Dearest Family and Friends…

A week ago today, I was cruising eastward on the interstate with Gabrielle, from Orange County to Las Vegas in Garrett’s black X-Terra. Garrett had driven down with big sister, Joanna, as far as Las Vegas–they had planned to come all the way to OC so he could pick up his beloved X-Terra to take back to BYU, where he is again enrolled. And, of course Joanna was more than happy to accompany him, and have the opportunity to get Baby Violet out of Utah’s extended, never-ending (or so it seems) wintery weather.

Gabes and I decided we would save them another 5X2 hours more of added driving time by bringing the X-Terra to them in Las Vegas. While we were driving, we learned that Chrissy had been admitted to the hospital for 24-hour observation. Long story short, by 1:00 pm Chrissy learned they were delivering the twins THAT VERY DAY, at 4pm via c-section, and I found myself on a 5:50 pm flight from Las Vegas to Phoenix–Thanks to Joanna and Rich for their fast action in immediately purchasing the last seat on that flight!

By 8:30 pm, I was in Neonatal ICU (NICU) staring at these gorgeous tiny babies…with a very excited, proud, albeit exhausted, new Daddy, Shelby, who had been running back and forth between Chrissy (in recovery) and their beautiful babies! When I left the hospital @ 10:30pm– after I had finished making a bed on a cushioned bench beneath Christina’s room ‘bay window’ for an exhausted Shelby who was running on pure adrenalin–everyone was doing well. Especially considering how unscheduled this monumental event was. Ok, Ok, maybe the babies knew it was their BIG DAY…they had it in their ‘schedule book’! Looks like the babies will be staying in NICU for about 2 weeks…just so they can be sure they’re breathing is strong and regular, and have learned to eat, or as I’ve heard the NICU nurses say, “They’ve learned to nipple!” And, with all the excitement and new neonatal terminology buzzing around the NICU, I can’t exactly remember the third item, I think, it was, “they need to make sure the twins are pooping really well?” 🙂 Yeah, I think that was it!

Seriously, I continue to marvel each and every day the progress the twins are making–thanks to the miracles of modern medicine–combined with the power of FAITH AND PRAYER! Our family has felt the tremendous peace that comes with knowing our Heavenly Father is watching over the twins, and the medical staff as they carefully perform their life saving skills. We often hear, “Faith Precedes the Miracle”…Well, let me share with you how true this statement is !

Below, are the first exact words sent electronically by Daddy, Shelby, announcing their birth. As soon as the wheels of the Southwest Airline plane I was on touched down in Phoenix, my BlackBerry vibrated. I pulled it out and saw the big HEADING: They Are Here!!!!!!

My heart just pounded as I read the following note, accompanied with the most beautiful photos any grandmother can possibly receive!

Enjoy…with Love,

A Very Grateful Grandma Mel

PS: With the exception of the babies’ first photo (in cream-colored knit caps), the other three photos are the most recent, taken on Friday–when they were six days old. Although they still reside in their separate incubators, they are no longer attached to IV’s and Olivia is now breathing on her own. As their Mama, Chrissy expressed to me with tears swelling in her eyes, “Mom, they’re just such terrific little fighters…from the very start, they’ve fought for their right to live!”

All I can add is DITTO! It was really tough those first few days seeing these tiny little angels attached to so many monitors and life supporting instruments. I still recall sitting in my car, after day two of my NICU visit, and crying my heart out…praying with all my heart for God’s help on their behalf. Yes, a true meltdown. But these are the moments in our lives when we realize how DEEPLY and UNCONDITIONALLY we can LOVE…and how much LOVE GOD EXTENDS TO ALL OF US.

Subj: They Are Here!!!!!!!
Date: Saturday, April 5, 2008 18:47:12
From: Shelby Noakes

Alright family, get your exited voices ready because you’re looking at the most beautiful twin babies ever born. Brady and Olivia were born today April 5th at 4:05 and 4:06 respectively. He weighed in at a monstrous 3lbs 14ounces and she was just a tad smaller at 3lbs 11ounces. They are doing so well. We love them so much already. In the photo Olivia in on the left and Brady on the right. Christina has been through a lot but is doing great. I’ll send more photos later tonight when things calm down.

We are so very blessed!!! Thanks for all of the prayers today.

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