It was a day before Holi when my boys were born. No one at that point of time knew what the output will be, if they will make it or not. I don’t know what that day was like weather wise. I was in that hospital room for more than a week confined to the bed. But it was a sunny day for me. I had no doubt about the boys making it, for me toughest part was to be separated from them right after they were born. From that Holi till now we have come a very very long way. From that Holi to this, I have witnessed a miracle called life every day.
I saw my boys on Holi 2008. We did not play with colors that day, but they gave my soul a rainbow of colors. From that day onwards, every day I have learnt something new from my boys. When my boys were born they could not do what every new born does and every parent takes for granted. They were not equipped to live outside the womb. They did not know how to breathe or feed. However, they learnt. They took tiny preemie steps and slowly they learnt to breathe without those machines and to feed on their own. Yes, it did take them three whole months to learn to do all those things one by one and then all of them together. Yes, they had to breathe and feed at the same time and maintain body temperature before the doctors could let them come home. I sometimes wish I had a journal on how they learnt every small step, but those days I was busy pumping milk for them and just sitting by their side and praying. I do not think I had time for anything else. They learnt like very good students and came out with excellence. No for us it was not easy, but our boys taught us patience, they taught us to trust the almighty with all that we have and leave things upon him. They taught us to let go. Things I never ever did in all the 30 plus years I have been living. Patience was never my virtue; I was a very very stubborn Taurean. However, my boys changed all that and more.
The doctors told us a whole lot about preemie parenting, but there are something in this world which cannot be taught. We have to go through the experience and learn for ourselves. The doctors monitored every milestone very closely. Slowly the boys grabbed, rolled, crawled, cruised and then walked. When I look at my brats running around my house today, breaking things, pulling drapes, banging utensils, those days seem to be a distant past. Thank God for all the little miracles.
As the doctors warned, preemie parenting does not come without its own set of challenges. For us it was feeding and weight gain. Every preemie follows their own pattern of growth and reaches their milestones at their own pace. Some preemies do not have any delays, some do. My boys stayed within the range for all their gross, fine and social skills but they refused to eat and gain weight. Feeding time became nightmares and to top it all they had reflux. They threw up after most feedings. I learnt new techniques of feeding from the doctors, internet and friends. If anyone had a suggestion, I was willing to try it out. Medicines came in, homeopathic, regular, everything. Nothing worked. Vomits happened after almost all feedings, and stained our carpets, furniture, walls. They were not little spit ups. They were huge vomits where everything that went in came gushing out. I finally met a GI specialist, who explained the whole preemie reflux issue to me. All he asked was to wait for the boys to outgrow it. They have outgrown most part of the reflux. They do not throw up their feedings any more, but Junior is still on to mashed food. He hates anything that has textures. Slowly, very very slowly we eased him into Khichdi. We are letting him take him own time to start accepting textures. Yes, I finally have learnt to be patient.
Holi 2008, is a part of the past and this Holi, we want to play Holi the way it is meant to be played. Since they are half Bihari, Holi also means that it’s a New Year and I wish my boys a very Happy Beginning to toddlerhood.
Here is a song for them from me. I hope they live life King-size and never stop being the superstars that they are. I hope amongst all other milestones, they learn one small little thing. They learn to dream and to enjoy every small moment in life. This life did not come easy to them; I hope they enjoy it as much as they can. They deserve it and a lot more.