My heart – the ups and the downs

My heart has had a lot to contend with lately!  Forget about the delivery/pre-eclampsia (post-eclampsia??) madness, that was nothing…  My heart has been broken and healed so many times in the past few days…

Friday morning I was getting really emotional and hormonal.  I knew that morning how badly I needed a good cry, but I was not about to allow myself that weakness (luxury?), whatever…  It would also likely hurt to much to cry and my abdomen cannot handle more hurt!  So that morning, I went alone to the NICU to see the babies for their 8am feeding.  I walked in (hobbled in), washed my hands, turned the corner and… they were not there.   Uh…..  I started shaking and within seconds (years), a nurse saw me, undoubtedly looking stunned and lost and told me they had been moved and took me right into the back area which had actually become their private room.  They needed the space for the really sick kids, not my healthy about to come home kids.  There was that good cry.  I have never been so scared!  My heart literally stopped.  And then seeing them, and cuddling (which ever one I cuddled/nursed/fed) my heart almost burst like the Grinch’s when it got too big for that measuring stick.

Friday night I went home.  Alone.  As in, with my husband, daughter and in laws who have all been rock stars this week.  Literally, my heart is so grateful to them all for everything that they have done.  Especially Friday night.  I was home.  It felt SO strange.  That car ride home was surreal.  It felt like I had been out of the world forever.  Seriously, did they redesign the Jetta while I was in the hospital?  Every spring flower was in full bloom.  The world was alive and flourishing and I felt like was watching it all happen from the side.  My house felt too big, too empty…  Sitting on the sofa, I kept wondering what I was supposed to be doing.  I know exactly what I was supposed to be doing.  Taking care of my babies.  The babies I left behind in the NICU.  After receiving special permission from my mother in law (who I am pretty sure watched my every move), I went upstairs to wash my face.  And then it happened.  I heard the babies crying.  I went into their room but it was empty.  The cribs were just as they have been for a month or so, only now Spencer’s crib has sheets on it.  But I could hear them crying.  And I heard them most of the night.  I never told my father in law this but the bear hug he gave me when they left was the best thing anyone could have done for me.  Everyone let me cry (and with all those hormones it was impossible not to cry at this point).  Everyone left me have my feelings, which is important to me, I hate when people tell you not to feel what you are feeling.  I knew that the babies were well taken care of, and I know that the few days/nights of rest were good for me to heal physically from the hellish delivery, but my babies were not here.   Broken heart.

Saturday morning, sitting and rocking and nursing and feeding and cuddling my heart was whole again.  Until that afternoon.  PAIN! I know it means I am healing but wow, this hurts.  I wish I could have had the strength to resist more, but it was not hard for them to all convince me to skip the 5:00 feeding.  Instead we sat outside and watched Emily play in her sprinkler.  And nothing could have been better for me at the time.  A gorgeous afternoon, a chair I can get in and out of, my daughters shrieks of laughter as she races away from the sprinkler….  My heart felt whole (ish) again, it truly did.

If you tip it, do you get less wet?

“Daddy, turn it off so I can see it… And don’t turn it on again”
Now, why do you suppose Emily had to add that second part?

Sunday, we all descended on the NICU once again, to a huge surprise.  The nurse thought we knew, and said, OK, so you are taking Sidney home today.  My jaw must still have a bruise from hitting the floor!  If I could move I would have grabbed her and bolted!  We had a meeting with the Neonatologist about our discharge orders, etc and when it was time for the 11am feeding.  I fed Spencer, knowing I would not see him again until he came home, while D took charge of the little lady.  Spencer took forever to eat, and seeing D, sitting in the rocking chair, with a tiny bundle of pink on his chest.  My heart was whole again.

I did not get the picture of the tiny ball of pink on D’s shoulder, but I did get this one, of her passed out in his arms. Note the clothes – OURS, not hospital clothes!

And today, Sunday, was the best day ever.  Grandma and Grandpa had already brought Emily home, and we walked into the house, with a tiny baby, to a fabulous welcoming committee, complete with a welcome home sign.

Tipping the scales at 4 pounds, 2 ounces (just 2 ounces shy of birth weight), Sidney excited for her first car ride!

As soon as I could, I sat on the sofa with Sidney with Emily next to us, and let Emily hold her baby sister.  My heart was whole again.  Yes, someone was still missing, but for that minute, Emily holding (ok, my arms controlled the baby 100% but Em still held her) her baby sister and telling her that she loved her.  What could be better?  Sidney has nursed fabulously for a 35 week old baby (36 weeks or 1 week, depending how you count it tomorrow).  She has eaten like a champ.  She has met her cousin, aunt and uncle, taken a great nap in her uncle’s arms, and gone outside.  This pregnancy was SO hard and the delivery, well….  to be able to walk outside and show my baby girl the world, the world that seemed so foreign to be just days ago…  My heart is beyond whole.

All swaddled up and sleeping like… well, like a baby 🙂

And now, this second, as I type this, my baby girl is in the downstairs nursery, sleeping so peacefully.  She is in the next room.  I don’t need a car to go see her.  I don’t need to sign a paper to pick her up.  There is no baby lojack on her ankle.  I will admit that there is a certain degree of comfort in turning over control to the fabulous team of doctors and nurses that took care of my babies, but there is also a measure of comfort in taking control once again.  Today, I did not make Sidney wait for 2:00 for her 2:00 feeding,  I nursed at 1:30.  She was crying and rooting and why not?    And she is doing great with nursing!    And it is my call.  I don’t need permission to nurse my daughter.  I don’t need permission to enter the room she is in.

What could be better?  What else does my heart need?

It needs Spencer to come home too.  Because I get one more best day ever tomorrow, I can’t wait!

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