Monday, June 4, 2012

For MoMs By MoMs-Bringing Home Babies

Today I am linking back up with some of my favorite twin moms about bringing home those little bundles.

After becoming pregnant this is the day that you have dreamed of for so long, when you get to be wheeled out of the hospital into the real world with your little bundle of joy.

However like with everything else, with twins this is totally different-well at least it was for me. The day I was discharged was filled with tears as it was the first time I had to leave my tiny Jackson and Riggs. I think with being a MoM it is important to have realistic expectations of the challenges you might encounter so you can try and prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. I was told the day we had our ultrasound that showed us two little heartbeats that with twins all of your risks are doubled. I knew throughout the entire pregnancy it was likely I would deliver early and the twins would have to stay in the NICU after I went home. While I knew all of this it was still very difficult and emotional. But I will tell you there are many MoMs that carry to full term and are able to have that magical moment of going home together.

Going home without the twins was extremely difficult, but you know it is what is best for them long term so you figure out how to manage. Looking back on this I have come to realize their NICU time was a huge blessing in the long run. When they came home they were healthy on a great schedule and this momma had had time to rest and recover from their delivery. Aaron and I had been able to ease into the every 3 hour feedings, we would get us when they were eating so I could pump. By the time they came home this was our schedule as well.

If your babies do end up in the NICU do the best you can to take some time for you. As one of my nurses told me, you are paying for some very expensive baby sitters-use them! Now don't get me wrong we were at the hospital a lot but not all the time. We decided to be there for their 9 am, 3 pm and 9 pm feedings everyday. Somedays we would be there more, but for the most part this worked well for us. The babies need to sleep and grow and being held a ton actually can hinder this since they are burning more calories and energy.

By giving ourselves sometime to adjust when we were finally able to bring them home things actually went really well. Riggs came home a day before Jackson, which once again brought on the water works. I was so sad to leave him all alone, this is the only night the two of them have ever spent apart and I felt like we were deserting him. But the next day our JackJack was discharged and our family of 4 was finally sleeping under one roof.

Riggs' homecoming!

Jackson's homecoming.

Home together!

 I think for everyone those first few days and weeks your needs are different. Since the twins had been in the NICU we did not have family here to "help". I think for me that was best. I know I am very independent person who does not need a ton of help. Actually when we had "help" it stressed me out. We had figured out our schedule that worked for our family and when others would try and enter it caused more stress for me than anything. Aaron and I are pretty laid back with the twins and life in general which is not a trait shared by our families. I know for others they want and need an army to help and that is great just not for me.

I think the biggest factor in having an easy transition was a SCHEDULE!!!!!! The twins ate every 3 hours no matter what, always at the same time. I was actually called a baby Nazi by my mom. But it worked and was how we had sanity in those first few weeks.

Bringing home multiples is fun and crazy. Everyone's experience is different but find what works for you and your family.


Shannon said...

I was also a schedule Nazi, & it's the best thing you can do! My twins are 4 years old & still sleep great!

kristenly said...

when my twins were in the NICU some of the nurses there also seemed to believe that it was best not to hold the babies as much but if you read the scientific studies it actually shows that the opposite is true

"Researchers measured heart rate variability in 2-day-old sleeping babies for one hour each during skin-to-skin contact with mother and alone in a cot next to mother's bed. Neonatal autonomic activity was 176% higher and quiet sleep 86% lower during maternal separation compared to skin-to-skin contact.

Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry, commented on the study's findings: "This paper highlights the profound impact of maternal separation on the infant. We knew that this was stressful, but the current study suggests that this is major physiologic stressor for the infant."

This research addresses a strange contradiction: In animal research, separation from mother is a common way of creating stress in order to study its damaging effects on the developing newborn brain. At the same time, separation of human newborns is common practice, particularly when specialized medical care is required (e.g. incubator care). "Skin-to-skin contact with mother removes this contradiction, and our results are a first step towards understanding exactly why babies do better when nursed in skin-to-skin contact with mother, compared to incubator care," explained study author Dr. Barak Morgan."

There was also a study that they did in Columbia where preemies that were held more needed their incubators less and their mortality rate improved from 70% to 30%.

Anyway I know it's hard when you can't or are not allowed to hold your preemies much but I just want to encourage anyone who can to do so.

Heather said...

We called my hubby the daddy nazi in the beginning...a few weeks in I wish I had taken his side. Haha!

Caitlin said...

Thanks for sharing such special memories with us! I agree the NICU can be blessing in disguise. It was for my and my triplets.