Friday, September 30, 2011
After five weeks of bottles, the babies are just not interested in getting their milk from anything but a bottle. Sure, I can still attempt to nurse, but they are too lazy to get any substantial volume. Switching them at this point would be quite the shock to their system, and I feel that they have been through enough. I literally despise pumping, but life is all about what's best for them. I know that because I am only pumping the babies will eventually outpace me, but for now I can provide them this nutrition. When the time comes, they will thrive on formula, just as millions of babies before them have done.
Interestingly, I am grieving the loss of nursing quite a bit. Much of my path to motherhood has been out of the ordinary. From IVF to a c-section at 34 weeks to the NICU, things haven't gone exactly as planned. I was so looking forward to the simplicity of nursing our twins, to feeding them in the most basic way possible. The loss of this experience has added to my fears that I'm just not cut out to be a mommy. Rather than rallying, my body has consistently failed to perform as expected.
Whether I was made for motherhood or not, I am now a mom. I am reminded of this every time I look into the beautiful faces of my son and daughter. So for now, I will continue to lock myself away and hook up to my pump many times a day, doing my little part in contributing to our twins' health.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
It's been a fun-filled four days at our house. Having our two little ones home is a dream come true, and we are so enjoying introducing them to the world. They are such wonderful babies and are already developing their own little personalities.
Barnes is quite noisy and expressive. He loves mealtime and would probably eat as much as we would give him (though he might not feel well afterwards). His has better muscle control because of his size now, so he's able to sleep in his angled sleeper/bassinet, which he adores.
Frances is getting more and more energy every day. For now she is quieter and more keen on laying awake and entertaining herself, so it will be interesting to see if this changes as she grows. She is so tiny and so beautiful, and her little reflexive smiles just melt our hearts.
Barnes after his first bath at home
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I am worried that he is stretching himself too thin, though, as he has come up with some interesting new ways to conserve energy. Last night we were eating dinner at home, and when he stood up I informed him that his fly was not zipped. His response: "I know, I left it down on purpose. I knew I would have to unzip it again in 30 minutes, so I thought I would save the time." I think he may have taken his quest for efficiency a bit too far.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Our babies are now considered "feeder/growers," which means they are working primarily on learning to bottle feed and gaining weight. They still have some issues with breathing too quickly, but their tiny bodies are slowly learning what to do. Barnes is a bit ahead of Frances on the eating issue, but Frances has made incredible progress considering the extra hurdles she had to overcome. We are working on getting Frances to gain weight, as this seems to be one of her struggles.
They are both such sweet babies. Barnes will happily play awake in his crib, and he loves his pacifier. He likes to wrinkle his forehead and is already learning to pee on his cute outfits. Frances is still so tiny, but very expressive. She is not afraid to show her grumpy face when she disapproves of whatever you are doing. She is such a fighter, but so cuddly at the same time. We are so proud of our two angels...they are literally the strongest two people I have ever known.
Many people have said that this is really better, that this is a time for us to rest while we prepare for the babies to come home. While I know they mean well, let me assure you that this is not better than having our little ones at home. We have been preparing for these children for 34 weeks--really for the last year and a half--and we want nothing more than to have our entire family home. Having babies in the NICU is not a break...it's exhausting. While we may be more sleep deprived once the twins are home, we are by no means well rested now. Here's a sample of our current routine:
6:30-7:00: Wake up. Andrew gets ready for work and packs anything he needs for the day. Jessica pumps, cleans all pump supplies, dries all pump supplies, gets ready, packs a bag for the hospital.
8:00: Andrew comes to the hospital for the first feeding of the day, then goes to work.
9:00: Jessica heads to hospital. Jessica pumps sometime before the next feeding.
11:00: Babies have another feeding (some are by tube and some are by bottle). Andrew arrives back at hospital. One of us holds Frances up to reduce her reflux after her feeding.
12:15: Andrew and Jessica eat a yummy lunch in the hospital cafeteria.
12:45: Jessica pumps.
1:00: Andrew returns to work (though I'm not sure how great his concentration is right now).
2:00: Babies have another feeding.
3:00: Jessica pumps again and then leaves hospital sometime between 3 and 4.
4:00: Jessica lets dogs out, cleans all pump supplies, tries to do any house things that have to be done.
5:00: Andrew comes home from work, works on house work and errands.
6:00: Dinner, walk dogs, pump again.
7:30: We both head back to the hospital to make it in time for the babies' 8:00 feeding. Pump again at hospital.
10:00: Leave hospital. Prepare pump supplies for the night. Eat a snack because we are usually both starving.
11:30- 12:00: Go to bed.
3:30 a.m.: Jessica gets up to pump.
7:00: Start again.
While this is exhausting, we are so thankful that, for our family, this will eventually end. Many families here have no end in sight, and seeing kids who are so sick is truly heartbreaking. Through this process, we have learned how lucky our friends and family are to have so many healthy children. A pregnancy is not ensured to end in a healthy birth, and for each that does we should all praise God.