Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fast Forward 10 Weeks

Yes, it's true. Noodles are 10 weeks old now. I can hardly believe it myself. To say I have been too busy to blog is an understatement. And although sleep deprivation has sucked (but getting better) I will take it and the joy of noodles any day over being pregnant.

I am overjoyed at having a life again. At getting up and down the stairs. At visiting parts of the house I hadn't seen in months. At driving myself around again in my own car. And, at marvelling at the wonder of these two little miracles who have entrusted me and Mr. W with their care.

The NICU experience (NICU nurses are amazing), coupled with the post c-section drugs overwhelmed me. I briefly wondered what I had done. And what had my body done to torture these two creatures into an early birth. I felt guilty. I was admittedly detached the first few days (it was clearly the pain killers and other things they loaded me with in the hospital.)

But I am smitten now. Noodles are 10 pounds and 8 pounds of crazy infatuation. Baby A spent 19 days in the NICU and Baby B spent 15 days. Their new names at home are peanut and butternut. They are happy with sweet dispositions. They eat well and sleep well. Despite Mr. W's dark Mediterranean features, they inherited my fair northern European traits. They have scarce blonde hair and blue eyes. They are sure to be heart breakers one day.

We have taken them on 3 overnight trips already, including a week long one to San Francisco. They did amazing. I am happy to get them acclimated to travel early and even happier to get US acclimated to travelling with them. We are lucky. These little guys have been gems. I am grateful every single day.

So here is my not so short list of the finer points of our new real world and any advice I could throw at anyone who is still reading:

* They are on a calorie fortifier still. Which means I pump milk as many times a day as I can possibly stand and then add little packets of fortifier before they are fed. This is a special fortifier whose cost resembles a serious latte habit - to the tune of $30 per day.

* I have 6 or more sets of breast pump parts. I line them up every day all assembled with bottles attached, then just use them up throughout the day. It means I only need to do a load of wash once a day and always have a set ready in the middle of the night. I use a hospital pump at home and keep a Med.ela backpack pump always packed for travel (and usually in the car) so I'm never scrambling to find it.

* We have different colored lids on the bottles to keep both boys separate since they are on different calorie mixes.

* I will likely burn up our munchkin bottle warmer one of these days. It is also a great nipple and pacifier sterilizer.

* For the first time ever, noodles wear the same size diaper. I figure this will last about another week. But for now, it means my diaper caddy doesn't have the little cardboard divider in it I made to keep A and B's sizes separate and easily located when I'm half asleep.

* Mr. W is a champ. He takes half of the feedings including the middle of the night. We try to let one of us sleep through one night feeding, but sometimes we both get up together and talk while we each feed a noodle (or a nut). We keep a dry erase board in noodles' room to track the time and quantity each took. It helps us out if we're alternating feeding duty and don't know who ate what when. It also helps us report to the nutritionist we consult with weekly.

* Noodles' diaper bag is a big backpack designed for diapering purposes. It's always packed with fresh supplies and a duplicate set of necessary things we have in their nursery. One day I will video record packing it and put it on youtube. It's really an art form!

* Despite AAP warnings, noodles share a crib. It's the cutest thing.

* Our favorite nursery items are the sleep sheep, classical music we play on CD at night, and the pod bouncer chairs from Combi. The chairs vibrate, play pre-programmed songs, and have an ipod hook up. I wish they had one my size. The boys love them and they are great to coax them back to sleep when needed. We are also big fans of the swaddle me wraps (a.k.a. kiddopotamus). For travel, we use a Pea Pod. It's a very cool travel bed with a self inflating mattress and tent like pod. It folds down into a 9x14 inch pouch. Put it on your list if you go anywhere!

* I can't say enough about the City Select stroller we got from baby.jogger. I know EB just got one too. It holds 2 chicc.o carseats in tandem and drives like a mercedes. It's also designed to accomodate a single baby.

*The coolest baby monitor ever is from summer infant. It has a color video screen and sound, with a visual sound meter in case you want to turn the sound down. It accomodates 2 cameras, one for each crib (when we use the second one) and has infrared, so you can see them in the dark. Since noodles sleep in their own room, it's great to peek at them without getting up or disturbing them.

* Finally, I caved and hired a nanny three days a week. She has been a huge help. Although I stay home most of the time, she gives me an extra pair of hands, freedom to pump when I need to, and the ability for me to try to put our lives back together after being on bed rest. She does their laundry, washes the bottles, and keeps their room cleaned and organized. The fact that I can get out of the house to run an errand or two is a bonus.