Life, as you can imagine, has been turned upside down and around and inside out over the last week. The most important note on the week, however, is that Toby, Eleanor and Callista are ONE WEEK OLD today!
The week has been filled with tests, statistics, milestones, prayers, hope and fear, but it has also been filled to the brim with love. Something tells me this is the new normal for the rest of our lives.
We’ve had our ups and downs this week, but I’m happy to say that our babies’ first week of life had far more ups than downs – just as a baby’s first week of life should play out.
All three are healthy and are doing superb. Callista is the first to bypass her birth weight (as of last night), but her big brother and sister aren’t far behind. We’re hoping the standby status on their breastmilk feedings will be removed soon, giving them the best food for their tummies – homemade by Mommy!
My buddy Mae pointed out last week that I hadn’t given looks-like details on the babies, and for that I apologize. I swear I wasn’t trying to bogart that information!
Mr. Tobias looks just like his daddy – from his dark hair, to the way he furrows his brow when he isn’t quite sure of what’s being done to him, to his cute button nose and all the way down to his toes. Yes, he has his daddy’s toes and feet. As for personality, Toby is the most alert and inquisitive. He won’t close his eyes to rest if he wakes and sees that his isolette cover is pulled back.
Miss Eleanor, as far as we can tell from not being able to compare them all side-by-side, has the lightest hair of all three. She has my ears and feet to match her daddy and brother. She is mostly mellow, but she will let you know when she doesn’t like what you’re doing. She loves to hold hands – really, she loves to get a grip on whatever she can. She’s very tactile and finds comfort in having her hands on something.
Miss Callista is the youngest but biggest of the bunch. She looks a lot like me, with my ears, nose and feet. She is a firecracker and has earned her reputation as miss priss. We still need to have a talk about that ninja baby business, but so far, she’s behaving herself. For all her fussing, Callista sure does love being held. She has yet to fuss a bit while in the arms of her mommy or daddy.
That’s right – we’ve been able to hold all three babies. We haven’t held them all at once yet, but it’ll happen eventually. Their fourth day (this past Friday – Nov. 26) was the first day Rob and I held the babies. Toby and Eleanor are neighbors in the NICU, so Rob held Eleanor while I held Toby, and we sat side by side as four-fifths of our family. After we put our happy, peaceful babies back to bed, we held over to Callista’s area (she isn’t far at all from her brother and sister – don’t worry), where I held her.
Yesterday, we walked in to a surprise. The nurses decided it was time to let me hold Toby and Eleanor at the same time.
I cried happy, amazing tears the first time I held each baby on his or her own, but seeing two of the three together, face-to-face for the first time. Wow. There are no words to describe how simply beautiful that vision was. They reached out for each other and grabbed on – they first held hands, then Eleanor found Toby’s hand was a good pacifier, and Toby later found that Eleanor’s arm was comfy to hold onto. They stared at each other and turned my heart into goo.
Other notes of interest: Breastfeeding (breastpumping?) has been going super for us. The babies’ feedings have been suspended, but I’m working at building them a huge stash in the NICU freezer. I’ve had a few pumping sessions that have produced enough milk for three full-term newborns. I always said I hoped to breastfeed, expecting a rough go at it. So far, I’ve more than met my goals and expectations.
I couldn’t be more proud of my own body. It’s about damn time I get to say that.
Continued well wishes, thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. We’ve climbed over quite a few hurdles, but countless ones lie in our future. Premature babies face so many potential complications and health problems, but we’re doing our best to focus on the positive and the joyous fact that all three are alive, healthy and thriving.
And now, while I’m off to pump, shower, eat and visit with our amazing trio, here are a few overdue photos from the last few days:
Callista and Mommy nap together
Toby (left) and Eleanor meet face-to-face and get some quality skin-to-skin time with Mommy
My view (Eleanor on left, Toby on right)
Toby, 6 days old, fresh from a bath
A freshly bathed, 6-day-old Eleanor
Callista, 6 days old, clean and ready to relax after screaming through a bath
I’m going to be a bit slow to update on the blog while Rob and I figure out a routine and settle into our new life in two homes – our normal one and our NICU home. I’m much better about updating my Twitter feed, though even that has suffered in favor of three beautiful faces. You don’t need a Twitter account to view my feed, just click on my username, Jennandtonica, at the top of my Twitter widget over to the right there in the sidebar.