Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jaeci's Story

Jaeci’s Story

Jaeci Claire Michelle was born with her twin brother Jaxen on a cool fall evening. Her little body weighed a mere 3lb 6oz but she was immediately full of life. She had thick brown hair with beautiful golden highlights. Her hair was the first thing you noticed and the talk of the NICU. Her mommies were able to wash her hair for the first time and give her first bath. She was calm and loved having the water run over her head.

After she was born she continued to amaze everyone with how laid back and stable she was. Jaxen had been the baby that everyone worried about, throughout the pregnancy and his first days he gave us plenty to be concerned about. Jaeci was the show off. She never needed oxygen, she was the first to eat, she was the first to go into the open crib, everyone thought for sure she was coming home first.

Jaeci did gave everyone a scare a week before she passed. For her safety she was not allowed to eat and had to endure several uncomfortable procedures. She handled them all so well, she was calm and patient. The doctors and nurses commented regularly on how well she was doing. One nurse even called her Zen baby. She was that easy going.

She had long fingers and toes, a tiny button nose, and her mommy’s beautiful eyes.
Her eyes were getting lighter and lighter everyday, and framed by remarkably long eyelashes. Her eyes were so vibrantly blue during her mommies’ last visit with her. She was awake and alert and engaged them with her beautiful blue eyes.

Jaeci’s big sister Mia was there to visit that night too and everyone had a great time dressing the twins for their hospital pictures. Jeri, Jeani, and Betsy fussed over the twins for a long time getting that perfect picture. If they only knew how important those pictures truly were. Jaeci and Jaxen had fun touching each others faces and hands in a rare moment shared together in Jaxen’s crib.

Jaeci's favorite thing to do was kangaroo care. Her mommies would hold her skin to skin in the NICU for hours. Jaeci would settle in and sleep soundly making tiny baby noises. They could feel her heart beating and her breath on their chests. It was a tremendous bonding experience for them all.

During their last evening with Jaeci, Jeri spent an hour kangarooing her and staring at all of her. She breathed deep of her hair to carry the scent home with her. Jeri just held her and cried as she rooted on her chest. Jaeci had been breast feeding. It was heartbreaking not to be able to comfort her child. Jeri just stared at her eyelashes, amazed at their length. Touched her beautiful shoulder, and rubbed her soft back to comfort her. She outlined her little ears and whispered how much she loved her. She looked into her eyes and patted her butt, and softly sang “ah, ah, baby” to her, as Jeris family did to all the babies. It was the first and last time she was able to do that. Jeri also stood up and rocked her for a while. also for the first and last time. Jeri spent that time imagining her future. She was such a beautiful baby, her smile was amazing. Jeri remarked to Jeani that she was going to have such a beautiful smile when she grew up. Jeri thought about her and Jaxen learning to walk, playing out in the warm summer days, going to school for the first time, driving, which one of them would play sports. She wondered if Jaeci would like to read like she does. What she would study in college. She wondered what she would be passionate about. Jaeci just lay on her chest looking up at her with such a calm look on her face. Jeri remarked to Jeani that she could finally see what they were talking about when they called her the Zen baby. Jaeci curled her hand up and grabbed onto Jeri’s necklace and didn’t let go until it was time to return her to her isolette.

Her mommies were grieving over the thought of leaving her alone in the NICU for a week after taking Jaxen home the next morning. What was to occur over the next couple hours was not even a possibility. Her mommies had no idea that she only had 3 more hours to live and not 80 years.

Jaeci passed away in the early hours Wednesday October 18, 2006. She was in the arms of her mommies and her sister Mia. Her Grandpa, Meema, and Papa were there, as well as her Aunt sunny and Uncle Boo.

The nurses had weighed her that night, she had finally reached 4 lbs.