An email from a very good friend, one of my oldest friends, who has baby twins, and my response. Excuse the language.
I read your Facebook posts last night. I'm so very sorry that it had to come down to the inpatient treatment. When you mentioned you might have to go inpatient when we saw you over Christmas, it took me a while to process what that meant, but I didn't realize the visitation schedules would be so restricted. My heart aches for you and Drew and Ace. You all have been through so much, more than any family should have to deal with.
I think about you and Drew a lot. You probably don't realize it, because I don't call or anything (because I'm a slacker. I think about it, but rarely actually do it), but I do. I think about how you guys have been through some big life changers, like Drew's dad dying when he was in still college, your ectopic and your miscarriage, you having a child, and you both having to go through all the preemie/NICU/cerebral palsy challenges. I think about how it's only been in the last few years that I've gotten even an inkling of an understanding of the emotional impact of those events. I think about how, at the the age you were when these things happened, that I was still pretty much a moron, and about how ill-equipped I would have been to handle any of what you had to go through. And I think about how brave and strong you must be to get through it all, and how much you must love each other.
I don't pray often, but I am praying for you all. I don't know if there's anything I can do for you, but if there is, let me know and I will do it. I'm two hours behind you, so if you need to call and talk to someone at 2am, that's okay, because it's only midnight here, and I'm probably still up. And when things get bad, I try to think like Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Hey, we've already stopped the world from ending two or three times, surely we can do it again.
Long story short: you both inspire me. Your capacity to deal is amazing. I'm praying for you and sending you so much love. Let me know if I can help.
This makes me smile a lot coming from you and I'll tell you why.
Having twins completely blows my mind. They're probably easier to deal with at the age they're at now, but as infants? Sleeping/pooping/eating on different schedules? How do YOU go grocery shopping? Is one in the kiddie seat and one in the car seat in the basket? Where do the groceries go? Jesus, do you have to push a stroller and a grocery cart? How do you afford babysitting? DO you get babysitting? When do you shower? When do you eat? How do you cook if two babies need you? How do you hold them both? I cannot believe you actually flew with them. How do you keep them away from each other if one of them gets sick? OMG how did you deal with recovery from a c-section with TWINS? How in the hell did you nurse TWINS? Do you get pedicures? Do you get hair cuts? These are all things I take for granted, having an only child. And my God, you lost your mom. You don't even have her to help you. How do you handle that?
You are an ALIEN to me. Yes, what I've had to go through is very, very sad. I pray to God you never have to go through this. Having to leave him at a hospital, having to be a visitor instead of a parent, TWICE, in his life, has been heartbreaking. But I almost think on some level that this is easier for ***ME*** to deal with than twins or more than one child altogether would be. Every parent has very distinct challenges that other parents think that there is no way they could handle, but we all totally could. You are such an incredible badass in every aspect of your life that I have no doubts that you would have done all the research that I did and ultimately would have made the same decisions that I've made with Ace if you were faced with the same situation. You wouldn't break down like you think you would do. *I* think I'd literally shit my pants if I found out I was pregnant with twins. Do you think I would shit my pants? Probably not, right?
And it's not like I haven't expected that he was going to need hospitalization at some point. It's not like he was in an accident and had to be hospitalized. (At least then I'd be able to stay with him.) It's something I've thought about for nearly 2 years. Diagnoses of major disorders don't sneak up on parents, we usually suspect them for years and then a doctor finally fucking gets with the program and gives us the diagnosis we've expected for months, sometimes YEARS.
So don't think that I'm exceptional. I know that I'm strong, even though I have certainly had my fair share of bourbon and Xanax over the past few days. I know that I'm smart, I know that I've done everything to make sure Ace is 100% taken care of. But I'm looking at you right now the same way you're looking at me. I do not know how you do it. But you do, and you do it well. We all deal with what we're given. And it doesn't break us.
Thank you so much for your words of support. I love you and your husband and your babies.