Thursday, October 29, 2009


Life is good! Ever since we came home with Alex last week from his surgery, I've had a renewed sense of gratitude. I'm still exhausted, busy, sometimes want to tear my hair out when I have two babies who need comforting at the same time and my hands don't seem big enough, but incredibly grateful for all of our day to day challenges.

Being in the NICU last week jostled loose a lot of memories I hurried to lose. Three months of memories. Not all bad ones, but too many terrifying, uncertain ones. I remember thinking then that I would give anything to be one of the ones who gets to be home with their little ones, sleep deprived, not remembering the last shower I took, or the last hot meal I ate that was actually still hot, just to know that my babies would come home---and my prayers (along with the prayers from so many others) were answered!!!!

So here I am. I have to admit that before I became a parent, I was one of those "non" parents who thought they knew what it was like, knew what kind of mom I was going to be, how I was going to discipline, keep my home, and in general have all the answers. HA! I thought a psychology or social work degree, and a few years of taking care of infants, even colicky ones, along with the bottomless desire to be a mom would just certainly prepare me for what was in store. Secretly, I even thought being home all day with my children would be like a school vacation, in the back of my head I was planning all the "projects" I would finally get to tackle around the house while the babes were sleeping.....HA,HA, and HA. All of the other already parents are probably laughing quite hard now.

I do think having two babies at the same time is a bit more challenging than perhaps one would have been, certainly more sleep depriving at this stage but I"m not really certain that any parent having even one baby, with a toddler or older children in tow would have it any easier. Some days I breathe a sigh of relief getting one baby diapered, fed, med and down to sleep and its like the other one has sonar and gets up for their turn to do it all over again. Ofcourse thats better than the days they both need things at the same time and well I'm sure you can imagine the "music" in the house then. But at least for now they stay where I put them and I don't have the demands of a toddler or older child with boundless energy and questions. And all the families with more than two children? I obviously can't even fathom....I'm just in awe of you.

Right now days are still a bit more complex with weekly doctors appts, nursing visits, therapy, oxygen, monitoring, and many medicines but slowly this is already getting more manageable and as much as I hate that my boys still need all of this "stuff", I'm sooooo grateful that these things were invented!

Lately I've been pondering about my "productivity". I remember what a "successful" day used to feel like; I used to feel accomplished at my work when I could check off a task, complete an assessment, produce a discharge plan to a family, or lead a meeting. That is how I knew I was "productive". Its really hard to switch off of that mode now that I am home. Mark gets home at the end of the day and sometimes I look around and think "what DID I accomplish today?" I mean I guess I could add up all the diapers I change in a day between the boys (about 16-20), or bottles I prepared and gave (12-14), or medications I suspense (34 doses in a day). And maybe it shouldn't, but putting even these figures to paper DO give me some validation of where the day goes but I am still certain these are not the measurements that are important at the end of the day.

As I'm sure many of you who are reading this have already learned, it is the things that you can't really quantify that really add up to something truly meaningful. I guess now I need to consider a successful day to be at the end of the day if my children are fed, dry, warm, safe and hopefully feel loved. It is the contented coos and "conversations" had, the comfort provided in holding, witnessing them discover themselves, the smile that goes all the way up to their eyes and just lights up my heart. I could live my whole life through but these children, they are the best accomplishment Mark and I will have ever contributed to this world!!!!

Okay, well if you're still with me here, you must really want to hear (and see ofcourse) how the boys are actually doing, but thanks for listening to my ramblings in the meantime!

Alex is doing FABULOUS!!!!! It is almost like someone flipped a switch. By day 4 after surgery, he started eating twice his usual and in about half the time. He is more animated, more talkative, even cries more. He's the Alex we remember from more than a month ago and better. We are thrilled and thankful!!!!! Now Nicholas doesn't have the market cornered on "feistyness" in this house.

Alex's new favorite pasttime is exploring all the ways an oxygen canula can go (and you thought it was just one). Oh, also he tipped the scale today at exactly TEN pounds!!!!!

Look closely, his favorite way to wear the oxygen

2nd favorite way and his daddy would probably translate as "hmmm, tastes a bit nutty".

This one needs the magnifier and is close to the traditional way of wearing, except this must be the new fad, its one piece of the canula in the nose, and one piece out.
Alex thinks this is the boring way and simply thinks we need to have a more open mind about the fashion.....

Nicholas is practicing his movie star smile these days but he's a bit of a perfectionist because all of a sudden he freezes as soon as he sees the camera and just stares stone faced. argh. He has even given his first giggle and its the cutest thing to hear ofcourse! Nicholas is also catching up quick to big brother at 9 pounds, 12 ounces, Watch out Alex!!!

okay its a bit blurry mom, I'm fast, try to keep up!

This entertaining business is ALOT of work....

stay tuned, there will be Halloween pics coming along soon!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Just wanted you to know how AWESOME I think you are. You are doing such a wonderful job. What fabulous parents you & Mark are. The boys are just beautiful and growing so much. They are so lucky to have parents like you and Mark. You are always in our thoughts and prayers.
Aunt Marilyn

Pam said...

What cuties! :)

cfallone said...

Oh my gosh Holli. I LOVED this post!!! Coming from a mom with twins, one twin a graduate of the NICU, a very planned and organized person, expectations of a clean house, kids disciplined, preconceived notions of parenthood and now having to rethink my life and what it means to have a productive day, this post just hit close to home for me. You have, in part, summed up some of my own feelings. Twins is definitely hard work! I can say this because I had two other babies before the twins and it was much easier to meet their needs and keep up with my life expectations.

Okay, enough rambling, I am very happy to read Alex is doing well.

You are on my mind.