Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our Daughter is Gone - Woo Hoo!

Our daughter is gone for ten days. Nonna took her to Texas last Friday and will bring her back next Monday. I’m sure I’ll miss her eventually, but it’s been heaven so far. Mornings are completely without drama (unless you count the boys clinging to my legs when I drop them off at daycare—something that never happens when Chiara is there to play with them).

Bedtime for the boys is 7:15 and then Matt and I have the rest of our nights to ourselves. Last night Matt went to the daycare board meeting (during which they watch your kids AND feed them dinner) while I got sushi to go. When he and the boys got home, we put them right to bed and ate makimono by candlelight. It felt like a date night. (And then he stayed up for another four hours studying)

Meanwhile Chiara is doing puzzles and playing games and giving ballet performances. Tomorrow she will fly to Austin with my dad & stepmom to visit Jackie, Jeff, Liz, Maria, & David. Sunday she flies back to EP. Monday she flies home.

It’s true that it’s quieter (and cleaner) without the force of nature that is Chiara Noelle, just as life is always quieter and cleaner without little people around. But quieter and cleaner doesn’t mean better. After all, laughter and singing always trump quiet. It’s hard to remember what merits messes may have, though. Perhaps they are just the byproducts of playing just like krypton is a byproduct of uranium extraction.

At any rate, quiet and clean is nice and refreshing for the moment. Pretty soon “quiet and clean” will become “dull” and by that time Chiara will be on a plane back to visit us.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Last Letter

This Thursday is a NICU Partnership Council meeting. I know because they emailed the meeting agenda to me. They emailed the meeting agenda to me because I conveniently forgot to tell them that I wasn't going to be on the Partnership Council anymore. So I sat down and wrote a  letter. And I cried. I cried because they have helped me so much and I cried because I cannot wait to get outta there and I cried because there are things I cannot say.

But here's what I did say. It goes in the mail today and I hope they get it by Thursday.

(If you've been following along in the blog you might like to know that I did "First Thing Monday" back in August, tell Alison, the nurse manager and friend who brought me on  board, about my decision to leave. We talked for about an hour. A week later I talked to the Family Advisory Council in person. I just haven't said anything to the Partnership Council people yet.)

Dear Ann, Pam, & Jack,
(and Peggy & Alison & Nicole & Rita & Luella & Alex & Mina & everyone else who make time for Partnership Council)

About six weeks ago, an amazing thing happened. The boys--25 wkrs who will be 2 at the end of December--"caught up." Suddenly they were climbing ladders (and bookcases). They were stacking blocks and kicking balls, drawing on walls and saying ,"MINE!" They aren't "micro preemies" anymore.

I am so eager to embrace my new identity as "Just a Mom of Twins Who Climb Bookcases" and so unexpectedly relieved to shed my identity as a "Micro Preemie Mom." It's like our family grew wings. Sadly, grasping our "present" means (at least for right now) leaving the Partnership Council.

It makes me so sad to write this card, even though I know you folk understand better than anyone. I loved being a part of the council. I learned so much from all of you--your strength as a group, your collaborative spirit, your thorough problem-solving (even problem-solving how best to solve problems). You are truly integrative, inclusive, and compassionate. You bring your "nurses' hearts" to the table (even those of you who are social workers, pharmacists, and doctors!) Thank you for this last year as a member of your inspirational team.

I look forward to the day I can remember my days at the NICU without reliving them. And when I can, I hope you'll still have some empty seats at the table.

With deep regret,
and even deeper appreciation & gratitude,