Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The first week

I'm not going to lie, the first week of the boys' life was really hard. Even though they were healthy, the doctors wanted to keep them in the CCN and monitor them. So we knew right away that there was a good chance they wouldn't come home at the same time we did. The first few days are still a blur to me, probably because we were exhausted, I was recovering, and I was still on pain meds. We would visit the babies around their feeding times, every three hours. They would take bottles with just tiny amounts of formula, and I was allowed to try and breastfeed for just a few minutes each. They were all hooked up with wires and monitors and looked so fragile. The nurses were all really nice, but I remember being so nervous around the boys. The feeding was supposed to be just a half an hour, and then the boys needed to sleep. So Alex and I felt so much pressure to get them to finish their food within the "allotted time" and then let them get more rest. We always felt like we were just cramming food down their throat, which is not how you want to feel around your new babies.

After the first night, though, with everyone bugging us, we realized we really needed to give these boys names!! We finally decided that baby A was Henry Mitchell Amerman, and baby B was Holden David Amerman. So the birth certificate lady could finally leave us alone! :)

Alex and I both struggled with feeling like the boys weren't "ours" yet. All the other moms had their babies in their rooms, and our room was empty. We got to have the boys with us for an hour in the room one time, and at least we got some good pictures. But we just kept feeling like the boys were doing well, but we had no control over when the hospital would let them go.

I stayed in the hospital Monday night and Tuesday night, and then went back and forth from our house after that. The doctors were increasing the amounts of food the boys had to take each day. If they didn't finish on their own, then the doctors would start talking about giving them feeding tubes to finish what was left. We also had to worry about their heart rate or oxygen levels dropping, or if they were going to need treatment for jaundice. (They never needed the tubes or the jaundice light.) So that, along with going back and forth every few hours, really took a toll.  It was so hard to go breastfeed the babies, then give a bottle, then go home and pump to get my milk up. I also struggled with having nurses, doctors and the lactation consultants all talking to me and giving me information. Everyone was nice, and I know they all wanted the best for the boys, but it was overwhelming and confusing at times.

Luckily, all of our family and friends were so supportive. We had lots of visitors in the hospital, and lots of people bringing us food and offering to take care of Lanore. And the plus side of the boys staying in the hospital was that they had some time for their belly buttons to start healing, along with their circumcisions. We also benefited from lots of good advice from the nurses, and lots of free stuff! They all wanted to send us home with extra formula, bottles, diapers and anything we'd need.

First family picture! Looks pretty good!

Finally, on Monday, Sept. 26th, we got to take the babies home! It was really exciting to get to dress them in something besides the hospital gown. I had to learn how to strap them in the carseat and get that in the car. But we finally felt like the boys were ours. We'd taken some baby hats home to Lanore to sniff, but she finally got to meet them in person! She was very good around them, by the way. I'll leave you with a few more pictures of us heading home for the first time.

Henry on the left, Holden on the right

Leaving the CCN!

Looking tiny in their carseats, and finally making it home!
Lanore meeting "her" babies for the first time

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