Tuesday, April 17, 2012

...House Arrest.

Before we left the NICU, we were advised by our doctor to keep Neil and Elizabeth out of crowds for the immediate future.  That meant no large family functions, no taking them to church, and no shopping trips.  Essentially, we were under house arrest.  I only left the house when we were taking the babies to a doctor appointment.

I thought that this was going to be the point where I would go stir-crazy and lose my mind.  It never happened.  I gave myself a very small To Do list every day to keep myself moving.  The list consisted of getting a shower, making the bed, making sure that I ate something, and doing one load of laundry.  That was it.  There were no time constraints other than to have everything done before Scott got home at 6:00.

I didn't stress out about cleaning the house during the day, I planned on dinners that were easy to make, and I wasn't too hard on myself if one of my list items didn't get done.  Surprisingly, there was only one day where I didn't make it into the shower, and two days where the bed didn't get made.  That was it.

What did I do then?  EVERYTHING!  Fed the babies, changed diapers, held them, changed diapers, bathed them, fed them, changed them, changed them, fed them.  I'm pretty sure we go through a metric ton of diapers each week.  When the babies were sleeping I was working on my To Do list.  The only time that things would get stressful at first would be on days where I was trying to get everything done by a specific time...basically, any day that involved a doctor appointment.

And, boy, were there appointments!!!  Well visits occurred each week at first.  Their doctor recommended appointments with a cardiologist to check for heart murmurs and with a radiologist to have ultrasounds done on their hips due to the fact that they were both breech.  I had my six week follow up appointment with my OB/GYN.  Since the babies were in the NICU, we qualified for free developmental screenings, which meant another appointment (thankfully, those ones are at home).  Then we had the actual cardiologist and radiologist appointments, and finally a (yet to be scheduled) orthopedic appointment.

The first tricky thing about appointments is getting two appointment times back to back in a short amount of time.  I realized this when I was pregnant and would need to schedule an ultrasound.  The last thing I wanted to do was wait an hour between appointments.  The more time I had to schedule an appointment, the easier it was to get two time slots.

The second tricky thing about appointments was figuring out who was going to go with me.  Scott was able to do a few, and so was my mom.  Without a second pair of arms we wouldn't had been able to go anywhere!

The third tricky thing about appointments was stroller negotiation.  Scott's family was wonderful enough to buy us the BOB Revolution Dualie stroller.  It's a side-by-side jogging stroller.  Translation?  Awesome, freaking huge, and easy to maneuver, unless you need to fit it through a standard door.  Then you're SOL.  So, how was I going to get the babies into the offices for their appointments?  That's where the second person came in handy.  We carried them.  My mom was given a double stroller (front to back style) and we tried that for my six week follow up, but it was in the way.  As long as both adults were going to be available for the whole appointment, we just carried them in.

Finally, there was the diaper bag.  I'm not an overly paranoid person, but I am certain of the fact that if I don't pack enough stuff for Neil and Elizabeth both of them will have a huge diaper blow out, and I will be stuck with two poopy (and miserable) babies.  That being said, I'd take six diapers, a travel container of wipes, a travel kit with diaper cream, shampoo, lotion, and powder, two onesies, a bag of basic medical supplies, burp cloths/bibs, and hand sanitizer to an appointment that was going to result in a trip that would be no longer than two hours.  If we were going to be gone longer I'd pack more diapers and onesies and add bottles.  Needless to say, my diaper bag is a small duffle bag.

We may not have gone out to do anything super exciting, but I think we all handled trips well.  Thank goodness Neil an Elizabeth like riding in the car!  Although house arrest has officially been lifted, we are still avoiding large crowds for the time being...just to be safe.


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