The NICU is a strange place. I can be wide awake when we walk in there, and after a few hours I am so drained that I don't think I can even walk to the elevator. Once we get to the ground floor we still have to walk to the car. My whole body and my mind are just exhausted. Other parents that we have talked to have confirmed that they feel the same way. The cause of this is I'm sure a combination of the alarms and buzzers, the flurry of activity, and the constant worry all joining in to create this total feeling of exhaustion. When we left there the other day and I told Carrie that in my entire life as a road musician, I had never felt as completely exhausted as I did at that moment. I know what you are going to say:
"Wait until you get them home!"
True. However, I imagine that the feeling of total exhaustion when they are home will come with a deep sense of fulfillment that is missing in the hospital.
Well, we don't want to get our hopes up too high, but tonight Carrie and I will spend the night at the hospital with one, some, or all of our boys in a room by ourselves. The idea is to have one night up there out of the NICU when we will be solely and completely responsible for their care, and then, and let's not get too excited, we will bring them home.
Knock on wood.
Say a prayer.
Sing a song.
Throw salt over your left shoulder
Pick up a penny that is heads up on the ground and think of us.
Propose a toast to us at happy hour.
Everything at the hospital is being prepared. The car seats are there. The hospital ordered a bunch of extra large razor blades for the circumcisions. They have clothes to come home in. We have a vehicle that can haul them all. The nursery is ready. The dog is excited.
The stage is set.
However, anything can happen. We won't get too excited until they are actually loaded up in the Tahoe.
That's not true.
I'm so excited right now I can't stand it.
My hopes are way up.
Yes, of course we are going to film it and show you.
We can't bring them home without making a totally triumphant video.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane.
Here is Cade Richard on the day he was born, June 2nd, 2010. He was 3 lbs 5.9 ounces. He was on CPAP and was fed through a PICC line. In the few days after his birth, he dropped to below three pounds, because a lot of the weight was fluid in his lungs. They all dropped down to below three at first.
Here is Cade today. He weighs 6 lbs 3.9 ounces. He is taking 80ml of formula every three hours.
Here is Zane Chad. He weighed 2lbs 15 ounces and of course dropped a bit of that. He had the same stuff going on as Cade did.
Here is Zane yesterday. He is exactly the same weight as his brother Cade. 6 lbs 3.9 ounces. All of the boys are taking about the same amount of formula.
Here we have Cash Dean. He was 3 lbs 4.8 ounces at birth. The night this picture was taken, Cash had a collapsed lung and had to have a respirator put on him.
Here is our little bruiser now. He weighed in last night at a whopping 6 lbs 13.3 ounces.
So there you have it. That's what 8 weeks will do to a baby. They have doubled in size. We are extremely fortunate to have three healthy babies.
Today we hope for the best. As I said before, anything can happen, but we are so close we can feel it. Perhaps this weekend the boys will be home to watch their first Red Sox game with the old man.
Don't worry, I won't give them any beer.