This morning did not start off well. It is my second day All Alone With The Kids ™. (I don’t know why I TM’d that, it just makes it seem important.) I haven’t been All Alone With The Kids ™ since something like April. There has always been a grandma or grandpa or aunt here to help out. It’s been great to have so much help, and we’ve been incredibly fortunate, but I was really itching to get things back to "normal."
In fact, I’ve been acting a lot like the wee-er one has been acting in her splendor of being two. In our own ways both of us have been shouting MY DO IT! and NO NO NO WAY, MY DOES IT NOW! Because we both have wanted to be independent and we both have not been able to do it.
Well, my independence has returned to something like 85% of normal. I still can’t go up and down the stairs all day long and I can’t pick up heavy things and I get tired really, really easily, but it’s OK, because MY DO IT. And my has been liking it. Well, until the wee-er one went crazy apeshit this morning, hollering and shrieking (and that was before the sitter got here).
The sitter calmed her down, though, and off I went to the NICU.
Well. I got to the NICU and the first surprising thing was that Ike-a-saurus was wearing clothes. Actual baby clothes! I was like, "Uh, hi, is this my baby? Did he sneak out for a trip to Abercrombie last night?" And the nurse told me that he’s big enough for clothes now and doing a better job of regulating his temperature so they took him off the shiny silver temp lead that sticks to his belly and plugs into the isolette. Yay!
You know what this means. This means shopping. Hard core, heavy duty, preemie clothes shopping. Oh yeah.
Also – and this is the most incredible news of all… he nursed. More than just nuzzling. His little mouth latched on and he sucked like a champ! His eyes were wide open, and as I immediately bragged to my best friend, the look on his face was all, "Shit, yo, stuff comes OUT of these things!"
The nurses were disbelieving that, at 32 and a half weeks he was clearly latching on. I just kept yelling for people – anyone, strangers, janitors – to come watch. It made me cry.
I was warned he might not do it again for a while, that this just might have been all the stars aligned at a perfect moment in time, but that’s OK. My baby that wasn’t even supposed to be born sucked milk out of my white hot pump-bruised nipple and I luxuriated in it.
And he looked at me with those bottomless dark eyes and we had a mind meld. Our thoughts met and they said, "Take that, bitches. Look at us now." And then our mind meld decided to not be so harsh because we have an incredible team at the hospital now – and we did throughout my stay, too – so our thoughts met and they said, "No one here ever expected less. And now we are showing you that you were right."
At one point the lactation consultant came by and assumed she was there to help us. But then the nurse said the 32 and half week baby was doing fine, it was the full term baby at the end of the bay that needed the help. And she winked at me. Of course, we may need tons of help in the future and breastfeeding will, of course, be hard, but today was some kind of magical moment.
And so, I ran around like a maniac this afternoon, so excited about the nursing, so excited about the clothes, and once the wee one came home from school I passed out, unconscious on the couch. The wee one and the wee-er one then managed to spill bubbles, glue one or more of their hands to the kitchen table, eat ketchup directly from the bottle and chew on a black marker all while I snored desperately from the sofa.
It has been a big day today. And I am pretending that my incision doesn’t feel like it is sewed over a bowling ball right now because I so want to go back to the hospital tonight. I don’t want to still be this tired. I want to go nurse Ike-a-saurus all night and dress him up in tiny onesies and beg the nurses to let me take him home, even though he’s only 3 lbs 4.9 ounces (big!) and still on the canula. It is both exhilarating and incredibly frustrating to have these great days. I want him here right now.
I WANT THAT.
MY DO IT.
ps. writing this post made my milk let down.