The girls have been proclaimed adorable by their nurses and “boring” by their doctor which is as good as it gets in the NICU. Both girls are off all oxygen and respiratory support systems, and now only have the feeding tube as the last thing to vanquish before they can come home.
Each time a piece of support equipment is removed from the room- oxygen and nitric oxide tanks, the CPAP breathing support with the tanks of bubbling water, the jaundice lights, the IV rack, the high flow canula- I relax a little bit more. The monitoring machines in the room no longer beep angrily and urgently every few minutes. If I dare say so, it’s actually peaceful and calm in their room now.
They had their eye exam last week for ROP (Retinopathy of prematurity) a condition that causes vision problems in preemies. (ROP is the reason Stevie Wonder was blind.) The doctors use a tool like metal pliers to keep the babies’ eyes open- ugh. Other NICU moms recommended that I leave the room for the exam since it’s so tough to watch. I took their advice, reminding myself that the babies won’t remember these traumatic days but I will- and I should spare myself these bad memories if possible. The nurse came out less than ten minutes later, letting me know the girls were done and had hardly complained. And the good news that the exam came back normal. Another sigh of relief for mama.
The girls are so much happier now. When they were first born, they were so very angry, screaming until their faces turned red and then blue as they tried to pull off their CPAP masks, pulling on the wires. It was scary and heartbreaking to see. Their early arrival to the world had been a cruel one with so many needles and pokes and prods, bright lights and loud alarms. Now they smile in their sleep, only being awakened for their diaper changes and to try and convince them to nurse.
After weeks of sleeping in their separate isolettes, they also get more time together now, taking their first bath together and snuggling together in the same bed occasionally. We put them side by side after their first bath, and they reached up and grabbed hold of each others’ hands. As if to say, it’s a big world out there, but I have my twin and we are in it together. I love seeing them together.
Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before I can see them together every day- and not have to drive to the hospital to see them.
It’s been a long road.