Did it go by fast?

Did it go by fast?

That’s what everyone asks when we tell them London is turning one this week.

Like all new parents we have been very busy this last year. That’s what happens when you have kids. Life speeds up as you nurture another life. Everything takes longer from getting out the door to eating a meal to loading a car full of stuff for just six hours away from the house.

Time goes by quickly when everything takes longer. Maybe that is why everyone seems to have that feeling that the first year flies by.

But the answer is no. This year did not go by fast.

We just visited the NICU on Tuesday. We saw a few nurses who took care of London. The front desk staff recognized us as we were walking up the hallway toward them. “You guys look familiar,” one of them said, motioning at my height. IMG_2912

Standing there while London smiled and giggled at everyone who stopped to say hi, I had this overwhelming feeling of gratefulness. To think of London’s days in the NICU I feel like I need to look much further back in time than one year. Sometimes it feels like two years ago. Sometimes it feels like it never happened because that time was so different than what our day-to-day routine is like now.

Walking those familiar hospital hallways, making that familiar request to get through to the NICU, seeing the nurses, and hearing the distant beeps and alarms from the monitors in the NICU pods reminded me of how routine the NICU became. I forget it, but this place was our home for 109 days. Our house was just where we slept, but our lives unfolded in this little corner of the hospital.

I don’t know if you have ever had to visit your baby in the NICU. If you haven’t, let me tell you those days don’t pass quickly by. Since we almost spent a third of London’s first year in the NICU, a third of that year dragged on with countless questions, tests, consultations, laughs, smiles, and tears.

When I woke up this morning I glanced at my iPhone like I always do. The little white icon for the calendar app displayed “29.” I froze and stared at the number. London was not born until the 30th, but the 29th, January 29th, is when her early arrival started. To me, January 29, 2014 was the beginning of a miracle, so it holds a very special place in my heart, second only to January 30, 2014.

One year ago tonight we exited the elevator on the 4th floor. Our hearts remained there until May 19th. The time in between felt more like a year, which also feels like it took place years ago.

No, it did not go by fast.

6 thoughts on “Did it go by fast?

  1. Thank you for this post.
    My son was born at 28 weeks and spent 65 days in NICU.
    He will be one the end of april.
    His first NICU follow up is next week.
    I’m nervous and excited…its going to feel like a strange home coming.

  2. Happy 1st Birthday to London! Seems to me she may be a two-birthday-a-year little girl. January 30, 2014 is of course her birth day. But she needed the months until May in the NICU to finish all the growing and developing she needed had she been full term. Pondering this I realized that right now she might be more comparable to a 7th month old, and May 2015 will be more like a traditional developmental one year birthday. In any case, Happy Birthday Miss London. You have brought lots of love to your family over the past year.

  3. I have been thinking all day about the phone ringing this night a year ago when we were sound asleep. Groggy and confused we listened to you tell us Kate was in distress, the docs were monitoring her and you would keep us posted. We hung up the phone, prayed through our tears thinking how can a baby live at 26 weeks? And we called her Grace not knowing you’d give her that moniker as her middle name. Your next call came to say Kate was about to undergo an emergency C-section. More tears and ongoing prayer. I remember my heart was beating so hard for what seemed like hours but you called again less than two hours later to say “London Grace” was here. Dozens of doctors and nurses were looking after her and Kate was in recovery. Then you asked, “Do you want to see a picture of her?” And so it began.

  4. Pingback: Nana Remembers London’s Birth | at home with london

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