Megan Szylvian has written a poignant and touching letter to her premature babies. Today was supposed to be their due date. Instead, they are celebrating their three-month birthday because they were born so prematurely.
Szylvian’s letter is a study on contrasts.
Last week, LifeNews profiled how one mother of a disabled baby says she would have aborted her son had she known beforehand that he would have been disabled. But, in this case, Megan has fought for her babies on heroic levels, describing the lengths to which she has prayed for them and for their survival and medical improvement.
The twin babies were born after just 27 weeks of pregnancy and Szylvian, who hails from England, describes how they spent the first 84 days of their little lives inside the sterile walls of an intensive care unit and how she “spent the first 84 nights of your life without you.”
Here is an excerpt from Megan’s heartbreaking letter:
I did a lot of praying in that time. Mostly I prayed, even begged, that you would not remember. I prayed that you would forget every injection; every procedure; every tube, lead and wire – and every minute spent alone in a warm plastic box.
As I watched you grow, I began to realise that there are a few things about this nightmare that I don’t want you to forget – a few things about yourself that I want you to know.
1. You are strong
I have watched you fight for breath. This is not a dramatic way of saying that you went through a lot. What I mean is that I watched you set your beautiful eyes in determined concentration as you coordinated your tiny muscles to push your diaphragm down and draw in air.
I saw the relief in your face and your body as the air flooded in, and I saw the exhaustion as you let it out. Then, I saw you do it again, and again, over and over until your body learned its own life-sustaining rhythm.
There may come a time in your life when you feel weak or inadequate. Please remember what you were able to accomplish entirely of your own will and your own fortitude. You are strong.
You were ready
You endured so much in your days in the intensive care unit. One day, I watched you have blood drawn from your heel, then watched a dressing change on the central line that travelled from your wrist to your heart, then watched as your second of five echo cardiograms was performed.
This all happened in a flurry of a few hours and the chaos faded from the room as quickly as it came.
I was left standing beside you, with my hands extended through the two portholes in your isolette. I placed my hands on your head and belly, I held you as close as I was allowed, and I apologised.
I told you how sorry I was that all of this was happening to you, how sorry I was that I didn’t hold onto you longer, how sorry I was that you weren’t still snuggled safely with your brother, protected from the world in the way I was supposed to protect you.
Although I thought we were alone, I think your nurse for the day overheard my apology. Later that day, he told me:”In all my years as a nurse, one thing I am sure of is that babies are very good at telling us when they need to come out.”
You are loved
Because visitation was restricted in the intensive care unit, people had to send their love and support in very creative ways those first months.
Your aunt would often leave us dinner or healthy snacks on our doorstep. One grandmother knitted you beautiful sweaters and toys, while the other grandmother sent greeting cards to our house – timed so that I would get one every few days. A friend I had not spoken with in 10 years bought both of your car seats. Strangers offered prayers for you.
There may come a time in your life when you feel that you are not enough. Please know that you have been wrapped in love from the moment you first drew breath. You were loved before you said anything, before you did anything, before you knew anything, before you were anything.
For the lonely days, for the difficult days, my sweet boys: You are loved.