Thursday, March 19, 2015

Daddy Reflections

Tony and I spend a lot of time in awe of the fact that we are actually parents.  It's so amazing to experience watching Ayden and Rylee grow right before our eyes, and seeing them as they learn new things every single day.  We think back to their beginning, which really wasn't that long ago but feels like a lifetime ago, and are astounded at how far they have come.

We were talking the other night about how when they were first born and in the NICU, it was hard to imagine being where we are today.  We are constantly baffled and thrilled when they learn something new, amazed at how far they have come.  Tony's experience when they were born was different than mine. He was the one that was actually with them that first night.  He watched as Ayden struggled to breathe at first and needed a c-pap.  I never actually saw my son with the c-pap on.  I've only seen pictures.  We are fortunate that he only needed it for 4 hours, but during that time, Tony was the most scared he'd ever been in his entire life.  Tony was the one that watched as the babies had IV's and feeding tubes put in, and as they were hooked up to all the wires that attached to monitors that let the doctor's and nurses know if the babies were breathing and their heart was still beating.

Tony was the one that was able to calm Ayden when he was uncomfortable and upset that night, simply by laying a hand on his back.  Tony's finger was the one that Rylee wrapped her little hand around.  He is the one that did kangaroo care with them first.

Ayden and an emotional Daddy


Kangaroo Care with Rylee

I am so proud of everything that Tony did for our babies that first night when I couldn't.  While we were talking about that night almost 15 months ago, Tony admitted to me that he was so scared that night, that he actually prayed that we would get to take at least one of the babies home.  They were so small and fragile, and needing extra attention to survive in the outside world.  He was afraid that they wouldn't make it.  Whenever he thinks about it today, he gets tears in his eyes.

Fortunately for us, for being 7 week preemies, they were actually good sizes and pretty healthy.  We had a relatively short NICU stay of only 19 days.  It was the longest 19 days of our life, while our babies learned to keep their body temperature up and how to suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time so they could eat.

After waiting 14+ years to have our babies, and then being on hospital bedrest for a week and developing preeclampsia, then having babies in the NICU, it's pretty surreal to see how big and strong and healthy our babies are today.


  1. Again, you have brought tears to my eyes with your writing and with realizing the fear that Tony had with the extreme worries over his long awaited for newborns and their health. But I also can't help to smile with the knowledge that you now have healthy, growing ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE little ones to love and enjoy each day!!! You both are WONDERFUL PARENTS and THANK God you have those 2 precious babies. You are a family of 4 that I love spending time with and just sitting back and marveling over the miracle of your family and the love that you have for them and watching them ENJOY your love for them!!! Love you all, Auntie

  2. I remember you writing about how much Tony stepped up to the plate that first night. What a great Daddy your kids have :) Beautiful photos that captured amazing moments

  3. I remember you writing about how much Tony stepped up to the plate that first night. What a great Daddy your kids have :) Beautiful photos that captured amazing moments

  4. Such a good daddy. Doesn't it just make you love him even more?! :)

  5. I love that first photo. So much emotion in one little picture.

  6. I really loved this post Amber and I love seeing ladies post about what good daddy's their husbands are. You see so much of the opposite and this is very refreshing.

  7. I love this post so much - I'm going to show it to Bobby. We've talked about how if anything happens, I want him to go with the baby and I'll be fine alone (with doctors/nurses). He doesn't quite get it, and I think it takes dads seeing their kid(s) for the first time to *really* connect. Right now, he knows and loves me, but he doesn't know the baby - it's still pretty abstract to him. But this post and these amazing photos of Tony show just how quickly you can fall in love with someone you didn't "know" before. What an amazing dad your kiddos have!

  8. I read this and it took me right back to when my girls were born. My husband also had to be the one in the NICU with them when I was stuck in my hospital bed. My husband actually confessed to me he was afraid to hold them because he thought he would just break down so he told the nurses he wanted me to be the first to hold them.
    As someone who didn't have a dad around growing up, I am so in awe of the dads who do it right. Your kids are very lucky to have such a great dad.