What a wonderful father you are. I love you. And have loved you for a long time. With each passing year, my love grows. That’s how it goes, I guess. The better I’ve gotten to know you, the stronger a team we’ve become. I appreciate your strengths long before I consider your flaws… But this year, it’s something else altogether.

I remember getting the news that would change our lives. Finally, the test came back positive. We were going to have our first baby! I could totally see you as a dad. The best dad ever. Always there, with more energy than anybody I know. Positive, devoted, playful, caring. The perfect combination. I was so excited. And you know what came next... they told us there were two babies on the way instead of one. And a little later, the total shock of knowing it actually wasn’t two… it was three!

It didn’t matter to you how risky our pregnancy was: you were just so happy to be becoming a daddy, three times over! We were beside ourselves.

But then, things went south.

I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by my side that day at the Sainte-Justine emergency room.

Halfway through the pregnancy, we found out our triplets’ lives were in jeopardy. I had to stop everything immediately to go on bedrest for an undetermined period of time. We had just reached the verge of viability when I went into labour.

Simone chose to come into the world on a sunny summer day, at 21 weeks. My beautiful dark flower with big feet. She was the one who made you a father for the first time. You loved her, shielded her, marvelled at her fighting spirit. The short time we had with her was such an intensely human experience. Two and a half hours, and we drank in every second. We knew it wouldn’t last. Do you remember how invincible we felt after she left? It was an incredible life lesson.

Melanie 16 juillet

Together, we decided to believe that our two other babies had a chance. You never let me go, not for a second. You were my lifeline, my pillar, my tower of strength during the four weeks between Simone’s passing and the birth of Alice and Elliot.

You were attentive, responsive, ever-present. Round the clock, or close to it, the entire time I was checked into the high-risk pregnancy unit (GARE). The teams at Sainte-Justine always gave you all the room you needed. And you took it. You wanted to know everything. You wanted to make sure we had all the right information. And all for the good of our babies. We were a team: on good days and bad. Simone gave us the strength to keep fighting.

I can still see you there, reading all those great big books on premature babies and asking the doctors a thousand and one questions. Getting up early every morning to get me the mangoes I loved so much, along with a croissant and a decaf. Helping me get into position over the stupid bedpan, at any time of the day or night. Bringing me all those things from home to keep me focused, and moving everything from one place to the next every time we had to switch rooms. Going to get me an orange juice with ice to lift my spirits. Settling and shaking my pillows again and again. Washing, even shaving me when I needed it. Massaging my poor, swollen body, battered by the train it had been hit by. Making me laugh out loud. Telling me it was all going to be OK. Holding me tight and soothing my soul.

Pascal Elliot 27 aout
Famille Ste Justine 19 novembre
Melanie Pascal 11 aout
Alice decembre

I mean it when I say that, without you, Elliot and Alice would probably not be here today. All those hours of kangaroo care in the NICU, and your checking my daily “reports”… they wouldn’t be as healthy as they today. There’s no doubt in my mind.

I’ll never thank you enough.

I picked the hands-down best father in the world for our children. Not only for Alice and Elliot, but for Simone, too. You gave her so much in so little time. I’ll always be grateful to you for that.

How lucky they are to have you for a dad!

Pascal Elliot Alice
Pascal Alice Elliot
Alice Pascal
Melanie et Alice
Alice Elliot
13 juin Melanie Chagnon
Pascal Alice

I love you. We all love you like crazy!

Here’s hoping you have a wonderful first Father’s Day!

And to all the fathers out there who take care of their families, even in the toughest times, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mélanie Chagnon
Mother of Simone, Alice and Elliot

*The remarks expressed in this article reflect the opinion solely of the author and should not be considered as representative of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.
Melanie Alice