Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Unbelievable

We've been home with the boys since Saturday!  Overwhelming to say the least.  Everything escalated so quickly, near the end of their stay.  Last Tuesday was the end of my five-day dairy-elimination diet, so I started them on my breastmilk for real.  Prior to that, I had been pumping before a feed to empty my breasts and then trying them on the boob so they could practice latching.  They tolerated my breastmilk well so that meant even more time at the hospital - breastfeeding, then topping up with a bottle, and then pumping.  Last week was all me all the time, as the Dotytron went back to work for the last week of school.  It was a little stressful and trying - all the back and forth to the hospital and the length of my stays there meant that each visit took a minimum of 2 hours.  The progress from there was exponential - I showed up on Thursday and they had had their feeding tubes removed, because they'd done a full night of bottles:



And then all of a sudden our paediatrican was talking discharge.  The NICU needed the beds, I think and our guys were getting old and were ready to "graduate" as it were - they had hit 35 weeks, had gone 5 days off their medicated caffeine dose without having an apnea spell, and by the proposed discharge date of Saturday, June 29th, they would have been without the feeding tube for the requisite 48 hours.  The paediatrican was confident that they were ready (and, as I mentioned, they needed the beds).  I was told all of this on Friday and so Friday was a day spent running around like a headless chicken crossed with a headless horseman.  I had to get the car seats so they could get their car seat tests (premature babies are hooked up to a blood oxygen monitor and then put in their car seat for 90 minutes to make sure they don't desaturate).  Then I found out that our old car seat that Theo used was too big for the babies.  The straps at their lowest level was still about 3 inches above where the bigger wonder twin (Professor Turtle's) shoulders started, so I had to go out and by another new car seat on the fly.  Then it was mad housecleaning and making arrangements for the Big Yam Saturday morning.

Saturday morning we signed all the paperwork, endured the most fraught 10 minute car ride of our lives and then this happened:




Home, home, home!

It hasn't been without its stresses.  The Big Yam has a cold and had a fever Monday night.  He's been so sweet with the babies and all he wants to do is touch them and hold them and be nice to them, and we've had to be jerks and tell him not to touch themvand give him grief about washing his hands and coughing into his sleeve and he doesn't understand.  We had my mum take him yesterday, today, and into tomorrow and we're both consumed with guilt about it - we feel badly for him.  He's basically had his life turned upside down for the past three weeks and now we're sending him away right when he feels the crummiest and wants us to comfort and cuddle him.  It's making us feel like the worst parents ever.  Three under three ain't no joke, sons.  

Look at that picture of him being the cutest with his babies brother (and also coating them in germs)!  So G-D cute.  When the babies cry in their pack and play in the living room, he goes over and pats their heads and says, "It's okay, it's okay" and it's the sweetest effing thing you've ever seen in your life.  Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  

We have to be ultra-vigilant with the wonder preemies.  They put the fear into us before we got discharged, on account of RSV - respiratory syncytial virus.  It's one of the things that make up the common cold, and almost everyone will have it by the time they're two, but it's the leading cause of hospitalization in premature babies and if they get it, their underdeveloped lungs means they are more prone to bronchial issues, pneumonia, and even death.  WORST.  So we're being super-strict about people washing their hands before touching the babies and limiting visitors, etc.  Guess how long we have to be wary for?  THIS ENTIRE COLD/FLU SEASON.  Hahaha, of COURSE it's for months and months.  Ahh, the wonder twins, making things easy since 2013.  They can get this booster in September that helps their immune system but it wears off.  They'll also be seen by this neonatal follow clinic to check for any developmental issues until they're 2.

So glad they're home, but these feeds are epic.  First I try them on the breast, then we top them up with the bottle, and then I pump.  Each feed is taking about 1.5 hours and that's with the Dotytron helping me, and we do this eight times a day.  The weekend was tough - when the Big Yam is at daycare,I find  it's really manageable - the wonder twins sleep so much that other than feeding, it's pretty hands off, unless I feel like wanting the best feeling in the world ever and decide to grab one of them to take a nap on me.  I'm fine to get by on 5 hours of sleep with a 1 hour nap during the day.    The Dotyron is a little more sensitive to sleep interruptions but he's been stellar.  Equal partnerships for the win!  

Our support network has been great.  Dr. Rei and Hanbo came over on Friday night and watched the Big Yam, which involved an epic dance party session to the Thomas theme song for a million hours.  SMcKay and Lolly came on Saturday to lend a helping hand.  Momma D and Ehmdo came by.  My mum has been fantastic - dropping off food, taking the Big Yam, and giving bottles to the babies and generally being ultra-cute with them.  I don't know how we could do it without them, and that's with the Dotytron being off for the summer.  




We are so, so, so happy to be home.  22 days in the NICU went by slow and fast at the same time.  The care we got for the boys from that place was outstanding and next level and I am sad to leave our NICU family of nurses and care providers.  The wonder twins are so happy to be together.  When we put them in the pack and play together they roll towards each other and hold hands - up until being born they'd been together for almost 8 months and I think they're glad to be close together again.  

Now we're settling into a rhythm, eating home cooked food again, and resting and revelling in our family of five.  We still get caught off guard...it's hard to believe we're the parents of three boys.  Sometimes I still can't believe that I have twin boys...our non-identical identical twin boys.  So much love!

Fin.

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