Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good News!

Hello Everyone,
We are very excited and feel so blessed to announce that we are expecting our 3rd baby! We have waited a while to tell everyone since we've always been the 1% of things going wrong, but everything is looking good! We are 14 weeks, due sometime near Christmas, and definitely showing! Hope you are enjoying your summer!
The Kurby Family

The Proof:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Joshua's Journey's #6 -- Father's Day

I am somebody's father. That is still hard to believe sometimes, but I absolutely cherish the role. I remember all of Sandy's visits to MFM (maternal-fetal medicine...you kow, the high-risk guys). We'd have a tech come in, do an extensive ultrasound, then the tech would call in the doc and he would finish up. Sandy and I would just wait for the shoe to drop the entire time. Do they see something bad? Why are they making those faces? And the truth is they did see something bad from time to time. The only thing we could do is be ready. Fast forward to July 3, 2008. We go into the hospital again with pre-term labor issues, and through a convoluted series of events, we're told "Today is the day.". Sandy and I were in disbelief -- it had only been 32 weeks & 6 days. So, they take Sandy away from me and leave me with a pair of scrubs and tell me to wait. A very long time passes until a very tall nurse (don't know why I remember that) tells me to get the scrubs on and walks me into the OR where Sandy lies in wait.

I remember the very second both boys were born. I cried when I saw them. I had no idea how powerful those moments would be. All I could say was "They have hair" -- I can be such a doofus. When Josh was born, he was silent, and rushed to the far corner of the room. Joey came out a-wailin'. After clearing Josh's airway a bit, they put him in an isolette and rushed him out of the room, only stopping for a few seconds for us to meet him.

I remember bringing our families in to meet the boys at the NICU. I remember when Christy first saw Josh, with tears in her eyes, and said "He's precious". I will never forget that. It was one of the most special moments of my life.

I remember wondering if Josh was blind and deaf. Sandy and I lived at the NICU with him for his entire stay (4 months), and we always brought the camera. I would take pictures of him with the flash, hoping to see him blink or recoil or something. It was impossible to tell.

I remember holding Josh, rocking him, reading to him, and walking him around the NICU. I remember his smile, and his beautiful hands.

I remember taking him home and blasting "Take Me Home Tonight" on the radio ( I also played it in the NICU that day!)

I remember Christmas, when he smiled so big I thought I would die from happiness.

I remember playing with him, and watching his Mom play with him. Josh had a very special connection to his mother -- it was so obvious. They are two peas in a pod.

I have many memories of Josh, but these are the things that usually pop into my head. These are some of my favorite memories. I cherish every moment.

Thank you Josh, thank you Joey, thank you Sandy, and thank you Java too. I would do this all over and over again if I could. I love you all from the very bottom of my heart to the top of my soul. I am a (much) better person thanks to you all.

Joshua's Journeys #5- Against All Odds

As we approach Father’s Day weekend, I wanted to take some time to thank the father of my children for being the best father, husband, and friend I could have ever asked for.
There are many statistics out there that we could be a part of…divorce rates being the biggest. There is an increased divorce rate for couples who have fertility issues. The rate of divorce doubles for parents of twins. Being NICU parents adds a new stress that also separates many new parents; the rate more than triples for those who have a child with disabilities. And the divorce rate is even higher for parents that have lost a child. Put those together and you’d think we wouldn’t make it.

From the very beginning Phil has embraced all we have and can do together, and boy have we been able to do a lot and beat the odds! A guy who had never been in the medical field, was there helping me stick myself and figure out how to use pumps and devices while on bed rest so that we could keep our pregnancy going. Several appointments each week, Phil would take off of work for any opportunity he might have to catch a glimpse of our children. A guy who thought he’d be hitting the floor in the OR during delivery had tears in his eyes as he saw his babies being delivered. Able to hold Joseph for a brief moment, we watched as Joshua was whisked away without anything more than a glance from across the room.

Fatherhood has been Phil’s strength from the beginning. From late nights with Joey at home (it isn’t easy to keep a premature baby’s tummy full at night), to long days in the NICU with Josh, Phil has been relentless in his efforts to make sure his children receive the best care and utmost love. Phil accepted all that Josh had, and made sure that he learned his care so well that we would be confident enough to do things on our own; to be able to take care of the family we always wanted without nursing help. The nurses at the NICU would even comment on how men usually don’t do trach changes, don’t wonder what happens if a mic-key button pops out, don’t worry about feeding or breathing issues, or don’t make a point of calling doctors by their first names during care plan meetings.

It was never a question, during any of Josh’s hospital stays that one of us would always be at his side. Neither of us could imagine it any other way. There were more sleepless nights than most parents of twin would ever have, and we were okay with that. The most devastating night of our lives, Phil was there for Joshua. He gave him his last bath, kissed him, and watched him grow sleepy. I was on the phone with him when Josh’s heart rate dropped and CPR began. Phil stayed on the phone with me as I sped my way downtown. I demanded that they continue until I was there, and Phil enforced that with the doctors. Phil was in the hardest position of comforting his hysterical wife rushing at midnight to get to the city, and watching his son struggle to hang on. I know I continue to have flashbacks of that night; there are scenes in my head that will never disappear. I know that Josh waited for me to finish feeding him and leave so he could be with his daddy his last few hours, the strongest man he knows.

Once morning came, Phil helped me through what no parents should ever have to do…making funeral arrangements for their child. Even through tears and pain, Phil was insistent on particular things and demanded of those we had to deal with that things be done right for our services. Tirelessly Phil worked on the absolutely wonderful video and tribute to Josh’s life so that we could share as much of him as we could with those that watched.

Phil’s love and devotion to his family has not stopped. Phil was right there with me advocating for Joey during his last surgery, and not accepting blanketed answers to any questions. Phil is proud to be asked on the Parental Advisory Board at CDH, where he can continue to help others that may find themselves in a situation like ours. Not a day passes without Phil talking about or thinking about Josh. They had a special bond. Josh drew out more patience and perseverance than Phil ever thought he had. And Phil cherishes every moment he has with Joey, always making him laugh and smile.

Some may look at material things: the house they live in, namedropping the clothes they wear, the extravagant places they’ve visited, the up and ups they know... but we’ve learned to look at life and the moments we are given. As a couple, I know Phil and I can do absolutely anything. We have a bond and a strength that is not seen in all, or sadly many, marriages. You want to say I didn’t marry well? You’re right…I married the best!

Happy Father’s Day to the Man of My Dreams. I Love You!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Happenings

First off, Happy 11 months Joey! We can't believe 1 more month will be a year! It has been quite the roller coaster, but worth it all.
Again, we have been lax about posting, sorry! Here are some updated pictures of what's been going on around the Kurby household.

Weekend Fun
A few weekends ago Uncle Paul, Auntie Katherine, Ben, Abbey and Chien came over. Joey and Abbey are getting more interactive with each other and it is so fun watching them play. Ben had fun with the water table too.

Taste of Summer
The weather was quite warm a couple weeks ago so Joey tried out his sea legs, as did Daddy. Dad went to stand in the pool and then surprised us all by sitting down with his clothes on. Crazy guys!

Joey's Turn
Last Thursday poor Joey had a surgery procedure. To keep things PG Joey had some surgery on his boy parts. He was quite sore and uncomfortable for a while. He is still not allowed on straddle toys or in pools for another week. Here are some pictures of the surgery day. The one picture shows him smiling before he realizes he has been starved for 14 hours! It was bit too surreal going back to a part of Children's. The hallways and rooms looked a little too familiar. We were right back advocating for our children and insisting that Mommy went in the OR to watch him be put under. The surgery only took an hour and a half, and Joey was quite the trooper; eating up a storm shortly afterward, and then resting (and screaming) the rest of the day.

Just Play!
This past weekend Joey's bandages came off, which made him a bit miserable and sore once again. To take his mind off things for an hour or two we headed up to the Town Center where Mommy had to work the Just Play event. She was demonstrating with other Fitness Instructors from the park district some of the classes she teaches. Andrew and Joey were able to play at the different booths. Joey colored his first picture, pet a turtle, and played in a sandbox that had foam in it. It was a short visit to take Joey's mind off of things, but nice to get out for a little bit.