To My Husband, Who Carried Our Family When Our Twins Were Born Prematurely
I will make sure our boys always know how happy you were when you saw two heartbeats for the very first time. I was scared to have four kids, but you told me it was the best thing that could have happened. You made me believe we could do this. You made me believe we were meant to do this.
I will make sure they always know how hard you work so I can stay home. How important it was to you that I rested and my body and didn’t have any stress from the very beginning. After working for about 17 years you told me my only job could be to take care of our babies and you would take care of the rest. And you did.
I will make sure our boys always know their grandpa, Papou. The beginning of this year brought tremendous loss and such pain when you lost your father to cancer. Somehow, you managed to stay so strong for us and for everyone around you. You were so proud to know you could continue his legacy and name your son after him. You took on the role of your father in business and with your family. Helping everyone just as he did. His colleagues and friends told you how proud of you he would be — I believe he is.
I will make sure they always know it was you who also wanted our other son to be named after my dad. That it meant so much to you that he is still around and could enjoy it. You said that honoring papa was just as important as honoring your father.
I will make sure they always know how you never gave up on them. When the doctors told us they had “multiple congenital defects” you never pushed me to terminate. You gave them every chance and supported me on my every decision. When I cried feeling lost, you held me and took care of our girls. And when I found Dr. Quintero, without any hesitation you were the one to say, “Let’s just go.” I was so concerned with traveling but you made it seem like it was no big deal and booked a flight that night.
I’ll make sure they always know how you would come home from work and then start “work” at home. When my body was in too much pain to walk you gave baths , cleaned up dinner and tucked our girls in with hugs and music. You rubbed my back for as long as it took for me to fall asleep, too.
I’ll make sure they always know how you were romantic even while we were going through this situation. You surprised me with a few nights at the shore club while we were in Miami. Not many people get to recover from surgery at the Shore Club. Might not have been the most ideal baby moon but I loved every second of us being together.
I’ll make sure they always know how we traveled back and forth to Florida — you having to work in hospital rooms, cars and hotels. You did it all without any complaints, only worrying about the well being of me and our babies.
I’ll make sure they always know you saved my life. After the surgery I couldn’t breathe. I was unable to think clear. The nurses said the oxygen level on the screen was not that bad and they were just going to watch me. You begged them to give me oxygen and after a minute of back and forth they did. That night the nurse noticed when she took it off the babies heart beats stopped. The next morning when they checked the oxygen in my blood it was only 60. My chest X-ray was filled with fluid and inflammation. The doctor called rapid response and put me in the ICU and told me I may need to be on a ventilator. I know you were scared but you didn’t show it. If I didn’t have the oxygen on that night I know our babies would have suffered damage. For the next few weeks you slept on a cold couch and eventually got an upgraded to a recliner chair. You ate Subway every night and only left me if I wanted you to grab something for me. The nurses liked you so much and sneaked you to another floor to shower. You didn’t want to leave me. You made me feel safe — you kept our boys safe.
I’ll make sure they always know how you did everything you could to calm me during delivery. I was so nervous. You kept saying, “Just look at me,” and in your eyes I found some calmness. You ran to take pictures of our boys to show me because I wasn’t allowed to hold them or see them. You wiped my tears as I laid there and again made me believe everything would be OK.
I’ll make sure they know how much courage it took the first time you touched their tiny bodies. There were tubes and wires, beeps and noises — you were so scared you would hurt them. It took a few days and then just like that you held their hands. I’ll never forget your smile.
I will make sure our boys always know your strength and your love — they will know what you did for them and our family! I’ll make sure they know they are the luckiest boys because you are their daddy.
Follow this journey at Peter & Maurice.
Getty image by Avril Morgan