The first week with the twins born we sadly only got to have little Jack home with us. After two days in room with us, both boys had to do a car seat test. Jack passed, however Cullen did not. He was dropping his oxygen levels below the threshold. He had been on the line of what caused concern for his breathing and after some observation in the nursery, the pediatrician decided to move him to the NICU so that they could observe more closely and redo the car seat test. This was very hard to have one baby with us and the other downstairs. Luckily, at first we were all in the hospital, so everyone got lots of love. Cullen ended up failing the car seat test 3 times before he passed. He spent an extra 4 days in the NICU after we went home. He was completely healthy by all accounts, except when they put him in that car seat. It was hard driving back and forth leaving one baby at a time. There were some tears shed the last couple of days of making the journey to the hospital. I just wanted BOTH of my babies home with me. We talked about so many options to just get that boy home! Chris even contemplated a helicopter ride!! Haha all ideas were completely unrealistic, but desperation can create some crazy thoughts!! I can say now, and I knew it then, we were lucky. Cullen wasn’t having issues with his health and I was never once concerned about his well-being. I know that others are in the NICU and it’s not the same story… and it’s much longer. Jack adjusted to his new routine at home and even with Cullen in the NICU they were on the same feeding schedule, which made for a nice transition once we got him home!
The second week we got to bring Cullen home when they were 8 days old. Dad and I watched the entire 90 minute car seat test and thank God he made it through – Chris even got Starbucks for our two nurses in hopes of good karma!! We thankfully took him home that same night. The past two weeks have been pretty smooth. I mean, of course, like any new parents our sleep schedule is adjusting. But our boys usually only wake up 2 times through the night (after our 11pm feed until 7 or 8am). I shouldnt complain, even though I sometimes do. I think both of them have had some issues with reflux which only seems to bother them a little. We elevated their crib mattresses and try to adjust how we feed, but for preemies I think we got really lucky. We have had to start putting Cullen in the MamaRoo for 20 mins after feeds to help the reflux while he sleeps.
I’m so thankful to my mom and mother-in-law who alternated weeks staying with us for the first few weeks. I got to get some naps in while they watched the boys. We also have some of the BEST friends in the world who have helped us more than you can imagine. The boys are lucky to have such awesome aunties and amazing grandmas!
We have managed to transition to a family of six fairly smoothly and I’m so thankful for that!! Both of our older kids are amazing helpers and adore their little brothers so much! It makes my heart so happy to see them all interacting together. I can’t wait for the future! We got the okay from the pediatrician to start having outings with the babies so we’ve started to venture out some which I think helps us all!
I can’t believe the recovery from my c-section. I had warned Chris that I would be down and out for weeks after the surgery based on what I had read. I’ve been so lucky to make a great recovery! I was walking the same day as the c-section (just to the bathroom) and stopped taking the pain medication about a week and half later. I can tell when I overdo things later in the day, but before we left the hospital I was walking around on my own, lifting babies, going from post partum to the NICU – with very minimal pain. Praise the big man upstairs for that one! My doctors also did a fantastic job on the incision! I took my bandage off on Day 6 and it looked as if it had been healing for weeks! I couldn’t believe it! My body still has some recovering to do, but I think I got WAY lucky all around with this pregnancy and delivery!
Things I’ve Learned About Preemies
- The Preemie Grunt – wow! I didn’t even know this was a thing, until we were living it. After a google search I learned it was in fact common! Both boys will grunt for hours – we thought it was gas at first but I think it’s just their preemie way. It’ll keep you up, until you learn they aren’t in pain and are still developing! Now I’ve come to think of it as my own sleep sound machine – it’s also reassuring that they are alive and breathing! I find when it’s too quiet I start to panic! 😜
- Preemie clothes are impossible to find! Seriously, we have about 12 preemie sized outfits and I think I’ve bought every outfit I’ve found. You think there would be more selection! Poor babies get swallowed in the NB clothes!! Someone needs to get on this lack of merchandise!!
- Everyone will comment on how little they are – I’ve gotten used to how little they are, and when I see newborn (full term) babies I think they are huge! Take tons of pictures because they won’t stay that tiny! Both of ours are still smaller than most full term babies, but I feel like they have doubled in size!!
- Things take longer. I have to constantly remind myself (and my husband) that we have two babies who would still be considered “early” if born today. I can’t rely on the internet or books for milestones, because at 3 weeks old, they would still only be 38 weeks gestation. Their little bodies are still developing. We can’t compare apples to oranges!