I started my motherhood journey with two beautiful, tiny babies — and I had to ask permission from someone else at the hospital to hold them. When I was discharged from Sibley Memorial Hospital, and my newborn twins were not, the floodgates opened. I cried. A lot.
Then one day, my crying stopped. It was my very first Mother’s Day to be exact. That morning, I had an important epiphany. I had known it all along and even said it out loud. But eight days after my four-pound loves were born, I finally believed it — there was no better place in the world for my babies than where we were, the Sibley NICU.
There’s No Place Like Home, or the NICU
When the heart rate alarm went off, the Sibley nurses were there. Right when the babes needed feeding tubes, the nurses were there. If they needed a friendly reminder to breathe, the Sibley nurses were there.
I want the best for my babies and did everything I could to make sure they were born healthy and happy. I took my vitamins and ate my vegetables while pregnant. I gave up wine and sacrificed my daily Diet Coke. I followed doctor’s orders. But, I had a very hard time following those orders when I was told to leave my babies behind.
But little did I know that late at night, under the bright, unforgiving fluorescent NICU lights, the arts and craft fairies got to work with the babies. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day quite like two growing newborns, who worked hard to make you a Mother’s Day card with their tiny footprints. That little gesture made all the difference and reminded me that even though they were under the care of others, I was still their mom. While my babies needed the nurses, they also needed me. Well played, Sibley. Well played.
If you are in a NICU somewhere with your babies, I hope you are able to find comfort and strength during these times. It is tough, but hang in there — and I hope you get some memorable art out of it!