Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mothering Crew

He's a very easy little boy to love. Like I already said, he's my drug of choice. He's cheaper than a therapist (ok, that is so not true). He's much cuter anyway! One of the greatest blessings I have received is an ability to compartmentalize my feelings between the boys. If you would have described to me two weeks ago the nightmare that would be unfolding and then told me that I would ever be able to look at Crew without grieving for Dex, I would have told you that you were crazy.

I consider it a very significant and very tender mercy that my feelings for them are so disconnected from each other. My love, joy, grief, concern, peace, and everything else about them are very distinct and separate. I thank Heavenly Father every day for His mercy in this small blessing. To me it is in many ways further evidence of the individual nature of every spirit that comes to earth. I'm so relieved that I can rejoice for Crew without being overwhelmingly burdened by our loss of Dex every time I look at him. Because my goodness, I'm looking at him a lot! Dex and I still have our quiet moments together, separate from Crew's life.

On the other hand, they are identical twins. They share the same beautiful face. I'll never have to wonder "what would Dex look like now?" I can always look at Crew and know exactly how precious and handsome my Dex would be.

As a NICU mother, I'm very easily pleased and amused. When I was able to touch his little foot less than 24 hours after he was born, I was so excited! I've gotten to hold him on 2 very special occasions. Once they transferred him to a fancy bed when it became available. Once they transferred him to another fancy bed when the first one malfunctioned. Both times they waited for me so that I could stand there with a goofy smile on my face for 4-6 minutes of absolute heaven during the transfer. It felt like Christmas!

Other than that, I can stick my hands through the the holes in his bed and touch him when I want to. I touch him on his head and his left hand at the same time. It's our special "Mommy and Crew" touch, which he may already be associating with my visits. It's a delicate balance of spending time with him and allowing him to rest. He only heals and grows when he is in a deep deep sleep. I try to be there as close to his regular disruption time as possible. They dig around in his bed checking tubes, rotating his body, changing his diapers, etc. every 4 hours. If I hit it right by being there at 7, 3, or 11, I can help bug him. My big jobs are cleaning out his mouth with a little pink sponge, scraping the goop off his lip, and changing his diapers.

He's being fed tiny tiny amounts of breast milk. Yes, you read that right. Mama is making milk for this little guy. After our profoundly dismal experiences with Kinley and Tanner, I had no intention whatsoever of nursing these twins. I always knew, however, that I would have to revisit the question if they were born early. So, here we are. And believe it or not, I am actually producing milk. We're having better success than ever before and we'll keep it up as long as it lasts. I'm no jersey cow, but every drop is a bit of gold for his fragile little body. And he sure doesn't eat much right now anyway. He's getting 1 cc every 3 hours. He's digesting it perfectly and I'm so pleased to be able to do something for him. PS, no pumping or nursing advice please. This means you.

1 comment:

Patricia Hodge said...

I found your blog via Koppel Kreations and the blog train. I am so touched reading it and I plan to read all of it until I am updated on your precious Crew. It is apparent that you are a member of the LDS church. So am I. As I read your blog, the spirit bears witness to me that families are forever. I'm sure you know that and I am not sure why I feel compelled to comment that to you, but I do and I learned a long time ago not to ignore the Holy Ghost. Even though we don't know each other, your family will be in my prayers.

I am an avid digi scrapper and I will be purchasing the kit that was made for your little miracle.