Monday, December 31, 2012

Home for the Holidays

Well, as usual, the holiday season for us was nothing less than exciting. The month of December started off pretty close to normal, company holiday parties, Christmas shopping and baking Christmas cookies and candy. It was a busy month for work so I was scrambling to get everything ready ahead of schedule so that I was not too stressed out right before Christmas and could just enjoy being with everyone and watching the babies. But as always, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans and Mickey got very sick. It was my first day off on vacation; I had just dropped off the gifts to the daycare teachers, when they called me back because they were concerned about Mickey’s breathing. Tommy and I picked him up, canceled our plans to take the babies to get their first pair of shoes and instead took Mickey to urgent care. They noticed his retractions and gave him a breathing treatment. No one there seemed to agree on the proper way to do it though, which was frustrating. They said he looked and sounded better and as long as we did those treatments every 4 hours, he would be ok. But I knew in my stomach something was still not right. Maybe it was the months I spent by his side in the NICU or maybe it was just the mommy instinct, but after we put him to bed he kept waking up crying and coughing and I knew I needed to take him to the ER.  I sat there watching Mickey be hooked back up to all these machines again and watching him work so hard just to breathe again, my stomach in knots. Tommy texted and asked if they were going to send him home with oxygen, I responded that I don’t think we are going home anytime soon.

I wasn’t quite sure what we would do on Christmas Eve if Mickey was still in the hospital. One of us would have to stay with him. In the NICU, he was so tiny, he would not have known if we were not there, but for sure now, if he woke up in the middle of the night and we were not there, he would know it. And on Christmas day, how would we divide our time between the babies at home, our families, and Mickey. Luckily we didn’t have to figure any of that out. Mickey bounced back sooner than expected and came home on Christmas Eve.

Mickey has been in “play” mode since we left the hospital. Suddenly, he has a one track mind, PLAYING. He does not want to drink his bottles anymore or take naps or go to bed at night, he would rather keep playing. He is like a little energizer bunny making up for lost time from being in the hospital I guess? He makes me dizzy sometimes! Jolynne is very clingy lately. She only wants to be held and does not really seem to want to play at all. On top of that, she has an ear infection, so I wish I could say we are all healthy but the babies still struggle with some kind of bug. We are still trying to keep up with runny noses and breathing treatments. It is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving unfortunately. And something we can only give back…to each other. I swear as many times I have washed the sheets, the toys, disinfected everything, you would think, we could get over it, but not yet. We are seriously contemplating going back to a nanny and taking the babies out of day care. It is much harder on us as it does not allow us as much flexibility. If the nanny is sick, there is little back up we can count on. If Tommy is traveling and he/she cant work late or come early, it affects my work schedule, but after Mickey being in the hospital again and as much money as we have spent on co pays for all of us for the last 6 months and now another hospital bill to pay for, and as many times as we have had to stay home with sick babies and cancel important plans with friends and family, I’m not sure day care is the right place for them anymore. It was a good option for us when we needed a quick solution, but is it the best thing for our children? Every time Mickey has a runny nose now, I start to panic and I can’t sleep at night because I am worried he is getting sick again. A lot of people told me the babies would be sick for a couple months right after starting day care and so we expected that and worked through it, but they have been sick almost non stop since July and I am not sure how much more of it any of us can handle. I think there are two differences between our babies and others. #1 – there are 3 of them, so they share everything and it goes back and forth. It is almost impossible to keep them from passing it back and forth. They are not in separate play areas in our house. We have to be able to watch all 3 of them at the same time, so keeping them separated is not possible. #2 They are preemies. There bodies went through a lot there first couple months of life and they are at higher risk for things like asthma. They are more likely to get really sick from a common cold than your average baby.  I know they will still get sick if they are not in day care, I cannot shelter them from everything, but I can surely minimize it while they are still so young.

Even though the babies have been sick, we still enjoyed the holidays and having everyone home. Mickey coming home right in time for Christmas was the only gift I needed. The babies may still be to young to understand Christmas, the meaning of it, the reason for it, and all the fun family traditions, but to have us all together under one roof, eating together and playing together, made my heart complete again. Although it was not the babies first Christmas, for Mickey and Jolynne, it was their first Christmas at home and so in some ways, this year was more special than the last.

We finally got to take our shoe shopping trip and even went to the Sea Life aquarium. My mom watched the babies for a bit so Tommy and I could go see Les Miz, which was incredible. I even got to go shopping for myself! Oh the things you take for granted before having kids! Tonight, to bring in the New Year, we will celebrate with my mom and keep things low key. I will try to stay up until midnight, but I admit, I might not make it. I am still trying to catch up on sleep from the last couple weeks or I’m just getting old…maybe both.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2013. 2012 was an adventure, challenging but the best we have had and I am so grateful for every minute of it. For us, each year just keeps getting better and better and although we look forward to what the future holds, we also try to focus on the present moment because no one can predict the future. 2012 was not a great year for everyone, especially the families and parents who lost their children and loved ones in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I hope they find peace in time and that in 2013, as a country we can come together and find a solution to the violence in America. At this point, I think we have to put aside our stubbornness and differences on gun control and mental health and just try something different, even if it is not our preference and see if it helps. If it doesnt, we try something else and we keep trying until something works! We have to do it, for our children, and for the ones we already lost.

1 comment:

  1. While being sick constantly is a drag, the babies are doing pretty well. 2013 will be easier for us as they get stronger and start to explore the world more.