Since it is the third day of NaBloPoMo (right?), I thought it would be appropriate to tell you a story of three.
Three newborn babies, that is.
I’ve known for I guess about nine months now that the end of 2013 was going to be filled with newborn babies for some of my favorite couples. My roommate from Florence was expecting her first. One of my best friends from high school was expecting her first. A great family friend was expecting after a long struggle to get pregnant. And my sister in law was pregnant with her second.
There were two babies due in October. One in November. And one in December. Two girls, one boy, and one surprise.
I was hoping to make it home for Christmas to meet all of the tiny new joys in my loved ones’ lives. I sent a couple of little baby things in the mail a few weeks before the first baby was due. I was gearing up for news by the end of October.
But when I first heard news of my sister in law going into the hospital at 31 weeks and being held on bed rest, being told she wasn’t leaving the hospital pregnant, I decided all these babies wouldn’t get to wait until Christmas to meet West Coast Kelly. I booked a flight home to help in any way I could, and to be there with my family in the crazy time that was surely ahead. I was just hoping there would be at least two babies by the time I was there. Maybe even this really early third one?
And it just happened that the day before I got back to Maryland, two babies couldn’t wait for me to get there, either. Miles Bylsma and Gus Schall both arrived on October 21 to the happiest parents there could be.
So I got off the plane on October 22 and headed almost straight to the hospital to meet this little bugger.
My newest nephew, Miles Barrett Bylsma.
Because he was so early, Miles was in the NICU in an incubator with a feeding tube for the time being. He was the tiniest little guy I’d ever seen, but the nurses said he was doing remarkably well, and he was even too long for the premie clothes they tried to fit him into. We could reach into the incubator that first night and stroke his back, but he flinched at our cold hands so we mostly just watched that tiny little guy get used to the big world.
My second baby visit was to my wonderful friend Sandy, who had her baby a few weeks before. Little Annie Louis was precious, and it was so exciting to see the girl I grew up with starting a family of her own.
My third baby visit was to little Gus, who actually wasn’t much bigger than Miles. Gus is a tiny little miracle that I am so excited to see grow up in this world. I consider his family my family, so I’m going to go ahead and call myself Aunt Kelly. Hope that’s ok, Mike & Ashley 🙂
Right before I had to leave for the airport on Saturday, my mom and I headed over to the NICU one last time to see little Miles. He was doing wonderfully. The nurses had high hopes to get him out of the incubator soon and into a crib if he was maintaining his own body temperature. He’d been learning how to take a bottle, but he still had the feeding tube just in case. Jenny actually had him out of the incubator to feed him as we came in.
My favorite part? I got to hold that little guy before heading back to the west coast!
(look, I think he’s smiling here haha)
Even hooked up to all those crazy monitoring machines, I fell in love with him. A few little things going wrong had made his entrance into this world a little nerve-wracking, but ultimately he was going to be just fine. He was going to have a really great story about his birth when he got older.
I am not a baby person. I am not a kid person. Brad and I are pretty sure we aren’t having children, and out here in Los Angeles, I barely know anyone with kids. It was really incredible to go home and see all of these brand new families and brand new people, and how families and friends just came together and did whatever they could to make it all easier. Grandmothers who knew exactly how to calm a fussy baby. Siblings who packed freezers with pre made dinners. Kids getting picked up from daycare. In laws coordinating carpools. Great Grandparents meeting their sixth tiny great grandchild. It was heartwarming and heart wrenching and made me reconsider every choice I’ve made in life to be so far away from all of that built in love and support.
It was almost painful to get on that plane and fly back to California last weekend. I kept bringing up the picture I’d taken while holding Miles at the hospital and tearing up, thinking about how proud I was of my brother and Jenny for doing whatever it took to bring that healthy baby into this world. Thinking about all of the miracles I had witnessed and held in those few days home. Thinking about life and how there are so many different and wonderful ways to live it. Thinking about how opposite what I was flying back to was from what I was leaving.
Those three little babies are in for it. I’ve discovered how much fun it is to shop for them, and they are going to be getting care packages like you wouldn’t believe.