Today I would be 39 weeks pregnant if those boys hadn’t already made their way here. I can’t imagine still being pregnant at this point! We took them back to the hospital yesterday because Barrett had to have his blood tested again, and they were weighed while they were there. Barrett is 6lb 4oz, and Noah is an even 8lb. What would I do if I were carrying around over 14lbs of baby?! Good thing they came early!
Tomorrow they will be 5 weeks old, and I can’t believe how quickly time has passed! It seems like every single day just flies by so quickly… I have to be careful that I don’t let it all pass by without taking time to soak it all up and enjoy it, because they won’t be this little and snuggly for long!
We’ve adjusted pretty well to being at home. Really well, actually, and I think I owe it all to three things (none of which I can take any credit for whatsoever!!)
First, we spent 19 days at the hospital. I didnt bring home 3-day-old babies, I brought home almost 3-week-old babies. They were on established schedules already (thanks to the NICU nurses), and I’d had several weeks to heal from my surgery and get some rest before coming home. It seems like most mamas come home from the hospital while still recovering from labor/surgery with brand new babies who arent on a schedule yet… which seems like it would be exhausting, and I don’t know how they do it. Plus, I wasn’t as nervous about coming home as I would have been, because for almost 3 weeks, there was a full NICU staff there to answer any question I could come up with and walk me through every step of the way. By the time they came home, we were very comfortable with taking care of them ourselves. These are just a few of the blessings in disguise about time in the NICU!
Second, both of the boys are pretty content, non-fussy babies. They don’t really get that upset very often, and if they do, we usually know exactly what the problem is. If Noah is crying, he is either hungry or he dropped his paci. Other than that, he’s a pretty happy guy. Barrett has a really rough time going to the bathroom because his digestive tract isnt fully mature yet, so he gets a little worked up over that. He also has really tiny membranes in his nose, so it gets clogged really easily and keeps him from breathing well. Both of those issues should get better as he gets bigger. Other than those 2 things, nothing really gets him upset either. I think it all comes from having to sleep through a hundred bells and alarms in the NICU…they’re used to lots of things going on around them, plus they’ve been poked and prodded so much that nothing really bothers them.
Third, I have a husband who loves being super-involved and makes sure I get lots of sleep. With Nate’s schedule, he is home a whole lot more than most dads, so I don’t ever really feel like I’m doing a whole lot by myself. I love the fact that I don’t have to worry a bit about leaving them both with him by himself, because he can totally handle it like a pro. There are lots of times when I’m convinced he’s a much more competent newborn parent than I am! Plus, if I need a nap, he tells me to go to bed and takes the boys. We’ve got a good schedule worked out for nights which allows us both to get rest. I do the 3am feeding and let him sleep, then he gets up and does the 7am feeding and lets me sleep as late as I want to. Most of the time we both get a good 7 hours or so. Once we figured out how to feed both babies at the same time without another person, it made things alot easier because it doesn’t always take both of us. It made the biggest difference.
Sidenote: I have a whole new level of respect for single mamas (or mamas whose husbands can’t be around much or don’t want to help). I don’t know how people do it without the support of their spouse. They must be supermoms! So if you’re one of those mamas who did it on their own, I tip my hat to you. You’re stronger than I am!
There are several things we’ve had to figure out how to manage with 2. I already mentioned feeding them… it was important to us for them to be on the same schedule, especially at night, so that we were able to get good rest. I also knew that it would be stressful to be feeding one if the other was crying from being hungry too. So we worked out ways for one person to feed both of them, and it works out well. Then if we’re both home, each of us feeds one.
I’ve also gotten pretty good at picking them both up and carrying them around while still supporting their heads. It took a little coordination to figure out how to get them both leaning against my shoulder/chest where I could still walk around if I needed to, but we got there. I’m still working on being able to carry both carseats without my arms feeling like they’re about to fall off, but once I start working out again, hopefully that will get better!!
I’m getting better and better about getting myself ready, plus having them both fed, burped, changed, and dressed in a decent amount of time so that I can get to a doctors appointment or church on time. I haven’t been drastically late anywhere yet, but that’s usually because I get started alot earlier than I need to, just in case.
For the most part, things haven’t been too difficult. I feel like this part is much easier than the pregnancy was!! I would much rather juggle two babies than be on bedrest, feeling terrible and being stressed about all the complications. This just kind of feels like things are they way they should be. Plus, I was so uncomfortable pregnant that I didn’t sleep at all…. I sleep alot more now than I did then! I’m also much less stressed now than I was before, which means I feel much more refreshed and energetic.
If we hadn’t been in the NICU for so long, if Nate had a regular work schedule & wasn’t so involved, or if the boys weren’t quite so easy-going, I have a feeling this would be a whole different post…. I’d probably be begging for help and telling you that I’m about to lose my mind. Thankfully, though, we’re all doing great at this point…… but I’d better not hold my breath, because a couple of weeks from now, I might be singing a different song!