This is the moment Nicole McDonald had dreamed of for 13 long months.
Her sons are 13 months old. But mom Nicole McDonald is holding one of them for the very first time. Sort of.
Twins Anias and Jadon were born conjoined at the skull, but were successfully separated in a marathon 27-hour surgery last week. Afterward, McDonald had the chance to hold just Jadon, on his own. And one can only imagine the mix of overwhelming emotions this Illinois mother felt.
In an emotional Facebook post, McDonald wrote, "My Jadon, in your eyes I found the spark that reignited my hope. Hello, brown eyes. I've missed seeing you see me." According to CNN, the boys had been heavily sedated following the operation, and even had a follow-up procedure to clean out their incisions.
The twins' father Christian told CNN about the moment his wife held her son: "She's been longing to hold him since the day the twins were born. That's a very special moment for a mother to share."
"For over 13 months, I've dreamed of this moment," McDonald also wrote on Facebook in a message to family and friends. "I looked down at Jadon's angelic face and saw him in a way I'd never seen him before. He whimpered for almost the whole two hours I held him because he had just been extubated, had the area under his scalp washed out and had been weaned from the good pain meds. But instead of wrapping my body around him in his bed, I wrapped my arms around him and rocked. One of the most profound moments of my life."
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McDonald is also looking forward to holding Anias. But CNN reports his progress is coming along slower than his brother's. He suffered breathing issues, seizures, and heart problems pre-surgery, and has had some seizures since. But doctors are confident that soon Mom and Baby will enjoy the same, special moment. Here's hoping that is very, very soon!
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.