Jennifer and I were married in 1995. We spent the first several years of our marriage getting to know each other. We enjoyed nights on the town, traveling, and just being together. We always thought that when we were ready to start our family it would come easily.
Unfortunately it didn't happen that way for us. After six years of hope and frustration, the typical infertility procedures had still proven unsuccessful. Still determined, we met a caring a compassionate doctor, Dr. Arthur Wisot, and after our first round of IVF we learned we were finally pregnant!
After the first ultra-sound the doctor was confident that we had one baby but he thought there might be another. The next ultra-sound confirmed it. We were expecting twins! Everything was progressing nicely until about 22 weeks when Jenn developed pre-eclampsia. Jenn was put on immediate bed rest. Jenn did everything she could but unfortunately with her escalating blood pressure the neonatologist said we had to deliver immediately. Our daughter and son, Reece and Graham, were delivered on Thanksgiving day, November 23, 2006 by emergency C-section at 25 weeks and 3 days gestational age.
After Jenn's discharge from the hospital, she remained on bed rest for six weeks. I spent day and night at the NICU and took Jenn back and forth, as she was only allowed to be there for brief periods.
Graham had an incredibly difficult journey but he was so strong, such a fighter. Our intuition knew that his time with us, during this lifetime, would be brief. Graham was with us for only 45 days, and we are grateful for every moment.
When we look back, Graham had only one truly good day. It was the one and only day that Jenn was able to hold him. He was still on a ventilator at the time. Jenn and I remember our nurse telling us at least three times that day, "Graham definitely knows that his Mom held him today. He definitely knows." It turned out to be just days before we had to say good-bye.
Family and friends from around the country joined us to celebrate Graham's life. There were at least a dozen NICU staff in attendance as well. Having them there with us meant the world. We released 45 blue and white balloons at the service to remember Graham.
Each January 7th family and friends join us as we honor Graham's life by releasing balloons. While Graham isn't with us today in body he will be with us forever in spirit.