Friday, October 19, 2007

Reunion and Remembering

Tomorrow, the NICU that was home to Max and Zoey will have its annual reunion. We've attended for the past three years, and each year, we see more and more babies who have survived; but oddly fewer and fewer of those from our group. It's an exciting time because we have a chance to catch up with the doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists who were instrumental in our care. And, they, in turn have a chance to see how Max is progressing. We are incredibly fortunate because Max is doing so much better than any of the doctors and nurses thought he would, considering his fragile beginnings...and yes, the brain bleed (a grade 3/4). But, I often wonder where the children are who are NOT doing so well. In the past three years, we have not seen one child in a wheelchair. In fact, all of the children we've seen, with the exception of Max, were moving about appropriately for his or her age. I would imagine that families whose children are not doing so well choose not to attend, and that saddens me because these children deserve celebrating too.

We have a fondness for our NICU (and, yes, I do consider it OUR NICU) because it was the only place outside my womb where our twins were together in life. It is the only place where people outside our immediate family and close circle of friends knew our daughter, Zoey. In fact, besides my husband and myself, the nurses and doctors got to touch her and hold her more often than anyone else. And, because Max was a NICU resident for so long, many of the nurses are now close friends of ours. It is with them that I feel most free to talk about how much I miss our daughter.

Sunday, October 21st, is the 4th anniversary of the day that I was hospitalized after a routine perinatologist appointment because I was dilated and effaced (in preterm labor) and I didn't even know it! Three weeks later, Max and Zoey were born via emergency c-section because of a placental abruption that required immediate delivery. Max's placenta was tearing away and he was going into distress.

So, over the next few weeks, I anticipate being flooded with memories, and emotions that I can't quite place. Then I'll remember what time of year it is....


Anonymous said...

Perhaps those parents whose children have significant disabilities did not get an invitation. We never did.
Or, maybe it is just too difficult to make the trip with children who have many medical needs. That is true for us.

Mel said...

I would love to attend a NICU reunion but we moved out of the area within the first year of our son's birth. I have never been invited.

Enjoy the reunion:)

Special Survivors said...

To Anonymous and Mel,

I wish our NICU did a better job of sending out invitations. We are usually reminded by our NICU nurse friends.

And I completely understand that the trip may be difficult for those with many medical needs, not to mention equipment. I think our NICU needs to make an effort to follow up on all of its graduates.

Thank you both for your comments.

Take good care,

niobe said...

I'm always amazed at how our bodies sometimes have a better memory than our minds.

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