Long day’s journey

November 24, 2008 at 6:02 am 11 comments

Well friends, somehow we’ve gotten to the other end of this mad day. Alex and I are both feeling the kind of well-earned exhaustion you’re lucky enough to ride to sleep upon only once in an odd while. Our boys are sleeping peacefully – occasionally fidgeting, stretching, and practicing karate. Alex made it into a wheelchair and the two of us shared a nightcap with the wee lads, who really do seem to be in the hands of neonatological greatness. The vibe over there in the NICU is utmost confidence, and the nurses and doctors who so lovingly tend to our new kin seem possessed of an almost preternatural goodness. In my emotionally heightened state it’s all I can do to refrain from slapping bear hugs on the lot of them.

My earlier thoughts on the fire outside our window got me thinking, though. It’s easy enough to glance back over the peaks (many) and valleys (almost none) of today and tritely state how lucky we are without feeling it to our bones. I mean there’s no doubt we’re truly feeling SOMETHING in those spots – the wave of emotion that sweeps over you as you look over your newly begotten boy gently fighting to make the Adjustment is well nigh indescribable. Know that feeling, and then imagine it anew and anew and understand how we may just lose our bearings.

But alongside this gratefulness at living a blessing, and really at its core, comes the need to remember, and to think with compassion, understanding and love on those less fortunate. I don’t speak of the general huddled masses – for whom you can be assured I harbor great feeling. But instead for those who so desperately cling to a dream of having a day like Alex and I shared today. You see, we did not arrive easily at this destination, and there were many, many nights when the possibility that we would never have a child of our own loomed terrifyingly large, shattering our sleep and poisoning our wakefulness. It seems so incredibly easy to forget our long struggle in the warmth of our current success, but there were stretches of time where neither Alex nor I could have even risen to extend the kind of heartfelt good wishes so many of you have generously conferred upon us. Times when each new announcement of joy and expectation seemed to tear another hole in us and underline our failure.

It has been good fun today to have 1600 hits on the blog, and to so publicly celebrate our good fortune. But infertility is experienced in private. It often feels like an unsharable burden, and one that can threaten to consume a person or a couple whole. We have somehow crossed over to the other side – as our family and a handful of confidantes assured us we would. But amidst their assurances we knew, we always knew, that there were no guarantees for us. It wasn’t necessarily going to be okay; no-one owed us a happy ending. Sometimes bad things, or sad things happen to good people.

Tonight when we visited Pablo, Levi and Satchel (the second L is gone by popular demand) in the NICU, it was a relaxed moment. Essentially a celebration that our boys were thriving – albeit still in need of a little help. Not everyone’s time in the NICU goes that way. On our path towards triple parenthood we’ve followed the story of so many others traversing the same route, some of whom were unable to sustain their pregnancies to the point that we have, some of whose kids had grave problems upon entering this world, and some of whom ultimately suffered the loss of one or more of their sons or daughters.

I feel lucky that the NICU here is open 24 hours a day, that there’s a team of talented, I dare say brilliant, professionals there at all times, looking after our little bundles with the greatest of care. But so far neither Alex nor I knows the terror of hoping against hope that our child will live to fight another day. In our little cocoon down there, with each of our boys nested in adjoining, private, sun-filled rooms, we know only brightness and love. We hope to keep it that way too.

So I just want to end this magical day with a little prayer of sorts. One that expresses my deep, deep gratitude, not only for all the love and support we’ve received from so many quarters, but also just for our tremendous good fortune, which it is a folly to pretend we deserve. Alex and I feel blessed in a way that my fanciest words don’t have strength to convey. But ultimately I don’t want my prayer to end up being about us, or even about our brand new boys, who lie sleeping (I hope) one floor below us. I want to give my prayer to those who suffer as we once did, or as we never have, and perhaps never will. I want the full force of my prayer to soothe you to sleep, to give you hope, to remind you that you’re not alone, that the darkest, dampest moments will pass. It doesn’t always turn out that way. But sometimes it does.

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Entry filed under: deep thoughts, update. Tags: , , .

Ee Gads! Can’t anyone around here spell???? Levi grabs, Pablo strives

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Deb Grant  |  November 24, 2008 at 10:42 am

    oh-my-lordies, levi, satchel, pablo, alex and dan (DAPLS, SAPLD, or my favorite, PLADS, or even better, SLAPD!). I got weepy no fewer than 5 times reading your entries of the last day. And its only 5:30am, what else will the day hold? LOTs of love to all of you and we can’t wait to meet your bundles post-thanksgiving. Deb

    Reply
  • 2. Kala  |  November 24, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    elegant eloquent strong & sweet… as always, your blogging is just like your music. Your boys will grow up elegant eloquent strong sweet & full of joy!! ā¤

    Reply
  • 3. Carolina Carry  |  November 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you Dan, for your beautiful words. I was very touched by them. In fact, they made me cry….
    You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Carolina

    Reply
  • 4. Janne Tolonen  |  November 24, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    šŸ˜‰ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    (Sorry, but I’m not as talented as you with words…)

    Reply
  • 5. Wendy  |  November 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Yeepah! Yahoo! The boys have arrived!! Happy, happy…joy, joy…to one and all Sax Sonenbergs!!! Congratulations! XOXO, Wendy

    Reply
  • 6. Elizabeth O  |  November 24, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    My deepest, most happy congratulations to the five of you! This blog is a great gift to us all. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey with us. Many, Many blessings. Elizabeth

    Reply
  • 7. Leah  |  November 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Your words are beautiful. We’ve been praying for you, Alex, and the boys all along, and will keep doing so. These three little sweethearts are so fortunate to have such loving parents. Leah

    Reply
  • […] a whole lot to say. This morning, with toothbrush in hand, I tuned in to see what was new and found this lovely entry. I don’t think I’ve ever cried while brushing my teeth before. It’s a beautiful […]

    Reply
  • 9. Sheila & Doug  |  November 25, 2008 at 12:47 am

    We were already SO happy for you guys….and after reading this entry, we feel very moved and feel deep joy for you both and for the boys.

    We knew you both wanted to have a baby and had wanted this for a long time and we imagined it must be very hard. But not having been through it, I don’t think we realized how truly painful it was. Dan, your gratitude and compassionate wishes for others struggling with infertility are beautiful…thanks for writing from your heart.

    Reply
  • 10. Billy D  |  November 25, 2008 at 3:08 am

    I admire your strength,kindness, and wisdom. And I’m very happy for you — both of youse.

    Reply
  • 11. shnootre  |  November 26, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Hi everyone – thanks so much for your kind words – I’m glad you liked the post. What a thrill to see the names of so many of our dear friends from across the globe on this here list. You are all the best!

    love
    Dan and Alex

    Reply

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