Friday, November 30, 2012

Life at Home with our Little Angels

Well for obvious and wonderful reasons I have not had much time to update this blog but no news is good news in this case :) Ava and Aubrey came home after just 3 short weeks in the NICU. They came home at 35 weeks which is amazing and we were so blessed that they didn't have any setbacks! Through that week it was touch and go with whether just one would come home or both, but it was amazing to be able to bring both home together! The day was crazy and we didn't get home until 8:00 that night, but what a joy to be able to place the babies in the arms of their big sisters!!

I must say, in my mind I was prepared for what an extremely difficult thing I thought having twins would be. My oldest daughter was extremely colicky with severe reflux as a baby, and she cried ALL. DAY. LONG. And, all night too. It was very difficult. When my second daughter came along, she seemed much easier, but neither of them would let me lay them in a swing or bouncy seat. They both screamed if they weren't held. When you have a baby with reflux, letting them "cry it out" doesn't work because that results in one of two things. 1) The baby projectile vomiting all over and creating more work, wash, etc... or 2) The baby turns blue and stops breathing she is so worked up and gagging. My husband and I spend 5 months straight bouncing on an exercise ball with Emma to keep her calm and happy. All of this being said, when I tell you that we used to often say, "Having twins would be easier than this", when THAT actually happened I wondered if I would eat my words. But it's true! These babies are so easy and very content. So far at least! The fact that they let us put them down in their swing/bouncy seats for large chunks of time is amazing! Of course I wish I could just snuggle them most of the day, but with 2 older kids to take care of and a house to keep up with, what a huge blessing to have content easy babies! They are, together, indeed our easiest yet!

They love to snuggle together in the same swing and I wonder what will happen when they get too big to fit in there together, hehe :) Yesterday when I got them out of the swing (they contentedly laid in there for 3 hours which allowed me to clean up, make breakfast, pump, get dressed and wash my face etc...) Ava's hair was all sticky and wet and matted down on one whole side of her head and I realized it was because Aubrey had been licking her sister's head! Occasionally something extra super cute happens, like they hold hands!!

Ava is our more content one. She is like her mama in the fact that she loves her sleep. She sleeps much more peacefully and longer than Aubrey. Ava "calls" less in the middle of the night. She also doesn't eat quite as much or as vigorously as Aubrey. That is where Aubrey is like her mama - she LOVES to eat and she does it a lot! Aubrey is the more fussy one, even though she is quite content overall. She has her eyes open much more often, looking all around and taking it in. She "calls" much more in the middle of the night and needs more snuggles from us. In my tummy Aubrey was the one who was always moving and I always said I don't know when she slept. I rarely felt Ava move. So it is funny that now it remains the same - Ava is the sleepyhead and Aubrey is the wakey pants.

Everyone asks how we tell them apart. The answer to that is that we don't!!! We left Ava's hospital bracelet on her ankle, but this week she outgrew it so we painted her big toenail pink to tell who is who. Although they had been home for 2 weeks, last week I noticed that Aubrey has a teeny pink blood vessel showing through her one eyelid and not many people see it but I do and can tell them apart that way now. Try that in the middle of the night though. There is a lot of "who do you have?", "I have the one in dots", "the one in the striped blanket pooped." etc...!!

The babies are the softest, cutest, tiniest little things and I am so thankful for them and for what the journey with them has taught us. Each and every time I hold them and look at them I still cannot believe this happened to me, that my body created this, that God chose us, and that I have twins!!! I am soooooo excited for life with them, and with all my girls! I look forward to watching them grow and see who they look like, whether they will have blonde or brown hair, blue or brown eyes. I look forward to sleeping through the night again too!

At the doctor this week, Ava weighed 5.8 pounds and Aubrey 5.14, so they are up 2 pounds since they were born. Still super tiny, they are getting some chubs on their thighs and they outgrew (by length) their first preemie outfit! Preemie diapers are now actually fitting them and not swallowing them. It is crazy to think that they have been with us for 6 weeks but they still wouldn't be born yet until December 11th!!!

The biggest challenges have of course been the night time, the babies not nursing because they are used to a bottle from the NICU plus my supply being low, and Abigail adjusting to sharing my attention. My husband is so great and takes a few hours at night to let me sleep. My mom comes over almost every day to let me nap and she keeps up with my wash and does odd jobs here and there, and occasionally takes the big girls overnight to get some attention and fun without the babies. I am so blessed to have help. I have been so content and happy and have only had one or two moments where I felt close to tears and frazzled. For 6 weeks with 4 kids under 5 I think that's pretty remarkable! At night when one is content and asleep the other is fussy and awake sometimes and that is really challenging but I know it is only for a season. I also pump since the babies won't nurse, and bottle feeding plus pumping is very time consuming but I refuse to settle for anything less than the absolute best for these babies especially since as preemies their nutritional and immunity needs are greater.

We have had a few other challenges aside from the babies since they have been home, things like the heater in the house going, the transmission in a car going etc..., but when you get through something like we just did and look at the two tiny miracles in front of us, it puts so much in perspective and things that would have seemed so big seem so small. We are so blessed and so thankful!

1 comment:

  1. All the girls are adorable...especially the mama! Looking good Heather...what a showoff!!

    We love you. Hope to meet the little ones soon. My mom officially lives in PA. as of today. I hope that means that we'll see each other more often.