Wowee Kazowee, I think I’ve nearly survived my first day solo with my three munchkins. To go back a bit, we brought Elijah home on Friday, March 26, with his NG tube, his apnea monitor and an overwhelming list of care-taking instructions. A home health nurse met us that evening to set us up with our tube-feeding pump and to make sure we were comfortable with flushing his CVL and changing his dressing and fortifying breast milk and giving his meds. What a strange first night.
It was our intention to actually use the apnea monitor – not as frequently as suggested, but maybe for some peace of mind at night. Well, we never left a tube feeding unsupervised, so we didn’t use it then. We thought he might sleep well, since he was used to crib sleeping in the hospital, but he was apparently done with that, and with the amount of breast feeding that he and I both wanted to do, I ended up leaving him at my breast all night, just as I had done with my first two. Even two feet away in the cradle, I couldn’t hear him breathe (yes, yes, that’s what the monitor was for), so I had much more peace of mind with him snuggled up close.
As I had hoped, within a week, my milk supply was up ‘n at ’em and we decided to “risk” removing the NG tube. It would be time to change it out soon anyway. He did fine with exclusively breast feeding. He had no spit ups and seemed to only need the tummy medicine during and shortly after his chemo medicine days.
It was SUCH a lifesaver having Brian’s mom here. She provided the stability for the boys that we couldn’t have given them, and she kept the house together too – and she made it all look so easy! She even graciously stayed an extra “extra” week so we could feel more comfortable that Elijah was going to do well. Sadly, but understandably, she drove home today with Brian’s dad.
The first thing the older boys did this morning was try to run upstairs to see Grandma, even after I reminded them that she had gone home. Later, Ian heard a noise and asked who made that noise and said, “Maybe it was Grandma.” Maybe it’ll sink in after a couple days.
The boys were used to Grandma’s tasty Jiffy pancakes and wanted them again this morning. I got them going on my new 20″ cast iron early birthday present. With impeccable timing, Elijah decided to need an immediate diaper change. I don’t know if I felt relief or dismay when Ian requested more “black pancakes.”
While nearing the end of the drive home, Grandma called and talked on the answering machine for Ian and Isaac. Ian picked up the phone and started trying to talk to her, so I helped him turn the phone on and he took off on quite a conversation. I’m not sure what all was said on the other side but I was hearing something like, “Oh! Did you call me one the phone? Oh! I’m doing fine. I’m not crying. I played with Miss Emily and Luke [yeah right], two cars over here, 6 cars over ‘ere and all ‘ese fings. Elijah is good. Igick is good. Are you ‘ere, Gramma? Oh. Elijah is drinking mommy’s milk. Mommy is a fweet girl. She is feeding Elijah. He is so hungry and so firsty. [picks up toy phone] I can talk with two phones. Laaaaaa la laaaaaaaaaa laaaaaaaaa laaaaaaaaaaaaa. [forgets about real phone and starts playing with toy phone]” “Ian, is Grandma still talking to you?” “Hello are you there, Gramma? She’s not there.” I take the phone and say hi. Grandpa answers. O.K., I guess technically Grandma wasn’t there.
Speaking of Grandpa, the other night Ian was enjoying a Juicy Juice soda. He took it around to everyone to offer a sip. When he got to Grandpa, Grandpa politely declined, saying it had too much sugar and he can’t drink sugar. Ian slurps a sip of soda and hands the can back saying, “Here you go. I drank off the sugar for you.” I’d say that’s a very marketable talent he has.
So, congrats to me. I actually managed to feed my older boys twice today, and the youngest multiple times, and it all happened without anyone screaming or wounding themselves. I even got the two youngest to sleep at the same time, thanks to my use of Grandma’s jaw-dropping method of simply telling Isaac to go take his nap (who woulda’ thunk that would actually work?!). I never feel great about the quality of time I spend with the walking, talking children until the baby can at least sit or crawl or otherwise become less time and effort intensive. My tactic for now was corralling everyone in a room with strategic use of the television when I had to tend to baby. I’m sure in no time I’ll be back to my old self, storming the town with my barely-controlled posse of pre-schoolers…and their new “Baby ‘Liijah.”