Back when we first decided to start this blog, the idea was that we could keep it for family and friends in order to keep people informed about what’s happening without having to repeat ourselves to every individual we know. We knew that we would be busy, both during the pregnancy and afterwards with three babies, so we figured a blog would let us accomplish the huge task of staying in touch with people but in a fraction of the time. We thought we would have enough happening to fill a couple posts every week.
Sometime around the middle of the spring, we realized we had more readers than just the few expected family and friends. I guess it was the drama of all the hospital visits, surgeries, and scary moments that drew people in. Around that time, Brooke started sending me links to various multiples blogs, which I read with great interest (especially The Hughes Triplets blog, which I poured over every day during our pregnancy and am still fascinated by). But I started to notice that the difference between those blogs and ours was that we were getting comments from total strangers. I know that’s such a silly thing, but in the world of blogs, getting a comment is very exciting (trust me: I kept a poetry blog for the better part of a year and if I got one comment for every ten posts I was beyond thrilled).
Brooke and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support that we’ve gotten from readers of this blog. We really didn’t know that our little family’s story had spread across the country and even abroad (Germany? Australia? Really???). I honestly don’t know why so many people care. Let’s face it: we live in a cruel world where every day we see that most people just don’t give a damn about anyone but themselves. But this blog seems to be an example of just the opposite. People care. People care about complete strangers that they’ve never met and never will meet. That you’ve chosen to become a part of our story is something Brooke and I will be grateful for for the rest of our lives. We’ll never be able to repay the kindness we’ve been shown, so instead we will do our best to make sure our children feel all of the love that you have all shown to us.
On that note, we are trying our best to make arrangements for a fitting farewell to our beautiful little Annaleigh. We’re going to have a small, private funeral for her on Wednesday. We both feel that something private is more appropriate for her, and we don’t think that we can emotionally handle a large crowd right now. But we also want her to feel the love that has been given to her from all of you, and so we are going to be printing out every single one of the comments from the last few posts to place with her in her tiny pink and white casket. We want her to take that love with her to wherever she has gone to.
We’re asking that anyone who feels so inclined to make a donation to the St. Peter’s charity. Anyone who has been following our story since before the babies were born knows that we 100% credit the doctors and nurses at St. Peters University Hospital for saving their lives. When Brooke was 21 weeks pregnant, we were about to lose all three babies but they operated and were able to give them another four weeks, without which they would have all been lost. And when they were born 15 weeks early, the staff in the St. Peters NICU saved their lives again. The nurses cared for Annaleigh (and continue to care for Lily and Charlie) as though she were their own child. They cried right with us in her final moments. And Dr. Hiatt and his staff of nurse practitioners (especially Jodi, Diane, and Marilyn) have made sure that anything and everything is done that can be done for our children, and they do it with patience and love and never make us feel like just another family. Our babies and so many others are given nothing but the best possible care by all these people. If you are so inclined, you can make a donation in honor of our beautiful Annaleigh to:
St. Peter’s Foundation
For the NICU
254 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
We spent a lot of time at the NICU today, finding comfort being with Lily and Charlie and among the doctors and nurses who knew Annaleigh best. Being there is really what we need right now, and both Lily and Charlie seemed to know that. We held both multiple times today and they were great for us. Both are gaining weight and eating a ton. Charlie has been consistently getting his oxygen from the nasal cannula and doing quite well on it. Lily goes on the cannula when she comes out for visits and is much happier without the bulky CPAP tubes. She’s also started enjoying the pacifier a great deal. She’s even taken to holding it herself, which is just about the cutest thing to see ever.
We find peace when we’re with Charlie and Lily and we know that they will be our comfort in the rough days ahead. We aren’t sure how well we cope during the trying tasks we’ve got in front of us (viewing burial plots, seeing an obituary, etc.) so forgive us if we don’t post an update every night. But stay with us, because Charlie and Lily will need your love and support to help them grow big and strong so they can make their sister proud.
Lily's "Daddy Loves Me" outfit. Oh, how true that is.
Lily is loving the pacifier lately, especially when she gets to enjoy it while her mommy is holding her.
Brooke had absolutely no idea that Lily was looking at her when I was taking this picture. It was very cute.
Charlie is just loving life right now with his nasal cannula. He was never quite comfy on the CPAP or BiPAP because the tubes were so big and were irritating his tiny nose. This is much more to his liking.
Charlie is up to 28 ml of fortified breast milk for his feedings. That's almost an ounce, which will be a big milestone for him.