Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Last 12 Weeks

This is another one of those posts that is mostly for me, to remember what the last 12 weeks have been like. So, here's a bit of what our schedule has been like for 12 weeks.

Abby left, Katie right. I just love Katie's expression.
The first thing to understand is that, especially when they were smaller, there were only certain times of the day when we could get in with the girls and touch them in the beginning, or hold them and take care of them as they got older. The girls do their growing when they sleep, so they want them to sleep as much as possible and holding them or even touching them pulls them out of that excellent sleep. So, we would always try to go up during "cares" that happens every 3 hours with Katie's cares being an hour behind Abby's cares. Cares involves taking their temperature, changing their diapers, measuring their bellies, and then feeding them.

So, my day lately really starts around 3:30am. My alarm goes off telling me it's time to get up and pump.  And let me tell you from experience it's so much easier to get up for a crying hungry baby than to get up for a pump. But pumping no more than 4-5 hours apart is essential for keeping up my milk supply. So, the alarm goes off at 3:30 and I usually manage to hit my phone three or four times and actually get up around 4:00am. I've also been known to completely sleep through the alarm, so I regularly change the sound my alarm makes to keep me from sleeping through it! Sometimes Shawn will turn over and tell me to get up and I usually say something grumpy like "SLEEP!" and hit my phone again to snooze the alarm.  So, at 4:00 I stumble to the living room and sit on the couch for 20 minutes while trying to stay awake enough to pump but not enough to keep me awake. I'll usually watch something online or play solitaire. I have to stay sitting up for the pump to work, so falling back asleep isn't really an option. Then I stumble back to bed until about 8:00 when Eliza wakes up.

My Mom has been staying with us and she usually gets Eliza out of bed and changes her diaper so I can sleep in for just a little bit longer. In the morning I get up, pump again, eat breakfast, play a little with Eliza and then it's time to go to the hospital for 10:00am cares. Shawn always calls the hospital on his way in to work, so he'll text me who the nurse is that morning and how the girls did over night.

I stay at the hospital for around 3 hours doing cares with both girls and holding them or feeding them, and then pumping again at the hospital before I grab a chocolate milk from the parent lounge and head home. Abby is just ready to start her next cares when it's time for me to head home.

In the afternoon I'll eat lunch and pump, and if I'm lucky take a quick nap or shower before Eliza gets up from her nap. Then I'll play with Eliza or watch Sesame Street with her and then it's time to pump AGAIN! Then a little dinner, and Shawn and I head back to the hospital for 7:00pm cares. At night Shawn and I will each take care of one of the girls so it's a bit of a quicker process and we head home by about 9:00pm.  The hospital is 30 minutes away, so that's two hours of every day spent in the car to and from the hospital. I've definitely caught up on my podcasts and have even found some new ones. I might even miss that time once I no longer have that commute, but really I'm looking forward to having two more hours of every day to spend with Eliza and the twins. At 10:30pm I do one last pump for an hour, called a "power pump." It's when I catch up on TV. Thursday night is my favorite right now because Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, and Biggest Loser are all on the Tivo when I get home.

Eliza playing at the hospital.
On weekends Shawn and I split up who goes to the hospital and who stays home with Eliza.  Eliza LOVES going to the hospital, but because of the winter/RSV/cold and flu season kids are not allowed in the NICU so while she has gotten to meet them twice, she can no longer see her sisters. But she still loves going to the hospital and will just hang out in the lobby. There's a cute statue of a family, and Eliza loves to climb on the statue and give the little girl a hug. On Sundays a neighbor or Shawn's brother and sister-in-law will take care of Eliza so we can go up for 1:00pm cares. Then we spend the evening with Eliza.  We think it's important to have one night a week we are together as a family and are both there to put Eliza to bed. It's also nice to have one night that Shawn and I get to spend time together after Eliza's in bed.

So, that's been my life for the last 12 weeks. I know once we bring the twins home life will be hard, but the last 12 weeks have been hard! I'm looking forward to not saying goodbye to Eliza twice a day, and to not feeling like I'm choosing between spending time with Eliza and spending time with the twins. I know to a degree that it will still be like that, but I can't wait to have all three of my girls together. I'm looking forward to getting up with the twins instead of to an alarm clock and a pump. I'm looking forward to making the decisions about the girls and not asking a nurse if it's OK if I pick up my daughter.

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