In October, Cohen will have been home for a whole year. Time seems to have taken on new characteristics since our boys were born. Sometimes it passes so incredibly fast and yet we have had moments and days that have felt like years. Although it's been a year since we walked finally walked out the NICU doors for good, it feels like I am just now starting to process Cohen's NICU stay.
After the twins were born, we went into survival mode and were somewhat numb to the situation. We knew that we were going through difficult times and we knew that the things we were experiencing with Cohen were not normal newborn happenings, but I'm not sure we really knew. We knew our tiny baby was sick, but we didn't comprehend the complexities of his medical issues and what they meant for him, it just seemed normal at the time. It was such a moment to moment time that anything past one day to the next didn't make sense. All we could handle was one success or trial at a time. It was either a good day (hour) or bad one. We knew, but I'm not sure we truly understood.
Now, nearly a year later, as I look back at all those pictures of Cohen with a tube down his throat and remember how his lungs were bleeding and they weren't sure what it meant for him or why he was having bleeding, it hurts my heart. When I think about how basically didn't pee for 5 days when he was in kidney failure, see the pictures of him with raw, open skin on his face from where they ripped the tape off of his breathing tube the day he turned blue and required CPR, it makes me wonder how? So many people tell us we have been so strong, and I honestly don't know how. Other than to say that we didn't have a choice. How could we walk away from our child in his time of greatest need?
I can say that I'm glad I didn't know. There were days where I think I caught glimpses of how not normal all of this was and how serious the situation was, but I'm thankful that for the most part I didn't really know.
While I remember the fear, I also remember the joy that we felt throughout. Even though we didn't fully comprehend all of the harsh details, we understood how blessed we were to have Cohen. We celebrated every month on his birthday, we cherished the moments we got to hold him for the first time. We had a good few minutes of video from the first time we really saw him moving his little feet and legs because it was so amazing. I was so happy the day that I got to put clothes on Cohen for the first time at over 2 months old. The day that he moved to an open crib was one of the best, because it meant that I got to hold him whenever I wanted.
As I continue to process and look back at those days, I just can't even believe how much Cohen has been through and what a miracle he truly is.