No, we aren't doing that anytime soon. But I do get asked that a lot. The question after "how are the babies doing," is "when are they coming home?"
Well. A few things need to happen. There isn't a magic day on the calendar that says when they will be home. It is all up to them.
Have you ever been freezing on a winter day and came inside a warm house and held your arms close together to help warm yourself up? Maybe you shivered a little? Your body knows what to do when you're cold.
Babies are born with that warming mechanism in place. However, when you are three pounds, when you try to warm yourself up, you use all your energy and burn all your calories and don't gain weight and get smaller and weaker and will never be able to warm yourself because you're too darn small!
So, #1: Babies need to be able to 'keep themselves' warm. When I say 'themselves,' I mean that they regulate their body temperature okay in room temperature with a bunch of clothes on and swaddled in blankets. Plural. Blankets. This usually happens around 4 pounds. They move from their little isolettes of warm air to the big wide world of open air. Ooooh. Open. Nice.
And here is mom changing her little baby boy a in his big boy open crib! I'm a real mom! I'm a real mom!
So that milestone has been checked! As of tomorrow, all three little wee ones will be in open cribs. Unbelievable. I can't believe it's been six weeks since they were brought into this world via an operating room and lady who has no idea what she's doing!
The next biggest milestone or hurdle or major challenge for the crew is eating. With their mouths. Like Gabe mentioned in the last post, (those little rascals, how did they even get my password?) they can't go home with that skill in place. They have to learn how to eat, on their own, and be able to have all meals this way. Also as Gabe mentioned, I am trying to breastfeed all three. Good thing I'm naive, right? Good thing I actually have no idea how impossible or challenging this is really going to be. But I committed. So we'll see. It may be successful. Or I may be balled in a corner one day, crying, wondering who I am, where I am, and why do all these tiny things keep needing me? Joking. Maybe.
This little girl just may beat her brothers home. Considering she started out way behind and needed so much more assistance than the boys, this is a little miracle in and of itself. When it comes to our "practice" sessions of eating with mom, she is a champ. We ask so much of them! They are only 35 weeks. They are still supposed to be cooking and we ask them to try and eat and suck and be coordinated. But my little girl is catching on. I'm so proud of her. Although she is doing really well, I can't try with her more than twice in 24 hours. Given that she needs to eat on her own 8 times a day, we still have an uphill climb. But the older they get, the more they are able to tolerate.
Gaber! Our looker. Look at those big eyes, just checking things out. Looking and looking and looking. If he's not practicing eating with mom, he practices with his pacifier. Over acheiver maybe? Hmm?