The twins are now home with us and I can't say it's a minute too soon. I went yesterday morning with our day baby nurse, Anila (love that name), to take charge of the discharge of the twins. Hamish stayed home with the little wild animal who of course slept the entire time I was gone! The hospital was it's regular hot self and we had to wait in the hot lounge (with some little friends - not babies - see picture below) for the doctor to finish his "breakfast" before he would do the examination and let us be on the way (it was 11am by the way - "breakfast" must have gotten lost in translation).
Once the doctor pronounced Gemma and Ronan healthy enough to leave, he sat me down in the hot lounge with other new parents awaiting his attention (privacy is not big thing here) and went through a baby 101 seminar. We need to feed them often (really?), no massage (cause it's hot), no powder (again cause it's hot), no baths for awhile (mention of my possibly drowning them if I as much as sprinkle water over their heads), something about a rectal thermometer (ouch!), general cord care (my alcohol wipes are not good enough and I have to buy special "spirits" down in the pharmacy), and some other sage advice. Then he went on and on about the correct temperature for babies which in his estimate is between 24 C (75 F) and 26 C (79 F). How strange I thought as I sat in a puddle of my own sweat seeing as it's got to be much closer to 100 F in here now! You might want to take some of your own advice doc - no wonder my babies are wilting.
Bottom line on the hospital - I should have taken those babies out on day one. Ronan's red face splotches were looking really bad and little Gemma's head was soaked in sweat. Even though the babies are on a weight gain formula (that stinks something awful because it's so rich!) and were supposed to have been fed every 2 hours, they have both lost weight since birth - ugh! Gemma is down 5% and Ronan is down 8%. Anything above 10% is troubling and with pure formula fed babies on fatty fat formula, the scales should be moving in the other direction. What have you people been doing to my precious babies in this "hosptial"!
So the nurse bundled them up (not sure why) and Anila and I each grabbed a baby and bid the hospital a curt farewell. When we got home, we took the babies up to their grand suite which had been cleaned and cooled down that morning and put them together in their fancy crib. Anila made them little pillows and then set about readying to feed them. Neve was up at this point and ran around the baby suite pulling whatever she could reach off of the top of dressers, trying to climb up the side of the crib and then settled on playing with the phone (ie wrapping the cord around her neck and smacking the receiver on the glass table). I took Neve down for lunch and left Anila to it.
When Neve went down for her nap I came back up and Anila said (sort of in a surprised way) that the babies had each taken 50 ml of formula. In the hospital, they had been feeding them only 30 ml per feed. Ok, well, it does not take a baby rocket scientist to see where things have gotten off course. The twins are a little slow in the eating department at this time (I mean really painfully slow!) and I think the nice hospital people sort of must have lost patience after about the 30 ml mark. Anila and the night nurse, Marianna, are thankfully very patient and sit for about 45 minutes per baby stuffing them full of fatty fat formula! Sometimes a feel a bit like they are force feeding little twin ducks for a very special foie gras - yuck - but in the long run this is what's going to pack on the pounds!!
Turns out that in the last 24 hours the twins have consistently taken over 50 ml per feed! Yay!! We have an appointment at the hospital tomorrow and we'll see what a few days with good home cooked meals has done for their waist lines! 24 hours in, I am also happy to report that Ronan's red blotches are almost gone and Gemma is really enjoying sleeping right under the a/c! Home has been great - for all of us! The twins are still frightfully small by my appraisal, but if we can pump them up on lots of fatty fat formula over the next couple weeks, we will surely get some meat on their bones before we travel!
Things feel overall - well, really GREAT! We are done with the birth anxiety and the horrid hospital visits and are all home as a big ole family! I am LOVING it! Neve slept an actual 12 hours last night (her regular at home) and has had two naps today, giving me some time with the babies. I took Neve to the Mall after breakfast this morning and we had a romp in the big plastic playroom, a bottle and a caffe late, respectively, and a visit to the Food Bazar! Hamish is getting stuck in to a bit of work and the office seems to be running smoothly. We have now been out for not one, but two actual jogs in two different parks that are near us and that has been great (although best if done before 6am). Hamish taught the cook to make pancakes this morning which he had never made before. The first one was ok, the second better and the third was downright delicious - and he was so proud of himself that I had to sort of start liking him a bit more (and Neve is really taking to him, which means I really have to start liking him more)!
We are really blessed is all I can say. There was a sick little baby in the nursery when the twins were first born and we spent some time with the parents in the hot lounge talking and waiting. They had not named the baby yet because there was "too much tension". It's a little tricky to be introduced to your newborns in the same small room where people are so worried about their own little baby hooked up to machines across the window that they have not even named him after a week. We heard the doctor tell them the next day that the baby had a 98% chance of being perfectly fine - which sure made me feel a whole lot better, but that mother sure did not look like she believed it. It's her job to worry and until her little baby is released from that hospital and is home with her, I seriously doubt the tears in her eyes are going to dry up.
So we have been given not one, but three little miracles! All very different and all a wonder. To be here now, the mother of a big family of babies is a serious thing to contemplate given our history. It's insane - an insane amount of responsibility, an insane amount of logistics, an insane amount of patience, and an insane amount of love. When Neve was born people said that things in our lives would change and would never be the same. They were right but only by a degree. This time around, I can say with certainty that life as we know it WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!! We are outnumbered and out gunned and have to give over to being at the mercy of a merry band of babes!!!!
Love to all -
G, H & N R G
Exterior Hospital Entrance
This lovely creature was about 6 feet above my head while I received the baby lecture.
Luckily he did not have, "keep lizards away from the babies" on the list or
I totally would have called him on it!
Gemma at home with mama
Ronan at home snuggling into his new pillow/puke rag!
Ronan: "Where have you been these last few days? I'm so mad that I can't even look at you."
Gemma: "Thank god I can stretch my arms up now that you're not hogging all the space."
Gemma enjoying being a little princess!