Twenty fingers, twenty toes,
two sweet babies with cheeks of rose.
Born on the same day, two gifts from above,
lives entwined, two babies to love.”
– Author Unknown
A week ago today, my beautiful sister Jenny gave birth to the little identical angels you see above. She was only 30 weeks pregnant.
I live about eight hours away from her, and when I got the call that she was going into labor this early, I knew there was no way I would make it in time for the birth. And given that she was so early in her pregnancy, I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect, but I’ll admit that my expectations were not good ones. It was so early in the pregnancy – and there were going to be two babies. Both of those factors led me to fear the worst. I was so afraid for my sister.
But – less than an hour after the news that she had arrived at the hospital, I got the call that the babies were here. Big sister Trinity arrived first by c-section weighing in at a whopping 2 pounds, 10 ounces, followed by “little” sister Serenity weighing 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Mommy and babies were all doing wonderful! Of course, since the little ones were so tiny – they were going to have to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, TN. This is about an hour from where their Mommy had to stay for a few more days. I can’t even imagine what my sister went through during the interim while she waited to see her babies. She’s a tough one, I know that.
My car didn’t seem to be able to go fast enough to get me there to see those sweet little babies. I honestly had no idea what to expect as far as how they would look. But when I saw them for the first time, I was absolutely amazed. I knew they’d be small…but that small?? Was that even possible? And they just looked like…well, like babies. Teeny tiny little babies. I guess I expected there to be something “different” about them since they were so early. But nope. They were just perfect little ten-fingered, ten-toed, crying little angels.
It’s hard to put into words how much I felt during those days I was able to visit them in that hospital. First of all, I was simply amazed at the marvels of modern medical equipment. Thank goodness Jenny had those babies during this day and time when all of these medicines and machines are available to us. Thanks to incubators, feeding tubes, IVs, etc., my little nieces slept peacefully in their little isolated shelters. And the nurses were incredible. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let this picture of little Serenity’s nurse’s “uniform” speak for itself:
So, in addition to the amazing medical care my nieces are getting – I was also blown away by the sheer miracle of their existence. Standing there looking down at these little 2-pound humans had a profound affect on me. As I said to my brother, “It’s amazing that these teeny tiny little babies are going to be screwed-up adults like us one day.” (Yeah, I’m known for my deep philosophical quotes in serious moments such as this one.) But think about it – isn’t that crazy!? We were all tiny babies once. Maybe not quite as tiny as my little nieces, but still. Something about that just amazed me when I took the time to think about it. Everything they are going through right now will not even register in their memory one day. They’ll go on to be adults and have babies of their own and live, laugh, love, make mistakes, make amends…just like the rest of us. What a miracle life is, isn’t it? And watching my sister take care of them – wow. That too touched my heart. I remember when Jenny herself was just a tiny little baby (she’s 11 years younger than me). That little tiny person is now the mom of these little tiny persons. Crazy, man. Just crazy.
Here’s a pic I got of her “feeding” little Trinity for the first time (she’s fed breast milk through a feeding tube):
Oh, I could just go on and on and on with this blog, but I guess I better wrap it up. I just wanted to give a shout out to my beautiful new twin nieces and welcome them to this world; to pay tribute to my amazingly strong sister Jenny for being exactly the mommy those two babies needed; and to just make a general observation that life truly is a pretty awesome thing.
Welcome to this crazy ride, Trinity and Serenity.
“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
– Carl Sandburg