Friday, December 23, 2016

Stories of Hope - Jodie's Story 16

And on Feb. 26, 2009 my beautiful twin sons entered this world….
Every good and perfect gift comes from Above
We are blessed with twins to cherish and love
Born together to grow apart
One in our hands and one in our hearts.

With great joy and great sorrow
Jodie and Geoff Tummers
And our children Zackary and Brycen
Announce the arrival of our twins on February 26, 2009
Born into our hands                         Born into God’s Hands
Cameron Cole Gregory                    Cole Edward Ryan
4 lbs 1.5 oz                                         became an angel Dec. 13/08
16 inches                                            grew his wings Feb. 26, 2009
2:24 p.m.                                             2:25 p.m.
After a very uneventful c-section, our boys entered the world with Cameron protesting loudly...what a blessed sound to our ears. He was (and is) amazing. His apgars were the highest yet of any of our boys and he was the first of our children to REALLY scream at delivery. The screaming was such a great sign of good lung development and he surprised us all by not needing anything but free flow oxygen at birth. He was much smaller than we had thought but his breathing was so much better than anticipated.  Cole had arrived in a deep but revered silence.  The medical team all respected this part of our journey and simply said that baby B was here now. 

My wonderful midwife, Charlotte, was allowed to come to the delivery room with us and she carefully took
Cole and brought him to me wrapped in a blanket.  The doctors were still working on me and I could not handle looking at him in that moment.  I knew that I needed to be focused and more relaxed when I spent my first moments with the still son. 

My parents had come down to support us with the delivery and the arrival of both our boys.  After I was brought to recovery they were allowed to come in to see me.  Shortly after they arrived Cole was brought to us.  He’d been bathed and dressed in a gown that had been donated to us.  It matched a blanket that both our boys were also given.  It had been so important to me to have these items and they are tucked away in a memory box still today. 
Meeting Cole was very tough on us all. Geoff and I as well as my parents had a chance to hold him though only I had chosen to see him.   My medical team had all warned me about how he might look and none of what they said was positive.  Filled with these thoughts, I had carefully uncovered his body and stared at his tiny features, tiny hands and feet.  I won’t lie to you, looking at his battered body, so affected by the passing of time, was very hard on me but I knew it was an important step in closure for me.  Unfortunately the negative words of the doctors and nurses had resonated too much with my brain and I seemed unable to see Cole with my heart.  He didn’t look like a ‘real baby’ and it was so difficult for me to see him and difficult for memories from seeing him to be positive for many, many months.  Seeing his battered body broke my heart all over again and I sobbed and sobbed.  After holding him for a while it was time for me to leave recovery and I gently passed my son to the nurse, reluctant and unsure. She reassured me that I could see him again later and that they would keep him in the ‘warm room’ until we were ready. 

Next I was wheeled on a stretcher into the NICU to meet my tiny and feisty son.  It suddenly struck me how odd it was that I had said hello to my stillborn son before I really even met his twin brother and that my twin sons were now separated forever with the only photos of them together being ultrasound shots.  This brought me such a feeling of sadness but meeting Cameron turned that sadness into joy.  He was so full of life and doing so much better than expected.  It was so amazing to reach my hand into his isolette and touch his body, feel how real and how alive he was. 

Later that night we had our final moments with Cole.  Geoff and I both held him and said our hellos and our goodbyes.  We shared our dreams for his life with him that we wished so much that could have been fulfilled…to see him play with his brothers, to walk hand and hand with his twin, to wear matching clothes and pay tricks on others about which twin was which, to go to school, to play hockey, to ride on the tractor with Grandpa and oh so much more.  And then we cried as we each told him how so very much he was and always will be loved.

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