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On my last trip I got to chatting with one of the flight attendants. The conversation ended up turning to kids, which it always does with me since I don't have any other sort of social life. It turns out that she had six children. When I showed her the pictures of the girls, some of which where taken in the Nicu, she told me about her first child that was born premature and it was difficult to look at those photos. Her son survived for three weeks in the Nicu before passing on. It was quite some time ago and she kept her composer. I on the other hand felt a huge wave of emotion wash over me as I relived my experience with the Nicu and imagined what it must have been like to lose her son. I was reminded what a miracle it is that our kids are alive.

There have been many times over the last ten months that I have been overcome with emotion, but it has been months since I felt anything quite like this. I thought that I was pretty much past that stage, I mean the twins are doing great, right? So why should I be getting choked up at this point? It was a little embarrassing, but I think I hid it for the most part. I think it was when she told me that she was not allowed to hold her son until they were pretty sure that he was going to die and when she held him he began to improve until they made her put him down again to warm him up. It really took me back to the Nicu where Kari and I experienced many of the same things as she did. The biggest tragedy of all is that the month after he passed away, Surfactant (the drug that helps the babies lungs inflate) became available and probably would have saved his life.

This evening Kari and I were discussing what we really remembered from that first trip to the Nicu to see the kids. For Kari it was mostly the pain from surgery and not being able to hold her kids that she didn't know if they would live or not. That and how red Madison was from all the blood that she had stolen from Jordan. I on the other hand have vivid memories of Jordan. She was so pale, especially compared to Madison who looked like a tomato. Her little ribs rising and falling with such effort to ingest that desperately needed oxygen and I just did see how she could possibly live.

It has been quite a trauma for all of us and I even though things have turned out better than I could have imagined we are still not quite over it. Most of the time we put a pretty happy face on and press on, but there are moments when we are alone...


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