Santa came a bit early this year. In an SUV. Twice.
Amelia and Avalon were born at 33 weeks and 3 days (auspiciously similar to 33 ⅓, the speed of vinyl) and as early girls, both had to stay at the hospital for a bit. As of yesterday, though, they are both home!
As preemies (I hate that term), their highest risk was lung development, as they were born right on the cusp of when their lungs could breathe air, but piercing cries at birth confirmed that both had healthy lungs and pipes. Still, there were many other things to be concerned about, so straight to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) they went. Catherine and I followed, me right after the birth, her a little later that night, and every day thereafter since December 5 we would show up at 8:00 AM and stay until 6:00-ish (I confess, I missed a few days because of headaches, but only a few).
Amelia and Avalon were kept in isolettes for several days, limiting our ability to touch them and comfort them, but these girls must have some special ops DNA from Catherine’s side of the family (my brother in law is Navy SEAL) and soon they were placed into regular bassinets. Sadly, the feeding tubes and sensor cords kept them tethered for several more days, but in time, the nursing staff would let the girls go wireless, or Wi-Fi as we liked to call it, which was a massively positive change. Then one night, Amelia pulled out her feeding tube and it never had to go back in (a little Joan Jett in her along with those SEAL genes maybe?). Not too much longer, Avalon’s feeding tube was removed and visits to the NICU started to feel strangely comfy, as we could hold the babies without the usual spaghetti of wires connecting them back to annoying, beeping monitors.
Oddly, at no time in the NICU did I ever feel worried for our babies. Sure, they were small, but you could just tell by looking at them that they were going to be fine. And sure enough, they are and now they’re home -- ahead of schedule (Christmas was considered very ambitious by the docs). In fact, I’m the one that’s late, with Welcome to the World, the song I wrote for the babies, still in the production process!
Amelia was first to escape (figures!), then, just a few days later Avalon busted out, too, and both were met at the front of the hospital by me. Catherine carried them so no one would get too suspicious. (In the photo, Amelia is on the right, Avalon the left.
Ho ho ho!