One year ago today, November 3, 2007, Charlotte and Katie came home from the NICU.
It was honestly without a doubt the most terrifying day of my entire life.
I couldn't believe that the hospital was letting us take home these tiny, not even four pound babies. One with a freaking heart monitor. Did they know us? Had they met us? I had no clue what I was doing. None.
PJ drove literally 20 miles per hour the entire way home, and I sat in the third row seat in the van so I could 'watch' the girls (what I thought they were going to do, I have no idea). We brought them inside, sat them on the floor in their car seats, and stared at them for a good hour. I kept saying "Well, what are we supposed to do with them now?"
I remember worrying, where do you keep a baby? Like say, if you're not holding them, and they're not sleeping, what do you do with them? And what do you dress them in? They had so many clothes, and yet no where to go.... so why dress them up? But was it okay to keep them in pajamas all day? Did they need an undershirt all the time? How did you know?
We figured it out. Those first couple months were a sleepless blur of feedings every three hours (preemie moms know, you don't mess with feedings, don't skip one, don't sleep through one, they're like clockwork), pumping milk, and running back and forth to see Jack. I honestly barely remember most of it.
The thing I do remember is the late nights with the girls. The three of us slept downstair for three months, them in the pack and play (or swing... or car seat... or boppy...) and me on the couch. At 2am it was time to eat, and while I fed one baby, I would sing Christmas carols to the other to keep her from crying. These babies are the only people in the world who stop (rather than start) crying when I sing.
I loved them so much, of course, but it was so stressful and hard and tiring and I was so worried about Jack, and honestly, they scared the crap out of me. They were like little ticking time bombs who could go off at any moment, for no good reason, and no amount of rocking, begging, pleading, feeding or cold hard cash would calm them down.
Now, they're not so scary. I think I've got them pretty figured out, for now any way - I know new problems lurk right around the Terrible Two corner. And I love them more and more and more. They are the smartest, cutest, happiest, most wonderful girls in the world. Well, I think so anyway. They're my heart, my joy, my best friends.
Here's to the next year... I just hope they slow down a little. It's all going way, way too fast for me.