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  • Renee Burns

October, 2020- A year anniversary of journaling

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Greetings friends and family! Long time....


It's been a month since our last update, a lot has happened, but most importantly- we're celebrating a YEAR since we started our caring bridge site (Nov. 1, 2019), which means we're also celebrating a YEAR since that crazy early morning call to the local on-call nurse resulting in my ER admit, hospitalization, 3-hour ambulance ride to the twin cities, and month living in the hospital being hooked up to machines 3x's/day...all before our warrior princesses even came into the wold...AND, at that time, NONE of us could have predicted the COVID-world we would be bringing the girls home to.... So this update has been weighing heavy on my mind as we look in the review mirror at all that has happened, while simultaneously keeping our eyes on the road ahead.


I'm writing this from the kitchen in my 'new' house while Zach is in his 'new' office downstairs facilitating a now-normal 10+ hour organizational development zoom program for a global company. My in-laws just left after helping me feed and put to bed the girls (no easy task- but they're up for anything which is AMAZING). The girls are getting used to their 'new' room, and as a family, we're living into our 'new' normal.


We have a pending closing date on our old house, and are sad that we were not able to have a proper "good-bye" with our neighborhood due to COVID- however I've already run passed the old house a few times and feel comfort in knowing it's only a 10 minute jog away (at about an 8 min/mile split...). I know this because my gift to myself after making it through this past year was to sign up for a full marathon, my 1st in 5 years. My last full marked us stopping birth control, and starting our fertility story. More on this later...but for now I decided to gift myself another marathon, why not??!! ;-) AND, not to mention that the girls were born at 26 weeks, 2 days...26.2= the length of a marathon...


Anyway- the year anniversary of my water-breaking also happened to be when my parents and brother were visiting. It was the first time since February that my immediate family has been together, and the 1st time that my brother got to meet both of his nieces outside of the hospital setting! We're beyond aware of how fortunate we are to get to have family together during this "unprecedented" time. We were also blessed not just to have my folks here over the past month, but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law visited to help as well during our move. We are so excited to make many more family memories in our new home.


The girls continue to amaze us- their resilience, energy, giggles, curiosity, warmth, and fight inspire us. Though they be small, they be mighty! We read every day, they LOVE books! They crawl, roll, and launch themselves into every nook they can get to, are sitting in high chairs, working on eating purees, and saying 'mama'. There isn't a food they've rejected yet (don't worry- we know it's coming)...they love their dog and cat, and are starting to babble at each other, fight over toys, and make each other laugh. Vivian is just over 14 lbs. and Eloise is just over 15. Vivian still has fluid on her lungs, and will need another procedure that will have her in the hospital for a 24 hr observation- but as my tribe of NICU mamas and I like to say- baseline is different for us at this point...so only 1 night in the hospital for the foreseeable future is nothing!


We're gearing up for a longer than usual northern Minnesota winter due to COVID, but are blessed to have the friends that are family, and the family that are friends that have continued to show up for us over the past year.


I could share all types of learnings/reflections as I look into the rearview mirror- however the words that have kept coming back to me over and over- and the things I continue to meditate on as I look ahead are as follows:


Community

Commitment

Fierceness

Tolerance

Empathy

Nature

Breathe


These reflect my experience as it pertains to my birth story over the past year. However, I believe these words could be cut and pasted into the lives of so many that are hurting right now in our nation as we become more and more divided...My hope as I look down the road ahead is to be able to teach my daughters how to embrace these ideas and live into them as they see fit- cause who knows what the road will look like for them a year from now.


In the mean time- thank you all for showing up for the Burns Party of 4 over the past year...you all have helped to keep us going...seriously. And- please stay tuned for our next update- Invites to the 1st BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! It's gonna be EPIC (well as epic as a zoom happy birthday song can be as little nuggets smash their faces into something sugary...).


With endless love and gratitude-



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