98: The number of days Carter spent in the NICU.
108: The number of days Griffin spent in the NICU.
44: The number of days Carter has been home.
33: The number of days Griffin has been home, the number of days we have had our entire family together!
19: The number of doctor’s appointments the boys have had since being home.
102: The number of times Griffin’s monitor has beeped
1: The number of times Griffin’s monitor has beeped when there was an actual problem – and this was the day before he came home!
5: The number of weeks the boys would be if they had been born on my due date.
20: The actual age of the boys in weeks.
7.03: Griffin’s weight!
8.03: Carter’s weight!
Countless: The number of diapers we have changed, bottles we have washed, hours we have spent holding the boys, and times we have been caught in a moment full of gratitude and amazement at all we have come through and how well we are doing!
It has been a very busy month, there were times when I could barely keep my eyes open, or formulate a sentence from the absolute exhaustion. There have also been times when I have been angry and sick of dealing with all that we have been given to handle. I have had my moments where I felt sorry for myself and overwhelmed with all that goes along with raising ex micro preemies. But then I snap out of it – often afer a reassuring talk with Tim. All in all, we feel exceedingly grateful for all that we have been given, even if it does mean worrying a little bit more! I won’t sugar coat it, having two “newborns” at home with special needs, a two-year old who shows no fear and a five-year old who has stories to tell is a lot of work. I am sometimes moody, frequently looking disheveled and always tired! But I have also never been happier, never felt more fulfilled as a mom, never had such an acute sense of appreciation for all of the wonderful and ordinary moments that happen in my day.
Griffin and Carter are doing so well I hate to write it out loud in fear of jinxing our good fortune! Carter now only requires oxygen and monitors while sleeping, and after a very scary past couple of weeks his eyes are finally showing improvements and we are increasingly optimistic about his vision future. He smiles when he sleeps, and continues to be a very content and calm little man. Griffin is officially wire free as of Thursday and other than his reflux his issues seem to all be subsiding. He is quite the snuggler and has already learned how to manipulate his way into our arms, tonight he intentionally smiled at me, so wonderful. I freely admit that they both have our family wrapped around their little fingers!
We have another Lung Center appointment in a couple of weeks and hope that by then Carter’s lungs will have improved enough to get rid of the oxygen all together. To say we are ready for the day when both of our boys are free from wires and tubes would be a colossal understatement!!
I do miss the NICU, as strange as that may sound. The staff there had become so much a part of our daily lives and we owe them so much for all that they have done for us. After the boys came home it was as if we lost our friends and support system. I still keep in touch with a few people but it is still so odd not to see them everyday after they played such a major role in our family for so long.
It is because of the amazing treatment we received in the NICU that we have decided to make the March for Babies a major event for our family. This year we have formed a team and will walk in honor of our three ex-preemies and to help to raise funds for treatment for future preemies. What modern medicine can do to not only keep tiny little fighters like ours alive but help them to thrive is nothing short of amazing and our goal is to forever honor our journey by raising money for the March of Dimes. If you would like to donate to our team, or better yet – join us on April 29th for the March for Babies visit our team page! Every little bit helps, every walker counts!
What a great day it will be to walk with Griffin and Carter, in a walk to raise awareness and funds for premature births knowing that only six months earlier they weighed only 1.08 lbs and were fighting to survive. Nothing short of a miracle!