Sorry for the silence. I'm hardly ever home, and even though I can, and do blog from my phone, my hands are full of either babies or my bre.asts (pushing the milk out during pumping).
If you would like to be friends on Facebook, where I can upload a picture and a description nearly one handed, send me an email at sarah at dreamsandfalsealarms.com
Ok! For a real update:
The boys are now 34 weeks old. Asa weighs 5.8 lbs and Judah weighs 4.8 lbs. Judah is behind because he had to spend a week on dieuretics to clear his wee lungs of fluid. Now he's off them, and will probably catch up with Asa in no time (he's gaining weight like a champ!)
They are both working on breastfeeding. This week Asa has take 4mls, 14 mls, 16mls, 22 mls, 26mls! directly from the milk bar! We are going to start doing pre and post weighing with Judah today. Asa is fiercely sucking on his paci during feedings which means he's made the association between hunger and his mouth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go brainstems! Their development is unfolding right on schedule, which is really nice. After everything else we compromised to have these children, I'm so happy to be able to breastfeed them.
Pumping, which is now going to segue into breastfeeding is going well. I found the magic flanges from this company: Pumpin Pal. This company saved my sanity! The flanges are shaped more like a baby's mouth and come off nipple at a more natural angle. Go look for yourselves. There is no danger of me becoming one of those moms who loves pumping, but at least I don't hate it and my breasts aren't in abject misery at all times.
Asa may be home by the end of the month...or maybe sooner? He's mastering feeding, and temp regulation, what is next is not having any bradicardic episodes during sleep for 5 days. Every time he has one, it resets the clock 5 days. Judah is making huge strides, but he is still on a nasal canula with oxygen, so until he's off of that, he can't come home. There is a chance they'd send him home on oxygen, but it's a slim chance, and we really don't want him home before he's really ready to be here.
This is going to get hairy really soon for the following reasons:
Judah may be in the hospital for 2 or more weeks longer than Asa which means carting Asa back and forth to the hospital every day, and managing the transition from gavage (tube in nose) feeding to breast and bottle feeding, during which I will have to pump after each breastfeeding session until they can really empty my breasts.
Hauling Asa back and forth.
Leaving our sweet Judah alone at the hospital.
Being home without both our boys.
So some of it is logistical and some of it emotional. Eventually we'll all be home together, but it feels so attenuated.
Add to all of this that beyond the normal period that most people have to isolate their preemies and newborns, because of Judah's severe lung damage, and Asa's less severe but rather involved lung damage, we are going to have stay isolated a lot longer than usual.
One thing that I've been thinking about is the invisibility factor that becoming a mother has entailed: I felt invisible when I was going through infertility, I had lovely moments of being seen as a pregnant woman, but those were fleeting since I was in the hospital with the kidney drama and then on bedrest, and now, to protect our babies health, we won't be out in public with them much. Honestly, this is superficial, but it is also a life experince, to be the one pushing the stroller with the babies who lites up the face of even the most crumudgenly old coot. I've seen so many others do it, and I wanted that for myself. I was in the pharmacy and there was a mother with ther 5 month old baby, soothing him and cooing to him, and I realized, here I am again. Part of the club, but with my badge on the inside. What a different moment it would have been if I'd had one or both of my boys. A moment of connection that I could force, by inserting my status into the situation, but that is another way of being invisible. Truly, I wouldn't endanger our boys by taking them someplace that wasn't safe for them just because I want to fulfill a fantasy, but it's a loss nonetheless.
Despite that rather introspective paragraph, mostly I'm just happy as a clam. I can't wait for the real mothering to begin. Right now it's like I have a job, but not like a 'real' mom in the ways so many of you describe, but it will be here sooner than I know.
I'll post some pictures soon from my phone. They are in the same crib! It's sooooo cute!