Kaylee woke, bright eyed and full of life -- her first words when she woke were "good morning sunshine". Something I will never forget either. Funny how a 2-year old knows just what to say to her momma. Kaylee was SO excited for 9/29 too. The day she would get to meet her brothers!
We left for Children's Mercy as a family. Kaylee was excited that she was able to ride with mommy and daddy and new car seats in tow. When we arrived, we got checked in and had the opportunity to see everyone one last time before being taken back for my spinal block.
Before I knew it, it was go time. At exactly 8:30 am, I was taken to the OR to begin my spinal. They told me that Nick would be able to come back within 15 minutes. At 8:58 am, Nick was brought to the OR. He sat next to me and held my hand. He wiped the tears off my face as I laid there waiting for our doctors to begin. It's such a weird experience. The doctors were totally making small talk-- talking about John Riggins and how they had stayed in Seneca a few years back. I was amazed how they really tried to make their conversation relatable to me and the time that they had taken to know where I was from, etc.
At 9:07 am, Preston Edward Topping was born. Dr. Bennett held Preston up for me to see and then the nurses instantly took him to check him over. He was simply beautiful.
At 9:08 am, Peyton Michael Topping was born. The nurses and Peyton's doctor took him instantly to the resuscitation room. We weren't able to see him because he needed to be evaluated immediately.
I instantly turned to Nick and said, go. Go be with our boys. I was instantly terrified that if Nick wasn't with our boys, something would go wrong. So I laid there listening to both of my babies crying. Smiling, thankful that I could hear them only a few feet away. The anesthesiologist was amazing-- he gave me a play by play of what was going on and would tell me when Nick was coming my way. It felt like an eternity before anyone came over to me to tell me what was going on, but before I knew it, Nick was standing by my side with Preston.
Introducing Preston Edward Topping
6 pounds 5 oz.
20 inches long
Nick was seriously a rockstar. Going from room to room to check on the boys and come back to me to let me know what was going on. I asked him how Peyton was doing. He said he didn't think it looked good. He was breathing, but he was in a lot of pain. After meeting Preston, Peyton's doctor came to me to explain what was going on.
She explained that they had placed Peyton on a ventilator but that he was struggling to breathe much on his own . They were managing his pain and keeping him comfortable, but she wasn't sure how much time we had with him. She recommended that we do Peyton's Baptism in the operating room as opposed to the recovery room (which was our initial plan) because they weren't sure if he would make it between rooms. I looked at Nick and he looked at me and we both nodded in agreement. We knew that Peyton was telling us that it was all going to be okay, that we wouldn't have to make any difficult decisions. He was making them for us.
Introducing Peyton Michael Nicholas Topping
3 pounds 14.5 oz
15.5 inches long
Within minutes, both my cousin, Father Daniel Schmitz, and our friend and photographer, Kayla, were in the room. Father Danny baptized and confirmed Peyton as Nick held Preston and I held Peyton's hand.
After Peyton was baptized and confirmed, the doctors said they felt they had Peyton stabilized while on the ventilator. They just weren't sure of how long. They said that we could keep him on the ventilator for as long as we wanted, or we could remove the tubes, etc. so that everyone could hold him. We decided to leave him on the ventilator and move everyone to the recovery room so that our families could meet the boys.
I was instantly moved to the recovery room, Nick following me with Preston. I remember looking out to the waiting room, seeing my sister-in-law, Catie, wave at me. I took a deep breath, smiled, and told myself, everything's going to be okay. You know this. Within seconds, I was instantly surrounded my my family and best friend, Amber. A few minutes later, they brought Peyton into the room and placed him in my arms. For the next two hours, time literally seemed to stand still. It was like God was freezing time for us. Freezing time so we could enjoy every second. Soak up every second with our family.
Kaylee meeting her brothers for the first time was simply priceless. She was beyond excited to see her brothers. Despite her mom laying in a hospital bed and her brother being hooked to all sorts of tubes, it didn't phase her. The love she expressed for her family cannot be put into words. It was simply precious, and something that Nick and i will forever cherish.
At 12:00 pm, 9/29, our son, Peyton Michael Nicholas Topping, went to be with Jesus. The strongest little boy I have ever met. Much too strong for Earth. Peyton passed away peacefully in his daddy and mommy's arms, next to his twin brother Preston. Although his time was short, he had a lifetime of love. He taught us more about life than we could have ever thought imaginable. We are so beyond grateful to have been able to spend those nearly three hours with our family of five.
Words cannot begin to express how thankful we are to have such a great support system. Thank you to everyone that has brought a meal, sent cards, gifts, facebook messages, texts, phone calls, etc. We cannot begin to tell you how much we appreciate them.
Life is but a hello and goodbye, but love is until we meet again.