July 25- Aug 1
This has been the longest week of my life. It has easily been the most challenging and the most wonderful all at the same time.
The rest of my hospital stay is sort of a blur now. It was definitely nice to have people to bring me food still and it was nice to have pain medication when I wanted it. The first few days were pretty painful. Any transition from laying to sitting and sitting to standing was so awful. Dan helped me to the bathroom several times because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get up and down. I mean I knew that there was going to be pain involved, but I guess I didn’t know exactly how much pain and what sort of pain. The cramping was bad the first few days making it pretty impossible to walk but as soon as I could, I made myself get up and start moving.
We had people visit us at the hospital, and though I was pretty wiped, it was nice to show off our babies. I tried to visit them a few times a day for the time I was in the hospital. It was really hard though because it was painful for me to sit and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t really help out with the boys. It was pretty amazing to sit and hold them. I held Wyatt first with skin to skin. It was so wonderful to feel his little body against mine and to know that just holding him was healing for him.
When I held Ronan for the first time, I started crying. Partly because he was just given a feeding tube and partly because I had this realization that I was holding my baby. Dan came over and just let me cry and I felt bad because I was probably squeezing Ronan.
On Friday, we had the title officer and our realtor come to the hospital and we closed on our house. On Sunday, Dan got a truck and loaded up our stuff (with the help of my brother and his step-brother) and moved our stuff to the new house. On Monday, my family came over and helped us organize.
On Sunday, I was also discharged and feeling much better. It was still hard to stand for very long or walk, but I could do most everything as long as it was done slowly. We went to my parents for a family party and it was great to see family but it was hard to not have the boys with me to show them off. On Tuesday, I got my staples out and was feeling a ton bettwe.
This week I have been going up to Good Sam in the morning and have been staying until about 7pm. Dan goes to work in the morning and then meets me up at the hospital around 1. The NICU is both a wonderful and awful place. It is wonderful in that my boys are being taken care of and the nurses are so nice. It is awful in that my boys are hooked up to machines, I can’t really hold them and take care of them the way that I want to, there are beeping noises that go off all the time, there are babies always crying, we are always on edge and it is just a reminder that our babies are not home with us.
Right now, the boys are considered “feeders and growers”. This means that the reason that they are in the NICU is to learn how to feed by bottle and to grow. They are hooked up to the basic monitors (heart rate and O2 levels) and both have feeding tubes since they do not always have enough energy to actually take their milk by bottle. They are up-ing their feeds pretty regularly in the hopes that they will gain weight and become strong enough to take their feeds by bottle. Besides the basic monitoring, Wyatt also had an IV (though that was taken out yesterday) and he is in an incubator because he is working on regulating his body temperature. Both boys have also been under the bililights because they had jaundice.
We also just found out that Wyatt has a heart murmur because he has VSD and ASD. This means that there is a defect in his heart and there is a hole between his two atria and a hole between his ventricles. His heart is functioning perfectly at this time and the chambers are the correct sizes and the heart squeezes with a good amount of force, so for right now we just have to monitor it. Surgery may have to be done further down the road but that is not something that we are concerned about in the immediate future.
The boys are both so beautiful and they are doing so well. They have started having their eyes open more often and seem so curious. Dan and I are able to change their diapers, feed them and hold them. Dan is pretty great at swaddling them too. We definitely feel like we are important in their daily care and we try to do as much as we can. I have been pumping as well so the boys are now exclusively getting my breast milk, which is great (though pumping is a pain). I have begun to try to breastfeed Ronan, and it went pretty well so I will just continue to try until we are both more comfortable and he is able to get a stronger suck. I also have been able to hold both the boys at the same time. It breaks my heart that they can’t be together more often because I really think that it would be beneficial for them both. Today we did kangaroo care, meaning the boys were naked except diapers they were put against my naked chest. This is supposed to be extremely beneficial for the babies and the mom. It was the best feeling for me to have my boys that close and to have them together. As I was holding them, Ronan kept scooting closer and closer to his brother. Love
Each day Dan and I leave the NICU completely wiped. We go home and we basically just pass out. I have never been this exhausted. It doesn’t help that my hormones are all out of whack and I end up crying on a daily basis. We are so lucky that are boys are doing so well, but at the same time, we just want to be able to take them home and just hold them without them being hooked up to so many machines. It breaks our hearts when we leave and we can’t wait to go back the next day to see them.
This is easily the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I really thank everyone who has supported Dan and I through this time. We hope that the boys will be able to come home in the next month and appreciate all the positive thoughts and loving words.