Okay so for the sake of maximizing my time (because you know I have so much of it now with two babies all over me…) I decided to make this post into a Q&A post as an update. Here are frequently asked questions by people on what life has been like since bringing Aria and Zion home:
How is home life now that you have two of your babies home?!
EVEN BETTER THAN WHAT I IMAGINED IT TO BE! I honestly was so scared and anxious the couple weeks leading up to their homecoming, and I think the NICU nurses could sense it from me as they kept giving me reassuring statements like, “You’ll do great, mama! You’re going to rock this!” I thought my bravado was pretty convincing but apparently not. Anyway, I’m surprised and a little cautious to use this word to describe the past few days but here goes… easy. It’s been relatively easy. BUT I use it VERY loosely! It’s been easy in the sense of being in the comforts of my own home and doing things my way. Being in the NICU was a valuable but challenging experience. Think of it as an extreme boot camp in parenting. The nurses taught us everything we needed to know in taking care of premature babies, but there were very strict protocols for the sake of protecting their health and keeping them monitored 24/7. There was always so much going on with their team of providers constantly coming in and out of the room. Rooming in with the babies during the transition between discharge and home was also very helpful but uncomfortable. We weren’t staying in some fancy five star hotel. The bed was small and squeaky and we couldn’t even eat in the room or store anything in the mini fridge except for my breast milk. So when we brought home the babies, our nicu routine was still in full gear but we could lounge around in our pjs and do things our way. Our babies have been on a three hour feeding schedule since day one, so they have been great eaters and sleepers; and all we really needed to do was continue following the schedule that we’ve become so accustomed to during their nicu stay. So basically all they’ve been doing on repeat is eat, poop, and sleep. And when you have years of childcare experience under your belt, mommyhood is a pretty smooth gig to get accustomed to. I’ll take all the “easy” while it lasts!
So then how/when will you be able to see Clara at the hospital?
This was yet another big fear of mine during the transition phase. Who’s going to watch my two kids while I go see my third? And now that I’m 100% responsible and on my own in taking care of the two, when would I even find the time to go see Clara? Well, to be honest, we still have yet to figure that out and will just have to take it one day at a time. Dad went back to work today after being off for the past three months, which has been a huge blessing in and of itself. Our initial plan will be for me to go to the hospital to see Clara in the evening after Dad gets home from work to watch the other two.
Don’t you have family nearby who can help?
Yes, we are so blessed to live so close to both our families who can always come over and help us out. With that said, I don’t want to depend on them so much especially in the beginning while I’m trying to get my own routine down at home. I do like occasional visitors but for the most part I like to work solo and soak up all of my precious time with my children.
Any ETA on when Clara will be coming home?
Clara’s been working hard on making progress to join her siblings and us as home. Yesterday she was able to wean down on her respiratory settings enough to start breastfeeding! She was such a pro the minute she latched onto me and it gave me ALL the happy feels! She also has been gaining weight and is at 6lb now! We think it’ll be at least a few more weeks maybe even a month or so until she can finally come home.
How are your fur babies doing with the babies being home and taking up all your attention?
Charlie and Barkley have been amazing big fur bros just as I had expected! Charlie mostly keeps to himself and away from the babies (so basically his usual self), Barkley is who really surprised us. He’s already so obsessed with his new siblings and wants to give kisses and snuggles every chance he gets! I can’t wait for them to become best friends forever.
Soooo when can I see the babies?
We’ve been slowly and cautiously allowing visitors to see Aria and Zion, obviously starting with our family. I say cautious because we are still heavily in the midst of a very nasty flu season so keeping the babies isolated and protected are our number one priority. I’m SO ready for the winter and flu season to be over so I can bring my babies out and about!
Is there anything I can do to help?
Why yes, yes there is. We’ve been blown away by the generosity and kindness of family, friends, and even strangers who have been sending so much love towards our new family of five. God really opened the hearts of others and continues to provide for us through the sweetest and most unexpected gestures. We’re so blessed to be surrounded by a community of compassionate folks. My beautiful friend set up a meal train for us to help us get by during this new and busy season of our lives of which we are still transitioning to and from the hospital. These days if I’m too busy feeding the babies and doing chores, I totally forget to eat. So if you have a heart for cooking delicious meals SEND THEM MY WAY, because I will eat ALL the foods!! Click here to sign up for a meal – thank you times a million!!