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  • Renee Burns

November, 2019- Celebrating 25 weeks pregnant in the hospital!

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Greetings Tribe-

Update # 2… authored by Zach, so please forgive any and all grammar and punctuation mistakes that may be included. Today is the start of week 25! Renee and I have now been at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital for 18 days.

Our recent journey has been filled with peaks and valleys while this past week has been relatively smooth and uneventful. Uneventful still involves Renee being monitor a minimum of 3 times a day, vitals every few hours, blood draws, and weekly ultrasounds.

The staff here continues to exceed expectations. While we nest in the Antepartum Unit, the team here supports us not only through medical measure, but also by indulging our ridiculousness of playing Madlibs during shift change and providing drawings to match Renee’s new make believe feminist punk rock band titled the “irritable uteruses” (due to her daily contractions while on the monitor).

We are settling into a rhythm here, which starts at 6am with a nurse arriving to monitor our twins heart beats and take Renee’s temperature. We then make French press coffee and gaze out the window at the mighty Mississippi River that cuts through the Twin Cities. We are then visited by our doctors and nurses during rounds before Renee does her exercises and I go for a bike ride which is now happening in roughly 25-degree weather. Upon my return we typically go for a walk around the hospital supported by a wheel chair that Renee then sits in as we adventure outside for fresh air. Returning to the warmth and the 4th floor of the Antepartum Unit we engage in either work, nap, or games. Lunch has been devouring leftovers from the night before (our meals being either prepped or provided by our wonderful community near and far!). The afternoon is filled with reading, projecting, work, and naps before another walk and adventure outside. Dinner is often in the family room just down the hall from our room before returning to our space for monitoring. I inflate my air mattress and we lay next to each other and play some words with friends.

The week has flown by. It is amazing to be here already for 18 days. A few things have really struck me when reflecting on this past week.…

1) The sending of love, prayers, vibes, energy, thoughts, wishes, etc…. The search for a word that describes a collective belief in the larger, or connection to something bigger than ourselves, or a belief in God, has been overwhelming- we’re so blessed to get it in numerous forms.

2) As a man who has always pursued adventure, exploration and the unknown, I have found it in a different way while supporting Renee at the hospital. Every day I feel vulnerable and without control… and many of you out there know that vulnerability and lack of control are a bit out of my comfort zone.

3) Tremendous appreciation for my wife’s capacity and strength. Renee is a rock, holding balance and perspective as we navigate new territory. I am in awe of the grace that Renee has in handling, and moving through this experience.

4) Community… Near and far. It has been absolutely beautiful to hear, feel, and see all the support we have received from around the state, region, nation and globe.

Our room is filled with love whether it is in the form of your words/calls/texts/thoughts, or in the sage bundles from Oregon, a ukulele from Maine, pictures from China, games from Colorado, or Uber Eats and fluffy slippers from DC. We are so blessed with all of the support and love.

With Gratitude and appreciation




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