The four of us have come home to finally be a family. It has been a very long journey so far but it is now truly the beginning. It finally feels real. These girls really do feel like our little girls. I don't know how to explain that feeling of going to the hospital time and time again to be with them, only to come back home and sleep in my own bed without them. We longed to be with them every moment but had to display an enormous amount of patience while we learned how to take care of these fragile little angels.
I can't describe how it felt to leave them day after day with strangers or to have these strangers constantly watching over our shoulders as we handled our girls. It was so frustrating...but it only makes this moment feel that much better.
They are our babies. Let me say that again. They are our babies. They are home with us and we are responsible for them 24/7. What an awesome responsibility! We are humbled by them every moment.
I remember thinking that night that we were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion, how can I love someone SO much without ever seeing them or knowing anything about them? Now I know. I've always known them.
This actually is a spontaneous picture...you can tell because I'm not sucking in....HA. Lisa was in the bedroom area and I was checking on the girls. I remember specifically trying to imagine what it would be like for them to be home and if we were really ready and then...snap...Lisa, unknowingly to me, had grabbed the camera and taken a picture.
So let me bring you up to speed on how the last couple of days progressed. It was a constant back and forth struggle trying to figure out when they were going to come home. We were told initially that once we move in, it typically takes about a week but it all depends on the girls.
Here is Lisa enjoying on of the dinners I cooked and brought up in the evening so she didn't have to eat cafeteria food 3 meals a day. That's pork, a baked potato with all the fixins, and pineapple.
The girls didn't make much progress through Tuesday and then we got an overambitious nurse on Tuesday night that decided to put it on her shoulders to get us home as soon as possible. She pushed the girls (actually more than we were comfortable with) all night until they had taken all of their feedings orally during her shift. We woke up Wednesday with the news that they might be going home in another day or two...and kinda freaked out. We tried to remain calm and act excited, all the while concerned that the nurse had done more damage than good.
We were kinda right. It took the girls 48 hours to recoup from that night. They wouldn't take the bottle and were having very limited success on breast. We were back to thinking sometime next week.
Then, during rounds Saturday morning, the doctor announces that it's time to see what these girls are capable of. His orders were to let the girls decide when they wanted to eat instead of every three hours like they've been doing for weeks. It was met with mixed success and a little bit of skepticism but we knew if they succeeded, we'd be going home Sunday. The first test was to get a minimum volume in 12 hours and they did it, just barely. Next came the car seat test (which we probably should have done a long time ago but thought we had more time). They are placed in their car seats for 30 minutes all hooked up to the monitors to watch for signs of stress. They slept right through it...nice to see they weren't stressed.
Then we were given the green light to stay overnight and be responsible for their care to make sure that we were ready. We passed that test. They continued to take their feedings overnight and by Sunday morning, we had a decision to make.
The doctor told us Sunday morning that it would be okay to take them home but actually left that decision up to us. That meant a lot to us...it also meant a lot of second guessing. In the end, we had faith in ourselves and in our girls that we could do this. The decision was made around noon to go for it.
I took off to go to the fire department to get the car seats inspected like a good father while Lisa and Eileen gave the girls one last bath and feed them. By the time I got back, it was time to get them in their going home outfits and pack up our stuff. It was quite the production.
I will leave you with this teaser. It's now almost 1:30am and the girls should be up in another 2 hours for their next feeding. I should probably get some sleep. I'm also downloading some more videos to Youtube that we took on the way out of the hospital, on the way home, and the arrival. So stay tuned and check back soon for the conclusion of "We have arrived!"