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  • Renee Burns

Nov. 25th, 2019- A few reflections from a new dad

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Greetings folks,

Below is a few short reflections of a new dad.

My girls are a week old.

Sleeping is more like napping.

I signed a lease for an apartment in Minneapolis.


For all my climber and sailor friends out there… know that rope/line management skills have application in the NICU. Every day consists of system checks, team coordination, and management of moving cords, lines, tubes and other mission critical equipment.

The NICU is a unique environment that sounds a lot like an arcade with the never ending sounds of varying pitches of beeps and alarms. It is sterile and generally quiet, with moment of total calm and others of fierce intensity.

Witnessing Renee each day of our ever emerging journey is inspiring and humbling. She continues to live into her “Warrior Princess” title, one of my many nicknames for her. Renee will now have to share that title with my “little warrior princesses.”

Each day I attend “rounds” for Vivian and Eloise. Rounds typically consist of 6-8 doctors and nurses discussing each girls progress, all while speaking in a foreign tongue. After each individual update I practice my active/reflective listening skills as I check my understanding with the team. Some of you out there know I have a reputation for asking lots of questions (thanks Dad!)

I have only been able to hold Vivian once and Eloise just a few more times. My heart is at their mercy. Every morning as I greet them both I imagine filling them with light and brightness while asking for them to let me hold their pain and struggle. I have been searching for a response to the question of “how does it feel to hold your girls?”, and the following is an attempt to answer it-

My body feels like I just finished a 2-hour-long sauna session that included multiple dips in and out of the lake, under a clear night sky, full of stars. I am in a complete calm state, present to the beauty of more than the human world.

Since our girls came into the world I have been aware of coincidences that seem to line-up with our current experience.

1) Our girls were born on National Prematurity Day

2) Our girls were born 26 weeks and 2 days… the length of a marathon and although I am not a marathoner many in our family are.

3) Girls born on “game-day” according to the Minnesota Vikings, who won that day, after being down at halftime and with 1 to 100 odds of winning. The Vikings also presented our girls with Viking insignia swaddles.

4) Our twin girls where born in the “Twin” Cities.

5) Our parking spot at our new apartment is number two

That is it, for the moment, from a tired and rambling new dad. Thanks for all the love and energy.

With love and gratitude, 'Dad'

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