Raph's first meeting with Colin. The nurses let him touch Colin's feet in a mess of wires.
Once when I had a doctors appointment and I had Colin with me who was 8 months old. Since we were at the hospital we stopped by the NICU to say 'Hi' to the nurses and show him how well he was doing. It seemed like a bust because I didn't really know any of the nurses that were working, save one. Then on my way out I saw a couple who had come from the NICU. I said Hi to them and asked if their baby was in the NICU. They said yes and their little girl was the exact gestational age as Colin and had similar problems. Colin was in a stroller playing with his feet and smiling at them. They both dropped to their knees when I told him that he had been in the exact same place 8 months prior. They started crying, on their knees smiling at Colin and holding his hands. They thanked me repeatedly for talking to them and giving them hope. The man hugged his wife and sort of whispered into her hair, "See, she's going to be just fine. She's going to be just like him some day. It will all be ok." Right then I knew that was my moment, that was what we were meant for. We were meant to be on that elevator, on that day, at that time to give that couple hope on their darkest day.
This was Colin at 8 months, around the same time that we saw couple in the hospital. Insidentally he's wearing the hat that was given to him in the NICU that was way to big for his tiny head at the time and had to be taped in the back so it would stay on.
Now, one of my dearest friends had her baby last week and he's struggling in the NICU. I got to talk to her on Saturday for a bit and she told me about her baby and how he was doing. I gave her a little advice, shared with her my experiences in a new light and we even laughed a bit. It felt good to be there for her even though I can't be *there* for her since she now lives in Ohio.
She sent me this email today: Has Marcella Jr. settled down yet? I'm thinking about you and your baby all the time. Also your advice and encouraging words have been helping me through my toughest moments and have really given me some perspective on this whole experience that no one else could give me. I'd be a lot worse off right now if it weren't for you.
That right there makes me want to cry. I was just being her friend but I helped her because of what I've been through. I don't feel like I've done any grand deed I was just talking to her for a few minutes. Its in moments like these that you gain a little perspective for yourself and your circumstance. It helps you to see the good in the bad...even if it is over 2 years later. I forget sometimes about Colin's beginnings. Looking at him now you would never know he was a struggling preemie. Now he's an active, healthy and mischievous 2 year old who sometimes makes me crazy but we are so very very lucky that he is the way he is.
Colin this past weekend with sprinkles on his face and enjoying life.
All that said, I'm content with one story to share and I'd be perfectly happy to have no more stories to share with anyone at any time. Got that baby? Stay put! And quit giving me gray hairs! A good colorist costs money!