Holy S"*t!! I was optomistic about what it would be like having Rowan home, since for the most part, having Saoirse at home by herself wasn't that bad. Between Gwen, her mom and I we had it covered and were managing to get 6 hours of sleep per night. I thought having Rowan home would make it harder, but not exponentially so, which turned out to be the case. The first night Rowan was here, Gwen's mom had to leave, but my brother was here so I thought we could handle it. The first night he and I stayed up until 5 am and then slept for about six thanks to some excellent work by Gwen. However, that's when reality set in. The second night, Evan went to bed because he was leaving early the next morning and I had to try to put the girls to sleep. They eat and sleep on different schedules and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. They both do fine when you are holding them, but how can you hold both of them and do what each one needs (get breast milk ready, change them, clean them. It doesn't work. And if Gwen and I both stay up, no one ever sleeps. It takes an hour to get them up, get the bottle, feed them, change them and then put them down, and you can only do one at a time. I got up at 7 am Friday to work and was exhausted. The worst was Friday night though. I had a bad day at work, was exhausted and it was just Gwen and I. Gwen had been taking care of the babies for 12 hours straight by herself if you count my sleep and work. Then we took them to the doctors appointment and came home. I told Gwen to go get some sleep and took care of them for their next two feeding times and I thought I was going to die, and it wasn't even night time yet. Luckily, somehow, almost as if the girls sensed I needed a break, they had a rather quite night and slept for 3 hours and then 4 hours, giving Gwen and I two chunks of sleep. When they were in the NICU, they were fed every 3 hours, but it seems they would rather eat every 1.5-2, which is almost impossible for us. Gratefully, Gwen's mom is back here tonight ahead of schedule because we put out and SOS and it is already less stressful. It was just in time too, because last night I forgot which was which when Gwen came to relieve me at 2 am.
Saoirse got her cast off on Thursday, which is great. Unfortunately, I have to do physical therapy on her twice a day. It consists of twisting her foot up and out for five minutes at a time. I think I have discovered a way to manipulate time and space after doing this a few times. The clock almost goes backwards, making it the longest five minutes I have ever experienced, over and over again. I also just about leave my body as she screams at the top of her lungs and looks up at me. I consider myself pretty tough when it comes to these things. I am a doctor and have treated many people. As part of training you learn to separate your emotions in these situations so that you can do what is necessary and in the best interest of the patient. Still, it kills me.
On the bright side, they are beautiful and getting big. Their checkup with their doctor went well and they seem to be doing great in general. We have given them their first baths in their tub and both seemed to like it. We also used their stroller for the first time today taking them around for a little walk earlier today.
Finally, I didn't realize how much having the kids would impact my interaction with the outside world. The first time I took Saoirse to the store, 4 people stopped me and commented on how small and cute she was and started asking all these questions about them. When we went to the doctor with both of them, we parked in two spots because the cars previously had parked just outside their lines. Since I had to get them both out of their carseats and there were plenty of spaces in the lot, I took up two spaces. When we came out of the office, a big red pickup was parked 1 inch from the drivers side. I sat their, dumbstruck, when this dude comes running out of the office saying he wouldn't have done that if he had known, ie I had two babies with me. I was so tired and pissed I was speechless. It was kind of funny watching the guy trip over himself trying to apologize and move his car when he realized I had two kids.
Anyway, the journey has just begun and I am already humbled by the prospect of doing this for years and years. I also know that as they grow, certain things will get easier and other problems will arise. Let the adventure continue.