It's been a little over a week since Quinn came home --- and it's been a little over a week since I slept more than 2-3 hours in a row :) We are incredibly grateful she is home and doing really well. What a nice treat it has been to only have to walk down the hallway to her room to pick her up instead of driving the 30+ minute drive to only really be able to stand at her bedside.
Wow - the weird thing is that I can't remember what it was like now to just have one baby at home, just like I really don't remember what it was like not to have babies at all. Truly a gift.
That being said, there are of course little stresses... Quinn came home with both a pulse oxgyen monitor and a full blown 6 foot high oxygen tank with 50 ft of tubing now running through my house (I actually have no idea if it's 50 ft or 50 yds, my husband is the engineer and math guy, not me). Anywho, tubing is everywhere and all 3 of us (Me, Matt and the dog) do our best to avoid tripping over it while running down the hall to grab a crying baby. Thank God for the nightlight that saved my life last night.
The pulse ox monitor is actually preferable to an actual apnea monitor -- there tends to be less false alarms and they aren't as difficult to get rid of later when Q has outgrown the apnea. Basically, it monitors her oxygen levels and heart rate and when her oxygen level desaturates to lower than 80%, the alarm sounds. For a baby with a "normal' heart, typical saturation levels are 98-100%. Quinn's are generally in the upper 80s and sometimes lower 90s --- that's actually really quite good for someone with her heart condition. Luckily, with the exception of one day when we were having a fight with the monitor, it really hasn't gone off much and isn't as scary as I thought it would be. The only time she has truly dropped her levels is when she has gotten herself really upset crying or when she holds her breath for a moment while pooping or farting (but don't we all do that??!! ha. Too much info?)
But for the most part, it hasn't been as bad as I feared - and actually provides some measurement of comfort, especially when she's sleeping. She is a really quiet sleeper so this way I know she is breathing. But to date, we haven't recorded or seen any true apnic spells. Thank God!
Our other area of trial is her feedings -- while she ate decent in the hospital, she would still sometimes have times where she would only take an ounce or less. When we left the NICU, they instructed us that she needed to take at least 18-20 ounces per day on her high-calorie (read: stinky ass) formula. Talk about stress for new parents of twins...we have been so hypervigilant about her feedings and it was stressing both Matt & I out big time. Fortunately, despite our fears, she did end up gaining weight at her pediatrician appt a couple of days after we were released. And now in the last 2 days, we have made marked improvements and finally hit our 18 ounce goal yesterday. I feel so badly because it seems like all I do with her is try to shove food in her mouth and then do everything possible to keep her calm so she doesn't spit it all up. That means I can't really lay her down on her playmat yet or swing her in the obnoxiously large swing in my living room. Poor little girl. Hopefully it is all short-lived and one day soon she will be able to!
It has been so fun though to get to see her personality come through now that we are home. She is typically a pretty content baby... but wow, when she's not happy - the whole house (and perhaps the next door neightbors) know about it. Little one has some lungs on her! But once she gets what she wants, she is good to go and back to her peaceful self. She is really starting to fill out more now and I love playing dress up with her. We play dress up a lot since she runs through about 4 outfits per day thanks to her reflux :) But that's good, because she has a closetful of clothes to get through!
She LOVES to cuddle and my heart just melts when she presses her little head into my chest. So sweet. And her features are so darn petite and cute, I just want to eat her up. She is definitely a willful (stubborn?) child and will not be convinced to do anything she doesn't want to do. I can only imagine that those same traits will give me heart attacks when she's a teenager. But her fiestiness will be so important to her as she faces her heart surgery -- and it's probably why she has done so well throughout her NICU stay and transition home. And while slightly stubborn, she's also pretty darn sweet and will greet me almost everytime with her toothless smile.
I consciously try not to compare the twins too much but it's incredibly hard not to since that's the only baby reference I've ever had. Plus it's fun though to see the massive differences between them. Where Ryan sounds like a cross between a neighing horse and an obese 60 year old man when he sleeps (seriously, he makes the most bizarre sounds), Quinn sleeps with just the tiniest little purr. And Ryan makes the biggest mess when he eats, sloppy, drooling (just like a man?), Quinn eats incredibly daintily and hardly loses a drop out of her mouth. Until she vomits it all over my shirt 30 minutes later. But whatever. It's polite going down.
Ryan for the most part has been really unchanged by the arrival of his sister --- they are pretty much oblivious to each other's crying or poop smells. They only interact when Matt and I forceably make them face each other or kiss each other. Although Q gave Ryan a pretty good swat today. First of many, I'm sure.
Life at home during the day is dramatically changed but more to come on that later --- I may have the posts in mind to write, but never enough time to sit down and actually write them. No matter the sleeplessness or sometimes feelings of helplessness and incompetence to actually do this parenting thing, life is very very sweet right now. Our lives are forever changed and I thank God for that.
And pardon me if this post isn't exactly totally coherent. Sleep was virtually non-existent last night and I am literally on my 5th diet coke today. Now time to go hold my milk-drunk babies.