As I wash water bottles and little snack bowls at the end of the night, I can’t help but think of a few memories thanks to this pink dishpan I’m using. Yes, the pink dishpan we got at the hospital that we used post-birth to wash all the pumping pieces and baby things is still sitting in my sink and being used daily.
Over a thousand times I’ve used this dishpan, each time taking a moment to remember where it came from and smiling for just a moment.
My twins were born at 33 weeks and 6 days. For twins, this isn’t terrible, but certainly isn’t “fully baked.” My twin A (boy) was born first and spent a total of 7 days in the NICU, and my twin B (girl) was born second and spent a total of 10 days in the NICU. I have an older son, so having the twins wasn’t my first rodeo, but my twins taught me so much about patience, trust and love in those early days. The challenges my family went through as we waited for our family to be under one roof. The stress of finding time to be with my twins and my oldest, constantly changing plans and the unexpected nature of being outnumbered always simply hasn’t stopped. But one constant is this dishpan.
This dishpan holds the cups my kiddos use (though not for much longer) as the cups are slowly getting bigger as the kids grow. This dishpan reminds me of the hard nights pumping and washing and washing and pumping, as well as my not-by-choice shortened breastfeeding journey. This dishpan reminds me of the memories of messing the kitchen while making baby food. This dishpan reminds me of the week we didn’t have a dishwasher, and it was me and this pink thing to get through.
Such an inexpensive and maybe strange thing to hold on to after our time in the hospital, but I’m proud of how long it’s lasted and continues to be a part of our day as a reminder of those early hours and days of struggle. “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things,” (Cicero), and the memories held of our NICU days are the hardest but sweetest and will be treasured forever as I watch my babies (now 5!) thrive.