

This sweet little girlie is Reese. She and her twin brother Whit were born at 32 weeks. I met their mommy Kelli at Primary's when Reese had been transferred up there for surgery. We met in a parent luncheon and had the twin connection as well as the UVRMC connection. Mommy and Daddy were split between both hospitals and our visiting shifts rarely overlapped at either hospital. It's a miracle we were even reconnected again after discharge. Thanks again, Heather!
This little tiger is Whit. I met him when we returned to UVRMC the first time, when we were between major surgeries, around Christmas time. He was still waiting for his sister to return from Primary's. I kept sneaking little restrained peeks at him, around the corner from Crew. They put you in these group care rooms together and then expect you to constantly avert your eyes from the other little babies in the room. It's not always possible, especially when you feel a connection to the little miracle.
This is Kelli, Reese and Whit's mom. She is lovely, courageous, sincere, and brave; she stuck loyally with me through the dark "I hate intact twins and their moms" moments, reaching out to me boldly to offer her love and support at a time when other twin moms would have justifiably shied away and tried to blend into the background. She also makes an obscenely delicious angel food cake fruity dessert thing that I can't stop thinking about...
Paizlei and Crew playing together
The NICU Reunion Obligatory Group Photo.
How did you think we took that picture? Timer? Nope!!! We called in our own photographers.
This is Tate, Whit and Reese's older brother. He is actually a few months younger than Tanner, but Kinley has adopted him as her new best friend. They have a love for animals and perler beads in common. What more do you need?

It was a spectacular play date. All of these little miracles have already overcome so much in their brief little lives. It's so good to see them all looking so healthy and happy. I love these babies and I love their mommies. I truly value the support they have been to me along the way. And, while I'm at it, I'll mention that I'm really grateful for blogging and the strength it has been to me over the years and the unique relationships that have come into my life because of it.

The end.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

And thank you, Megan for the support you are to me, too. :)
It means SO MUCH. Really.