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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Life At Home

After the challenging days I typically had at the NICU, a day in the life at home is pretty wonderful, I must say.  There are still challenges, doctors orders, and nurses pricking their feet for blood, but most of the time, it's just relaxing and wonderful.

My favorite part is obviously going to sleep and waking up next to these 2...

So what is a typical day like?

Well the twins are still eating at least 6 times a day, predominantly from a bottle (blah). I am still doing the nurse, bottle feed, then pump routine for every feeding. They've gotten better at nursing but they still just can't get an entire feeding from it. Even when they nurse really well for 10-15 minutes, they'll still take almost an entire bottle, which makes me think they were a long way from full before we started with the bottle. It's gotten a little discouraging but I keep reminding myself that they still shouldn't be born for 3 more weeks so it's ok that they're not pros at everything yet. The important part is that they can do it, and once they get bigger and stronger, they'll be able to go to nursing full time. That will be a very happy day!

So when they're not eating, they're sleeping. Alot. Which is good, because that means they're growing! Jack has gained almost a pound in just the short time they've been home. Mia would probably have grown if she didn't have eating issues.

It seems like almost daily though they're awake a little more and more. It's nice seeing them awake and looking around. They're so curious about what's going on around them even though they can only see a few inches away. Last night was the first discovery of a toy. Amelia was fascinated with a little toy I hung on her car seat. I pull the ring down and it vibrates and moves and her eyes got so big, she had no idea what to do with herself. She's going to be an entertaining kid when she gets bigger.

We've had a few rough spots on our time at home though...

Amelia, who was never the best eater, decided about 3 days after being home, that she had had enough of food. She was eating close to 2oz before and suddenly, getting an ounce in her was rough. And what we did get in her, she would throw right back up. We started keeping her sitting up when she was done eating to try to keep the food down. Since we don't have a lot of baby things in Pennsylvania and don't want to buy a lot, we keep her in her car seat. She doesn't complain too much ;)
We took her to the doctor and he thought trying zantac might help. Jackson was on that when he was taking steroids and he didn't miss a step in eating. We tried it, and Amelia started to eat again! She's back up to 2 1/2oz and hardly ever spitting up! We still keep her sitting up for about 30 minutes after she eats, and don't do anything really upsetting to her until it gets close to the next meal (bath, changing her, etc), so things have turned a corner. She didn't gain any weight the first week she was home so I'm hoping on Monday at the next Dr's appointment, she'll have put on her weight.

Her brother, Jackson, would eat a gallon if I let him, I think. He will eat anything that gets in his path when he's hungry. He even tried to suck on my nose once when I got too close to kiss him when he was hungry. When he starts crying and looking for food hours before he's supposed to eat, I always tease and say he'll learn to walk so he can go find his own food and doesn't have to rely on me. He eats 3oz every feeding, easily, I keep giving him a few mL more and more and he keeps demolishing it. So he might be eating more than I pump very quickly here.

We have doctors appointments and a home nurse that keep up busy and keep up with their medical needs. They get weekly lab work, Jackson to monitor his sodium because of the diuretic and sodium he takes, and HNH for both of them since they are anemic. We give them both vitamins with iron and fortify their breast milk with Neosure to get more iron and other vitamins in them. Overall, everyone has been happy with how they've been doing at home.

We also have taken a few trips to not crowded places so we can get out. We take a walk every day, we've taken them to the dam where we got wedding pictures taken...

can't believe that was just in October! and we went to the school by our house to play in the playground. I used to go there all the time to play when we were kids, but the playground has gotten a major upgrade since the days when I went there.
We went out to eat a few local restaurants. The nice part about where I live is that things are pretty rural and quiet. In one restaurant we were even in a room all by ourselves so we didn't have to worry at all about people coming up and touching the twins, but it was still nice to go out and get out of the house for something other than a doctor's visit. Their favorite outing was probably to get ice cream...yummm!
I worked at this ice cream place in high school. So strange going back to all of my old spots, but this time, as a mom!

The twins have had a few visitors to stop in and say hi. A few family friends came up, some of them not even knowing the twins were home, just making their usual stops by the house or coming up to pick some fruit and the twins were there so we let them say hi. My great aunt and her daughter came by to see them.
 I'm sure alot more family will come to visit before we head back to California, but for now...the twins enjoy just hanging out with their uncles most days.
So that's our days for the past week and a half. Tom has been here but he's leaving again to go back to California. The next time we see him, he'll be here to help get the twins to California and we'll finally be all together again and settled in our new home!

On our agenda for next week is another appointment with their pediatrician for vaccines so I'm sure it'll be a stressful week being on the look out for any bad reactions. And they have a follow-up with the eye doctor to see how things are going. We're hoping Mia has grown out of some of her retinopathy and won't require any treatment for it...fingers crossed! Keep the twins in your thoughts and prayers. Although they are doing better, they are far from being out of the woods yet.

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