Still waiting for Alex to come home. Insurance company has not responded yet. We are excited, scared and getting antsy. We hope it will be in the next couple of days. I am still a wreck thinking about the boys being separated and the challenges we'll have with visiting Nicholas. And although we've had countless offers of watching Alex so I can get to the hospital to see Nicholas, I just know that I'm soooo not ready to leave Alex after just getting him home from the hospital yet either. I've left them for the last 100 days (yes, really its been that long) so I just can't do it yet willingly.
We've talked with their nurses and we are taking the suggestion of bringing Alex to the NICU waiting room while we take turns visiting with Nicholas for an hour or two. I'll do this around Alex's schedule so he can sleep while we are there but I just need to be near in case he needs me. A well meaning friend asked if I was sure I wanted to bring my baby back to the NICU after he's been discharged. Well, no its certainly not ideal, not a bit of this is but its the best that I can come with given the circumstances. Some NICU's even let you bring your baby's sibling back with you while you visit your other child but our NICU does not allow any children under the age of three. Alex is already getting scheduled for about a hundred follow up visits at the hospital shortly after he comes home so I might as well get used to getting him up there and besides, I can't think of a cleaner waiting room than the NICU one and one where everyone is about as well versed in the art of severe hand washing as one can be.
I guess this comment is one that reminds me I need to get growing a tougher skin as a mom. As a new parent I know we will get many well meaning "tips", opinions, advice and questions about why we are doing "x,y,z", shouldn't we do it this way instead, etc. I can at least take a great deal of comfort in the fact that even though we are new parents, we've had the great fortune of being in an atmosphere that is continually giving us information in how to care for our babies with their specific premature health and even developmental issues in mind. Whenever we've had a question, there is always someone right there to help us with the answer (were still wondering how we can get this service at home). No one ever wants to have their children in the hospital, let alone for more than three entire months but there is one huge advantage to this: We already know so much about our babies before we even bring them home. We've gotten to know them, their needs, their personalities. No, we haven't had the privilege of having them in our own home yet, we haven't had the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn (or two) yet but we DO know them!
We know that they both sleep with their eyes slightly open at times when we swear that they must be waking up, but if we let them, they sleep an hour more. We know that Alex is a very noisy and restless sleeper, he moves his arms ALOT, grunts and coos in his sleep and will probably keep Mommy and Daddy up a lot in the upcoming nights just because we will be watching him and listening to him. As loud as he is sleeping, he's pretty quiet awake, He rarely cries unless he's REALLY hungry or over-tired. Nicholas on the other hand can belt it out awake when he's hungry, tired, and even in his sleep. When we first heard him do this, we were amazed that that noise was coming out of our tiny baby, I remember Mark and I looking at eachother thinking "oh boy".
We know that Nicholas is a leisurely eater and even when he's hungry, needs lots of rest breaks and burp breaks and he will likely keep going when we might have thought he was done while Alex will slurp down his whole bottle in 10 minutes if you let him. We know Nicholas wiggles ALOT in his sleep and will manage to get himself sideways at the bottom of the crib and Alex whines just a little and puts his hands all over his face when he's getting tired. We know that Nicholas will take up to three diapers at one dirty diaper change because he likes to wait until your just about done before he truly finishes, and oh how he likes the fresh air so watch out :). I could go on but you get the point.
After having been on this journey, I am truly in awe of brand new parents who have to bring their little ones home for the first time just 48 hours after just giving birth to them, still exhausted and without a manual. I honestly don't have a clue how you do that!!