Our boys have now been in our lives a full week and yet I cannot imagine our lives without them already. I'm sure many have said that before and many will say it after ... but now I truly get it! There definitely is no way to fully and accurately describe how these little beings change you - inside and out.
My life feels fuller now. How is that? I'm not even entirely sure, especially since they're still in the NICU and not at home with us. However, it's true. There is this sudden awareness of the world beyond myself. A consciousness that supersedes the superficial reality that used to be me. Suddenly there they are, a real and physical extension of myself. Simply amazing!
Life with babies in the NICU is tough. Information varies from nurse to nurse and isn't always the same as what you may have just heard from the doctor. You have to learn to take each day as it comes and not expect anything - and yet, expect everything. The noise and constant bustle around you makes it difficult to truly relax and we fear the over-stimulation may be making the healing process a little more difficult for our boys. Frustrating. It gets harder each night to leave them and my heart yearns to be near them at all times. However, as I wake up in the middle of the night to pump, I think of them and know that we are doing everything we can do to make it better for them. Hopefully it makes a difference. We try to utilize the time we have with them while we're there. And I'm doing the best I can to keep calm and tear-free. That's not so easy either.
Yet there is much to celebrate in this short week. The boys are starting to gain weight. PB has been a rock star. He has done so well with bottle feeding. Though he does have a NG (nasogastric) tube, he has been taking most of his feedings fully by himself. He is also teaching me a thing or two about breastfeeding - namely, that I'm clumsy and no matter how much I've studied there is still a huge difference between reading and practicing. He, on the other hand, seems to know exactly what to do. Thanks, kiddo. J may lack a lot of PB's stamina, but he's a quick learner. He is still taking every other meal by NG, but he is starting to really figure out bottle feeding. Momma B and I think it's going to just click for him one day and that will be that. He's also a quick study when it comes to breastfeeding as well. He latches beautifully. He just tends to forget what to do once he's there.
Breastfeeding is a challenge and somehow I think we may not fully get it until we're home and able to relax much more. Thankfully, I'm learning patience with myself. That, perhaps, has been the biggest challenge of all.
It has been a wonderful week full of so many ups and downs. I look forward to everything that is to come. Every day I fall deeper in love with both of them. And every day I feel my love for Momma B deepen and expand beyond my heart. Our family. It feels good just to say it.