This time last year, my sweet twinsies were born 6 weeks early to a mother that had abused at least 4 drugs throughout her pregnancy. Once born, they were whisked away to the Johnson City NICU were they started the grueling process of withdrawl. My babies were left by their birth parents to deal with this on their own. Once we got the placement, everything was dropped to get to these babies. I went right away and bought their own clothes and swaddlers so they wouldn't have to use the donated ones in the NICU. All of our time was devoted to them, to being available for all the feedings and to hold them and love away the pain and discomfort that the morphine wouldn't take away. Our little Harrison was hit so much harder and we settled in to some long hours of James Taylor and Toad the Wet Sproket to ease it away. David and I held them so tight that our arms ached.
We reflect on where these babies have come from, what a year did for them. I cannot think of this time and the healing they had without thinking of how Hermitage Health Center had such an integral part in this process. I was still on staff there as the Social Service Director. My boss Jeannie allowed me to bring both babies to work with me. My office was made into a virtual nursery with a bassinet that both babies slept in together since they were so tiny. Man, oh man how my babies were loved. All of my co-department heads, employees, and the resident's held them, rocked them, loved them, fed them and prayed for them from the time we got to work till the time we left. I remember tears being shed for them as others witnessed the withdrawals and how some were able to feel it for themselves as the babies bodies cramped up. Some resident's would wheel into my office to hold them and love on them so sweetly. Out on the floor, resident's would ask about them and want to peek at them. Department heads like Hope, Arlene, and Misty were spit up on so many times nobody could keep count and everyone would help with dirty diapers. During meetings, the babies were passed around like it was a part of our everyday routine. I know that all these people had a major part in our babies coming out of the withdrawal process and we can never ever say thank you enough for the compassion they showed as they all did their everyday job duties too. I know that we would have got the twins better but I know that the process would have been longer without all the love there. Every NAS baby needs a place like Hermitage. Thank you my Herm peeps.
I will always give credit where it is due without any apology.... God has delivered and has given our babies the best testimony. Like I said before, I knew my God could do it! Happy birthday sweet Harrison and Anna-Blaine. You are so loved!