To my beautiful children,
It will officially be 5 weeks since you were born tomorrow and I checked into the hospital 5 weeks ago yesterday. It has been such a whirlwind! It is pretty crazy to think that if you came at 38 weeks, we wouldn’t be meeting until Thursday. It amazes me when I hold you to think that most mothers still have you in their belly when you are this tiny. If you were single babies, I wouldn’t meet you until September 1st! We have have had so much time to get to know each other already.
When I’m at home without you, pumping or missing you (which is most of my day if I’m not with you!), I look at pictures of you on my phone. I can’t believe how far you have come in 5 short weeks. It makes me especially sad to look back on my precious Harris because you struggled the most, my sweet boy. One of the first pictures of your daddy holding you is when your skin was still extremely red after birth and your little arm is hanging limp by your side. It literally breaks my heart. When you would cry, I would cry. I will never forget your raspy and desperate cries where your little throat would get dry because you had the CPAP on your head so that you could breathe. I’m so beyond relieved that you feel so much better and are so much more comfortable now.
Harris, you have the most unbelievably calming and peaceful spirit. I love holding you and closing my eyes to soak it in. You are patient beyond what I could have expected. The other day when you were hungry, you started rooting around and trying to eat your blanket and look around for food. The nurse was heating up your milk in the air warmer which takes about 10 minutes (I couldn’t breastfeed you because I had just pumped), and you were content just being held. I could tell you were still hungry though because you kept rooting around for food, but you didn’t cry and you waited patiently. That was a special moment for me because your peaceful spirit was so precious to see. I think you’re going to be such a good brother taking care of your sister.
I called the NICU before I went to bed a couple nights ago and a male nurse was taking care of you both for the night. It was so cute because before I hung up, he said, “I need to apologize for Goldie’s linens. They’re not very feminine, but they all match and she has a bow in her hair.” Ha! The nurses are SO good and sweet and take such good care of you two miracles.
Goldie, you are my little princess and I absolutely adore you. You are more sassy because you let us know when you are hungry by crying…but I would too and I don’t blame you one bit, sister! Mama likes to eat and when she’s hungry, she’s not very patient like your brother. I’m like you! You were a bit fussy the other day in your crib so I picked you up and I held you before I had to leave. My favorite part when was you opened your eyes, just a tiny, tiny bit, and squinted up at me to check if I was still there and still holding you. It melted your mama’s heart! I will always you, my sweet girl. I can’t wait to get to bring you home so I can snuggle you all day long. I was holding you on my chest a few days ago and I never want to forget the way smelled, your little hand on my chest and the little squeaks you made. It was heaven! I wished so bad in that moment that I could save that moment and relive it whenever I want. Your cheeks are also so scrumptious and I always kiss them gently because I just can’t help myself. And that double chin and those little arms that are getting some fat on them! Oh, girlfriend. I just love it all more than you’ll ever know!
So…what have my days been looking like? I typically get to the hospital at 10 am and stay 3 or so hours, then leave to run errands, and then come back at 4 pm for another 3 hours. I pull up the hospital and it’s great because they have valet that you aren’t allowed to tip (even though they deserve it!) It’s perfect because I give them my keys and walk straight in to the elevator and up to the 5th floor. I pick up the phone at the doors and give them our last name and the code to get in, then they “buzz” me in. They give me my wrist band for the day which a different color every day, and I sign in with the date, time, my name and relationship to you (Mom!! I never get sick of writing that), and use hand sanitizer all the way up to my elbows. The receptionist then buzzes me into nursery B and my heart is racing a little faster than normal because I am SO excited to see my babies! Goldie’s turn to eat is first (is anyone surprised by this?) and I either breastfeed or bottle feed my girl and then my boy. I have been pumping breastmilk every 3 hours since you were born, so I bring that in for the nurses to mix half and half with formula since I’m not making quite enough to give both of you 100% breastmilk.
To feed you, I have to wait until you are cueing that you are hungry. It has been a slow progression. First, you were fed through a feeding tube, then when you started cueing a couple weeks ago that you were hungry, we tried breastfeeding with a nipple shield and you both have done very well. We weigh you first, I breastfeed you, and then we weigh you again and that tells us how much breastmilk you got from me. We then introduced the bottle to you and the occupational therapist taught us how to give it to you by laying you on your side and holding the bottle horizontally so that you don’t get too much milk. Your daddy fed you both your first bottles and you did great, and he was so excited to learn how to feed you. Now, when we are not there and you are awake and cueing that you are hungry during your care times, the nurses will try to feed you through a bottle. If you don’t finish all of your feeding through a bottle, they will give you the rest through your feeding tube.
Goldie was supposed to come home on Sunday and we picked out an outfit and were so excited! Your daddy was even making up songs about you coming home 🙂 I had two baby showers last week (one with my sweet blogging friends and the other that my mom threw me) so it was great timing on your part, sister. You had been eating really well and that was the last thing that you needed to do to pass off to come home. Your aunt Jocelyn is here and she came to the hospital with your dad and I to take you home, and your Grammy and Popsy met us there too which was a fun surprise. When we got there, however, our nurse Danielle told us that you hadn’t been eating very well your last few feedings. Both you and Harris had gotten your Hepatitis B shot the night prior, so I honestly just don’t think you were feeling very well from that. But truthfully, I feel that you didn’t want to leave your brother and your brother didn’t want you to leave him! I was excited about you coming home, but it was bittersweet because I felt really bad leaving Harris at the hospital. I didn’t want him getting lonely all by himself with the 3 of us at home! I know it sounds kind of crazy but I feel like he would be able to know.
Sweet Goldie didn’t eat much at all when we fed you when we were there and I didn’t feel good about taking you home because it was obvious that you weren’t ready. The nurse and doctor agreed that it wasn’t time yet, and the nurse inserted your feeding tube back in and gave you the rest of the your meal through that. The very next feeding, you drank it all! You got your way in staying with your brother so you were ready to start eating again 🙂 I feel like Harris said, “please, Goldie, don’t leave me! I’ll really start to pick it up and eat really well if you just stay with me.” And you have done just that, Harris! You have both been eating great since and if you do well, you can come home tomorrow!!! TOGETHER! Then we can all be together as a family 🙂 It will be a lot easier too because when one baby leaves, they aren’t allowed to come back and visit the NICU, so it would have been difficult going back and forth to see Harris while leaving Goldie at home with the other parent.
Your grandma and aunt Jocelyn have been doing a great job helping me get ready for your arrival! We have been working hard sorting blankets, sorting sizes of clothes and doing LOTS of laundry. My bedroom has been a disaster since I had you because I have been so busy going back and forth to the hospital so we are getting that nice and organized, getting your nursery closet and drawers all organized, and are so excited to welcome you into our home tomorrow if all continues to go well. I need to run to the store to get a few final things before you come home tomorrow, like bottles.
We love you! Every last part of you.