Day 6, Saturday, July 31, was mine and Robin’s first full day at home and it had already become clear that we were going to need to establish some sort of pattern in our lives that was different from the one that we had prior to July 26. Of course, everyone’s life pattern changes when they have children-feedings, baths, changing of diapers, dropping off at day care, etc. But since our baby girls were still in NICU our pattern would be different. For at least the foreseeable future my day would no longer be broken down by work or meals, dog walks or t.v. shows but rather by trips to the hospital. And when I was home I would then try to find time to do everything else. Again, I am thankful that my mother-in-law had decided to stay back to help us for our first few days.
Saturday morning began with breakfast and then a trip to the hospital. When we arrived the news from both rooms was pretty much the same as it had been the day before, mostly uneventful, and the girls had only needed one blood transfusion each. Now, I realize how strange it sounds to say that they only needed one blood transfusion each, but for these tiny ninja warriors (shout out to their Uncle Joaquin) who had been requiring three to four blood transfusions each day a drop to one was awesome news. One milestone down.
Saturday night brought on a few more issues but again nothing major. Sunday however, would bring the news that Sienna would be receiving a P.D.A. ligation in the following week but that the same surgery for Avery was being delayed due to the need for fluids to drain from her neck and head. What in the world is that? “It stands for patent ductus arteriosus and is an extra valve in the heart that usually closes in term babies. For preemies, though, a surgery is almost always required to close the valve,” the doctor explained. It was further explained that the surgery was necessary, not optional. So, let me get this straight, you’re going to open up the baby’s chest and seal off this valve? Yep, that’s what the doctor was telling us. And they do this with such frequency that there was little concern on the face of the doctor. I doubt that my face was as relaxed.
Maybe it’s silly but we were grasping any positive news and trying to set our sights on little milestones to help us get through this hard time. Sunday was August 1, we were now out of the month of July, another milestone down. Monday marked one week of life outside the womb for the kids, another milestone down. Many more to go.
Time for me had been melting since the girls were born. Minutes and hours and days meant very little. I was really only concerned with two one hour spans, 6:30 am-7:30 am and 6:30 pm-7:30 pm. NICU shifts change at those times so visitation and phone update restrictions are in place. We left the hospital one day and drove the twenty minutes back home, exhausted and determined to take a nap, only to realize as we arrived that it was 4:45 pm. By the time that I awoke from my nap it was 7:30, just in time to head back to the hospital. On my way I noticed that the Nissan was in need of an oil change. Had the bills been getting paid? Had we even been getting the bills from the mailbox? Sometimes I felt like I had been living one really long day at other times it felt like a year since the girls had been born. It seems that this whirlwind of a life was taking a toll on me. What day was it again? Oh yeah, it was the end of week one. Many more to go.