Saturday, July 24, 2010

Routines and Heros

Sophie Mattie



I'm not sure if anyone is still reading. Amber has been on me for some time to update for fear that people would stop checking, but somehow, I've just not felt like posting when I had a few spare moments. I do know that Mrs. Countess is still checking once a week to see new pictures, so this is for her...and our moms. :)

Somehow, we have settled into somewhat of a routine. Both of our moms have gone home now unless I have to be somewhere over night, but other than that, we have found a way to take care of the girls in, what I think anyway, an acceptable fashion...the house is a wreck when our parents aren't here to clean it, we are still getting two meals a week from great women at Fairlane, and the neighbors have to be wondering what in the world is going to happen with my yard!, but the girls are doing well enough that our pediatrician said we were doing a good job. (By the way, can I just mention how incredibly relieving it is to hear someone with a white coat on say that after you are absolutely sure that you have no idea in the world what you are doing!)

I thought you might want to hear what our basic routine is to get a peak inside the incredibly cluttered for now Schwartz home.

Both girls are sleeping pretty well at night now. We give them their medicine and a bottle around 11 and then I hold them up for a half hour while Amber pumps. When she's done, she wakes me up around midnight and we do our best to get the girls in their beds without waking them up. Most night we're pretty successful and they sleep until around 4:30 or 5. It's unbelievable how good 4 straight hours of sleep feels! We do the same routine at 5 and get them back in bed around 6. We get another 1.5-2 hours of sleep and get up again a little before 8 to feed them again. Most mornings we go ahead and put them in their Nap Nannies (a special seat designed like a car seat to help them stay more upright...not quite as up as they need to be most of the time though) after they finish eating around 8:30. I get in the shower and Amber pumps again. I kiss everyone goodbye and head off to work.

From then until around 5 all I can tell you is that my wife is my hero. Somehow she manages to nurse both of them at the same time. That includes burping one while nursing the other which is very impressive. She somehow manages to keep both of them calm at the same time or manage the double screams when they just won't calm down. I have trouble managing both of them for an hour or two by myself so I have no idea how she can do it for all day! I had a nightmare while the girls were in the hospital that I wrote an article about to get it off my mind when I couldn't go back to sleep and finished it by saying that I'm not nearly man enough to do the work of a mom emotionaly or physically, and I'm more and more convinced of that every day when I watch Amber with the girls!

Amber changes diapers, nurses every 2-3 hours, holds them up for 30 minutes after each feeding and somehow manages to get at least one room straightened each day before I come home.

We try to do a few dishes and laundry at night, play with the girls for a while (they are smiling a lot more now and are oh so close to laughing out loud), give them a bath when we and they can handle the extra time before eating (last night Amber gave them baths alone...another reason she's my hero) and start the night shift over again.
That's pretty much our life right now. Our living room is stacked up with diapers and gifts from an unbelievable baby shower that Fairlane had for us on top of all the gifts people had already given us.

We take the girls back to Vandy to check their lungs, eyes, and Sophie's blood pressure on the 30th (next Friday), so please pray that we will be able to be done with at least one of those appointments. We are really hoping they will come off of their oxygen next week which would make a world of difference. When that happens, we'll be able to at least start thinking about when we can get them out a little in a very careful, hands off, and threaten anyone who tries to touch them kind of way (seriously) before cold/flu season hits and we have to pull them back into isolation from germs that could rack their lungs again.

All of our friends that we met in the NICU have gone home now so we are hearing from each other less and seems that communication with the outside world is just hard to do with infants at home! Amber does talk to Stacy from time to time and they seem to be doing really well. Crimson will be on Oxygen for something like 6-12 months from what we understand so they will need a lot of patience and strength and can still use your prayers. Enjoy the pics and video for now and we can't wait to let you meet them...even if they're 2 by then!