We’ve finally had some nice weather, so the boys have been outside a lot more recently. It’s nice to be able to take them on a walk or even a stroll around the yard. It’s hard to believe it’s already July, and it feels like summer has just started.
We moved into our current house last May. I didn’t really get to enjoy our first summer in our house because I spent most of it going back and forth to the NICU to see the babies. The twins were in the hospital from May 4th (their birthday) until August 1st and 3rd. It was a grueling 91 and 93 days. Not only was it torturous on the babies…first struggling to even survive, battling infections, surgeries, getting poked and proded daily…but it was hard on my other son too. He was not allowed in the NICU because they only allowed 3 year old and up, and he didn’t turn 3 until October. So, he finally gets his mom back from bedrest and hospital bedrest, only to have her spending half her time in the car and hospital, and the other half pumping milk for his brothers. Luckily, I have some amazing parents who really helped out, and my husband’s parents took my older guy at least once or twice a week.
But enough of that…for now. Here we are in July, and the sun is finally shining. We have our inflatable pool in the front yard, a slide, playhouse, and watertable in the backyard, and my husband has been planting flowers all around. It’s starting to feel like our home and a fun place for our kids to play. Of course, with all of these fun things to play with, my older child enjoys sitting in the driveway and making soap puddles. He also enjoys eating rocks, which I found out the other day as I caught him in the act. We had to have a discussion about not eating non-food items. I thought he understood until I saw him lick a stick the very next day.
While the kids are in their cute little short outfits eating rocks and dirt, I am ashamed to admit, I’m rocking the “mom” jeans. I’ve never really understood the need for them until after my c-section. Sure, I was overweight after I had my first son, but I was fat all over. Now, after a c-section, in addition to being overweight, I have this nice layer of fat/skin right under my bellybutton. I can now fully appreciate why mom’s hike up their pants to hide it. If I could, I’d pull my jeans right under my boobies. I don’t think this layer of fat is going away anytime soon, so I will not be going back to my fashionable lowrise jeans probably ever.
The start of July also means the 4th, which we had a very nice one this year. During the day, we went down the street to a neighborhood party. We’ve never really been to one before, and it was really nice. There were lots of kids, good food, and it was just the right temperature outside. I could have done without the group of people surrounding the twins, and poking their fingers in the stroller. Not to mention the old guy that spilled beer all over the stroller and my baby’s leg, while trying to get him to smile and grab his finger. Um. Excuse me. Where have your fingers been, and would you smile if someone was poking you in the face?! I almost lost it, but because I had a glass of that neighborhood beer, I was able to remain somewhat calm. I moved the babies out of the crowd, telling them they needed movement to keep them from crying, then I got out my wipes and wiped them (and my beer soaked stroller) down.
After that, we walked down to my brother’s house. Not only do we live in a nice neighborhood that’s close to every imaginable store, but we live in the same one as my brother and my husband’s cousin. They each have three children, so I am really hoping all the kids will become great friends as they grow up together.
Anyways, we went over to my brother’s house, and he had some of his wife’s family over. No one has really seen the twins yet, so they met quite a few people on one of their first outings.
You may wonder why they haven’t met many people or been many places, even though they’ve been home for 11 months. Well, everything I’ve read about preemies, plus all the nurses/doctors at the hospital, highly suggested we stay isolated during cold/flu/rsv season which is October thru May. Preemies have a weakened immune system because they didn’t get all of my antibodies and protection being in an artificial womb (otherwise known as an incubator.) My guys missed out on three extra months of protection, so we had to be very careful. While the flu or a cold may not be harmful to someone with a regular immune system, premature babies have under developed lungs and can get very, very sick. Most are re-hospitalized if they catch RSV. RSV is a respitory virus that, again, in healthy babies/children just acts like the common cold. I just couldn’t handle another hospital stay, so I made everyone that entered our house wash hands frequently, and use sanitizer. We only had the grandparents and a few select guests throughout the winter, including our home healthcare nurse, and physical therapist. Even though we got a little stir crazy, it was worth it for healthy babies.
We have lost quite a few friends because they didn’t understand why we just couldn’t go out, or why we needed help during the first months of NICU and coming home. Luckily, I’ve found some awesome support on Facebook. The woman and men I’ve met through my TTTS support group are some of the most caring and understanding people I know, yet I’ve never actually “met” any of them. They really “get” what our family has been through, and I don’t know where I’d be without them.