Charlie has now been home for over 24 hours. So far, he seems to like it here. Last night Joe and I stayed up with Charlie until after his 1:00 AM bottle. At that point we thought we would try to get some sleep, so we put Charlie in his cozy new bassinet in our bedroom and climbed into bed. Silly us, thinking that Charlie would take the hint and go to sleep. I’m not sure what goes on in the NICU after midnight, but if Charlie is any indication it’s some sort of nonstop party. It was 2:00 AM but Charlie was ready to rock. He lay awake in his bassinet for about an hour, making little cooing and growling sounds to himself, while I jumped out of bed every two seconds to look at him “just to make sure.” Make sure of what, I’m not sure. Joe also woke up every five minutes or so to look at Charlie, so I wasn’t the only crazy one. But at 3:00 AM Charlie had amused himself enough and started to cry. Joe and I decided that we would just sleep in shifts, so I took the Chunks downstairs until 6:00 AM. Aside from a brief 30 minute catnap at 4:00 AM before his bottle, Charlie stayed awake the whole time. At 6:00 AM when Joe came downstairs to take over, Charlie promptly fell asleep and stayed that way until nearly 9:00. Stinker.
The rest of Charlie’s day was good. The visiting nurse came this afternoon to check on Charlie and help us get some of the details of his care straightened out. She pronounced Charlie to be great, which we already knew ;) Tomorrow Charlie will see the pediatrician for the first time and we’re hoping that he will get a good report there as well. Charlie also had some visitors this afternoon. My mom and sister came over, and my sister held Charlie for the first time to celebrate her 25th birthday (happy birthday, Jill!) which was the day before. Later, Joe’s mom and dad came over and held Charlie for the first time. Needless to say, they enjoyed it, and Charlie seemed to as well. Tonight I gave Charlie a sponge bath to get him squeaky clean for the doctor tomorrow and then put him in his cool Ocean Wonders swing. He was mesmerized by the colored lights and rotating fish…for about 10 seconds before he promptly fell asleep.
Our day with Charlie was great, but we can’t forget about our love bug! This morning I went up to the NICU to visit the Bug while Joe stayed home with Charlie. Lily was wide awake and cute when I arrived, and when Dr. Hiatt came over to say hello she greeted him with an obnoxiously loud fart. Such a lady. Joe went up this evening to see her and had a very quiet and routine visit, which is exactly what we need from her. We are still waiting on word as to when Lily can come join Charlie at home. It all depends on how her reflux episodes develop. Hopefully she will make it home sometime this weekend. We can’t wait to have both her and Charlie here together!
Now it’s time for us to make an important public service announcement regarding visiting the babies and RSV.
Most people have not heard of RSV, which stands for respiratory syncytial virus, even though nearly every child has had it by age two. For full-term babies, RSV typically isn't any worse than a common cold, but for preemies, RSV is quite serious. Babies born earlier than 36 weeks are at the highest risk for serious complications from RSV such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis and other sometimes fatal complications. Charlie and Lily were born premature, are multiples and had low birth weights and these are among the highest risk factors for contracting RSV.
Preventing the spread of RSV is very difficult, so although we want all of you to meet the babies, we're going to have to be extremely vigilant about keeping them safe during RSV season (October through April). The virus is spread through physical contact, in the air via a cough or sneeze, or by touching an infected object. It can live as long as six hours on hands and up to twelve hours on objects and it spreads very easily, especially from child to child. Studies have also shown that infants pose an even higher risk of spreading RSV to others. You may ask “Can’t they fight it off and build up their immune system? Kids need to get sick, right?” The simple answer is NO. Since our babies were pre-term, they did not acquire the necessary immunities to fight off infection. If they contract RSV, they could be hospitalized and develop one of the complications mentioned above.
In order to try to prevent Charlie and Lily from getting RSV or any other illness, our doctors recommend that all visitors follow these guidelines when coming to see them between now and April:
1. When you arrive, please wash your hands and use hand-sanitizer.
2. If you are a close relative who could potentially visit often, please get a flu shot.
3. Please refrain from coming over if you are sick and have not been symptom-free for at least 5 days, if you live with someone who is sick, or have been in close contact with someone who is sick.
4. If you smoke, we ask that you change your clothing and refrain from smoking prior to visiting, as a preemie’s lungs are very sensitive to smoke. Most RSV sites recommend against passive smoke exposure.
5. If you are parents to a baby or toddler, please refrain from bringing them to our house during RSV season.
6. Please refrain from touching the babies. For the time being, only the babies’ grandparents and their Aunt Jill and Uncle John will be able to handle and hold Charlie and Lily.
Please know that this is not meant to offend anyone, but we wanted to provide an explanation as to why we'll incredibly paranoid with the babies. Thank you all for your understanding!
Please also note that due to RSV season we are unable to take the babies out in public October through April and must also avoid large family gatherings. We have to be hermits for awhile, but it will be well worth it in the end!
(RSV info borrowed from the blog of a fellow mom of multiples)
Is it just me or does Roy look like he's stalking his prey? Luckily, both Roy and Roger have seemed pretty okay with having Charlie here.
And maybe Roy is okay with things so far because he realizes he can always find a way to get some attention.
The night before Charlie came home, it seems as thought Roy knew something was happening. He got a bit antsy. Notice the cut on my nose? Yeah, that was all Roy Kitten.
Charlie seems quite pleased with his choice of seating options. In the NICU he was either in his crib/isolette or being held. Here at home, Charlie can sit wherever he wants!
Aunt Jill was the first non-nurse to hold Charlie (besides Joe and me, of course), and he seemed to be perfectly content in her amrs.
These last few days, it's been looking like Charlie's hair is going to be red. We can thank Grandpa Fred for those genes!
Despite all the support that our family has given us through these last few months, Charlie did not feel compelled to wake up for his visitors, not even Grandma Anne.
I realize this is the second day in a row that we've only posted one single picture of Lily and that she's been asleep in both of them, but she's pretty enough for us all to gaze at her beauty een if she's not awake.