Dear Ryan & Quinn on Your 1st Birthday

Dear Ryan and Quinn,

Our precious angels. One year ago you made your way into this world and our lives were changed forever in an instant. You have brought so much joy, laughter, and love into our hearts and we will never be the same. I don't think your Daddy and I knew we could possibly love this much. Some days I look at you and my heart just explodes into a million pieces. That's how much I love you.

I don't remember you not being here. You are my daily companions, my endless source of amusement (and bemusement!), my sweet babies. And you will always be my babies. Even when you are 20, 30 years old. Because when I look at you, I can still remember the tiny little things you were. Precious and perfect in every way. And perfectly little :) Ryan, you were the cuddly "bruiser" at 5lbs, 2oz and Quinn, although tiny at 3lbs 13oz, you were my fiesty angel from the start.

I remember everything about those days right before you came. I remember the doctor's appointment when Dr. K said it was time. You were running out of room and your fluid was very low. He asked me if I had eaten anything that day (ummm, hello - I was 36 weeks pregnant, of course I had!). I told him I wasn't quite ready --- if we could make it one more day, allow us to get family in town, then that would be my preference. And with that, your birthday "day" was set. June 3rd, 2010. And even though we knew that day was coming, your Daddy and I were still filled with all sorts of anxious expectation. That night, June 2nd, was almost surreal. We went out to a big dinner, knowing I wouldn't be eating for a little while. And we came home, packed our bags and tried to be calm. Sleep was fitful.

June 3rd - you weren't scheduled to arrive until 6pm. So your Daddy went onto work while I tried to fill my day with little tasks, but my mind kept drifting. I was what you could call, "a hot mess". I was so excited to meet you, but scared at the same time. I was scared about the delivery. I was scared praying that both of you would be okay. And I was preparing myself for the fact that both of you would likely go to the NICU and it might even be an extra day before I could hold you.

Finally, 3pm came and it was time to head to the hospital. God, I can remember that drive like it was yesterday. It was pouring rain, so we took the back way. I rode with your Gigi and Daddy followed behind us. I don't think I talked much. I had too much in my head. Once we got to the hospital, everything moved like clockwork. But there was A LOT of waiting. Finally, at 6:30, they took me to the delivery room. They had to take me by myself first so they could give me the epidural. I remember thinking I should be more nervous about that, but I really wasn't. The pain wasn't too bad and the doctors were great. However, I started having a mild panic attack because not feeling anything from the chest down is a little scary! So they let your Daddy come in the room early and hold my hand.

And then it was time. I remember them asking me if I felt anything. I didn't. Thank God. I squeezed your Daddy's hand so hard that I am surprised it didn't break in two. I just kept looking at him, almost in amazement about what was about to happen.

Ryan, you came first. They whisked you out so fast that I couldn't even hear your first cry until I finally heard it from the hallway. Tears of joy. Then, Quinn, your turn. From you I heard this little whimper. I remember asking your Daddy if that was you making that noise. He didn't know. But I knew it was you and from that point on, I knew you were going to be ok. Just like your brother, you went straight out to the hallway to the NICU team that was waiting for you. (They were set up in the hallway for quick transport to TCH).

I remember the doctor asking me if I wanted anything for anxiety while they sewed me up. Ummm yes, please. Your daddy was taken out to see you guys and then was able to bring pictures of both of you back to me. Quinn, a little bit later, you were wheeled in your little incubator over to me and I remember I kept saying over and over, "I can't see her, I can't see her. Can you turn it a little bit?". And finally I saw you. My precious little thing. Covered in wires, but it didn't matter. Ryan, you were brought to me all wrapped in blankets and I got to see you for literally a quick 30 seconds.

After that, it's kind of a blur. Your daddy went to TCH with Quinn -- and then surprise, surprise, as I was sitting in recovery, trying to fathom what had just happened, Ryan was brought to me. He was pronounced small but 100% healthy. He would be staying with us. I must have been a little bit drugged out because when the nurse said, "Here, you can keep him.", I said, "Forever?". Ummm yes. Forever. My forever babies.

The next 7 weeks were much of another blur of exhaustion, excitement, adrenaline, and emotion. Quinn, you were still in the hospital recovering from some prematurity of apnea. And then it was your turn to come home. Your homecoming was just as emotional for us as your brother's. And we were finally a family of four under one roof. And it hasn't been the same since. Thank God for that.

Quinn & Ryan, to look back at pictures, I just marvel at how much you have grown and changed. From sleepy little newborns and sleepless nights for us all, to playful and energy-charged days, and sleep-filled nights. You are both such joys. Such happy babies. Such gifts from God. We count our blessings every night that we are allowed to be your earthly parents. What an honor and a privilege. We are so proud of both of you and love you with all of our hearts.

Happy 1st Birthday to my babies. May you always know how much you are loved by both of us.


Your Mommy and Daddy

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Lyric said...

Happy Birthday Ryan and Quinn!!!! What a special day it is going to be!!

Tiffanie said...

This is such a sweet post. Thanks for sharing with us. Happy Birthday R and Q!

Eugenie said...

What a super post for Quinn and Ryan to read as they get older! They will certainly feel all the love you and Matt have shared with them over this first year. I remember well how tiny they were that evening in the hallway right after delivery! What a wonderful first year....Happy Birthday to my beautiful grandbabies...Gigi loves you!

Kristin and John said...

Such a perfect post. It's been so fun to read your blog over the past year and watch them grow!

Lisa Johnson said...

Happy Birthday, R and Q! We love you both!

Anonymous said...

I'm late in posting (we've been a little busy ;-), but happy birthday Ryan and Quinn! What a beautiful rememberance post :-)