Little Bea is proving a very good house guest. She arrived and went to sleep in her cot without a fuss for two hours and woke for her feed on the dot of 5.30, exactly four hours after her last. Can we keep her in these good hospital habits?
Lucas on the other hand had gone into meltdown in the car on the way home over a Ribena Popsicle. It started with ‘No mummy no’ and by the time we had reached the house and I tried to take him inside it was a full armed insurgency with head pushing, hitting and screaming. Him doing all of the above not me in case social services are checking up on us. The Husband had to take Beatrix in and shut her in the kitchen in case she thought she’d arrived at torture chambers central and I took Lucas upstairs. He threw books at me, screamed until he could hardly draw breath and ended up in a hiccupy sobbing tantrum. Oddly enough it took me a few minutes to figure out it was not just because he was tired or naughty. We have been telling him Beatrix would be coming home all week – he’d even made up a welcome home song- but the reality was always going to be more challenging. I explained as quietly as I could whilst ducking flying books and restraining him from smacking me that he would scare his sister if he kept on screaming and that it was time to be a big brother now and try and make her happy. I told him he would always be special and that we loved him very much and he’d always be my baby and suddenly he flung himself into my arms and started to calm down. We went downstairs to see Beatrix and then left her alone and played cars.
It wasn’t quite the idyllic homecoming I’d had in mind but then what was I thinking!!!. Something like the Waltons?!!! Dream on. Husband went in one room and watched the cycling for a few moments peace before it was time to go back to the hospital and bottle feed Alexander. I got stuck with Mickey Mouse and a moody toddler and intermittently tidied up. But then when Bea woke up for her feed and different Lucas came upstairs, helped me change her nappy by helpfully handing me things, patted her on the head, sung his welcome home song after all and played nicely while I breastfeed her without interruption. He seemed to be struggling for words for a minute and then said, ‘Mummy I want to make her happy.’ What a nice boy. I’m proud of him. This is all going to mean he has to grow up fast but I feel confident he’ll cope with it all without too much grief. And, whilst I would rather have Alexander here, the phasing in of twins is easier on him.
So one thai takeaway, x factor and a bottle feed later we are all in bed for 9.30 in anticipation of a rough night. On my mind is a visit from the eye doctor just before we were discharged which put a slight cloud over our blue sky day as Bea’s examination showed she has stage two retinopathy of prematurity. Just something to keep an eye on and very common in babies born so early but her blood vessels are growing slightly in the wrong direction which could lead to eyesight problems or even blindness without treatment early on. They will keep a close watch over it as it can come to nothing and correct itself but if it doesn’t she will need laser surgery quickly to reattach the blood vessels to the retina. She’s 50/50 right now and if she ends up having surgery it’s 90% successful. We have another appointment at his clinic in Staines on the 15th. My new motto is ‘It hasn’t happened yet’ because on the basis of all things being uncertain one may as well enjoy the present before disaster comes. If I stressed out at every possibility I would not have stayed sane so far.
She’s making her weird baby car crash horse noises in her new co sleeper cot beside me. I forgot how noisy babies are. I can hear beeping from the special care unit in my head and my daughter is lying beside me. How weird is that? I feel the weight of responsibility with her in a way I didn’t with Lucas. Help, where are the nurses?
Here she is, my bed ends and hers begins. I think she is afraid of the dark having never really experienced it. Stop grunting Bea.
Right I’d better sleep while I can. Let the games begin!
Night night Alexander. Sleep tight. Hope he is not missing his sister too much. Look no oxygen. My bet is ten days but hoping for a week.