Blame it on the rose-colored glasses I worked so hard to find over the past five months but life at home with two babies is not all that bad, in fact I love it! The first time I held both of the boys at the same time in the NICU I remember breaking out in a sweat. It was in that moment that the reality set in that we would have two babies at home some day. And frankly, the thought of that made me a tad bit nervous. One day as I rocked them, one of the doctors came in to chat and asked if I was okay, she said I seemed quieter than normal, more stressed. I explained that since the boys were close to coming home my mind was overwhelmed with the planning and stress of what was to come. I’m not too far removed from baby life, Addie is only two and a half, I remember the crying, sleepless nights, constant worry…I remembered what is in store for us – times two! I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with all that was to come with having Griffin and Carter home.
And it turns out, I worried for nothing! Sure, we change about 20 diapers a day, make 20 bottles, I sit down to breastfeed what seems like every hour, untwist Carter’s oxygen tubing more times than we can count, wash binkies, blankets, bibs and baby clothes non stop but we have yet to be overwhelmed. Tim and I have created a routine for ourselves and the boys, the girls and the dogs all seem to be settling into it nicely. Griffin cries a lot due to the pain caused by his severe reflux, Carter is more laid back but is constantly moving, thus constantly kicking his blankets off or losing his binkie. This has become the background music of our home, these sounds and the loud rumble of the oxygen concentrator and beeping monitors!
My brother and his wife had a baby last week. I was overjoyed to hear of his birth, and more than excited to hear every detail I could soak up about him. My love for my new nephew and pride for my brother was instantaneous. And it wasn’t until I felt that instant joy at hearing the news of Corbin’s arrival did I realize how much I longed for that feeling. I have four wonderful kids, I wouldn’t trade them or their journey’s into our family for anything but I was jipped from feeling the instant joy when three of my four children were born. Having a preemie baby changes that phone call. When Kennedy was born we called everyone to announce her arrival with happy tears in our eyes and a huge amount of pride. When Addie, Griffin and Carter were born we made the same phone calls but with concern in our voice and a worried voice on the other end of the line. Just a realization I had, but not a complaint. IT is my firm belief that everything happens the way that it should. And in no way does my experience with my preemie kids take away from my joy for those with full term healthy babies. I hope nobody confuses my reflections for whining, or a cry for advice. It is simply a reflection.
There hasn’t been a week since Carter came home four weeks ago where we didn’t have at least one specialist appointment to attend for one, or both, of the boys. The medical binder I carry wherever I go with all of their information is growing bigger by the day. Knowing all of their past issues, present concerns, medications and needs gets a bit exhausting. Tomorrow we go back to the hospital to have blood drawn, Wednesday to the lung center to see if Carter can handle being on O2 only at night, Friday the eye center where they are closely watching Carter’s slow healing eyes. Next week the pediatrician, eye center again and cardiologist, I believe, and the week after that the hearing clinic. It is tiring, and makes me long for the days when the boys’ lives aren’t filled with doctors appointments.
But then I spend the afternoon snuggling with both of them on my chest and Addie curled up next to me and I forget the appointments and special needs and simply enjoy being a mom. Because the reality is that I would go to a different doctor everyday if it meant that I could be Griffin and Carter’s mom. They are wonderful. Carter is laid back – he is a content baby, happy to just to be in the mix of the family action. Like so many months ago when Carter needed extra sedation to stay still he continues to be a mover. Constantly picking his head up, kicking and waving his arms. I love to watch him move, the way he examines his hands and eagerly sucks his fingers. Griffin is a snuggler, he loves to be held and shimmies himself into you for his long naps. He has the best looks and when he is wide away looks at me in a way that puts a huge grin on my face. His face is just perfect! The girls are so in love with both of them. Addie is always asking to hold “her baby”, and she is amazing at throwing away diapers! Kennedy of course is over the moon about being a big sister. She is ever vigilant about Carter’s nasal cannula placement and hand sanitizer. One of my favorite things to do is watch her snuggle with her brothers. She is so gentle and loving.
So I will continue to wear my rose-colored glasses because, while sometimes it is hard, right now…I love my life!