Over the last couple of weeks I have gone through one of the hardest times in my life, mentally, physically and mostly emotionally.
There were many times when I wanted to give up. But through everything, I have been completely humbled by the generosity of our family and friends, who sent cards, flowers, care packages, support and understanding and most importantly prayers. Words will never be able to express how sincerely grateful Chris and I are to each and every one of you – we would have never made it through this alone.
A special thanks to:
My boss Jackie, Bridge for Kids staff and kids, and all my co-workers in the District office - thank you for all the cards, letters, prayers, support and care packages, but mostly for understanding and thinking of me during this tough time.
Aunt Angie, Auntie Chris and Grandma Rainbow – for being the “gofers” for anything that I needed while I was in the hospital - pajamas, slippers, robes, a breast pump and preemie clothes for Lily. I thank you.
To Steve - for being a “single dad” to Mason the last month while Billie was at the hospital with me day and night.
To Billie, Steve, My Mom and Chris – who tried to use humor every day just to see me smile, and hopefully to help me forget for a minute about what was happening.
To Billie – for being the best sister ever, coming to visit every day, giving up endless days and nights with Mason and Steve, just to sit in a boring hospital room with me, sometimes when I wasn’t even making any sense. For emotionally supporting my mom, who I know cried almost as much as I did. For helping me with pumping my breast milk when I was on Magnesium Sulfate and didn’t know what was going on. For teaching Chris everything he needed to know to help me pump, and for giving up her first Mother’s Day with Mason to spend it with me in the ICU.
To My Mom – who rushed to my house on April 21st to rush me to ER, and who has been by my side ever since, taking unpaid time off of work just to be there everyday. She spent nights on a mattress, on the floor next to my hospital bed on the nights Chris could not be there. she spent days with me when Chris went back to work and she was always there to hug me, tell me how strong she thought I was and tell me it was okay to cry.
To Chris – I knew when I married him, I got really lucky, but I never knew until all this happened, just how lucky I got. He is my rock, and he never let his Kite fly away, even when I wanted to. He went back and forth between the hospital and the house to make sure the cats were getting fed and things were getting taken care of at the house. He listened to me on the phone as I listed off things I needed from the house and ran up and down the stairs, just to try to pack my bags. He spent endless nights on a cot that was too small for him, his feet hanging over the edge. He got up to help me to the bathroom, when I was finally able to go myself. He listened to me cry myself to sleep almost every night. He got a “crash course” in being a father, tried to learn about preemies, and knows more about breastfeeding, pumping and storing than I do. He helped me pump when I was too drugged to even know what I was doing and cleaned the bottles, labeled them and ran them down to the NICU for Lily. He visited Lily when I couldn’t and told her how much I loved her. And most importantly, he always believed that I could do it.
And finally To My daughter Lily – Who has shown me that the greatest gifts in life come in the smallest packages. Who was with me every step of the way fighting the same battles. Who gave me a reason everyday to hang on a little longer. Who has shown me how deeply I can love. And who is now showing me that she is the strongest little girl I know, fighting everyday in the NICU to be strong enough to come home.
Through everything that I have been through - a blood clot in my arm, Preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, a seizure during my c-section, two blood transfusions, becoming allergic to heparin, physical therapy, grief counseling and seeing my baby in the NICU hooked up to lots of machines – nothing was as hard as leaving the hospital on Thursday without Lily in my arms.
Thank you to everyone for all that you have done, I will never ever be able to really thank you enough and show you how grateful I am. Please continue to pray for Lily as she fights to get stronger and bigger every day, so she can come home soon.