Life After the Second Line

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

One Year

I'll write the long sappy post soon, but for now this will have to do:

Happy first birthday, my precious angels. Thank you for giving me the best (and fastest) year of my entire life. I love you to pieces -- but you knew that already.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

And another thing

When I published the last post, I saw today's date. April 8. It was exactly one year ago today that all three of us were admitted to the hospital in hopes the twins could stay put at least until May. (Their due date was June 6). We didn't make it, but we didn't do too bad. Still, it was the longest two weeks of my entire life, by a long shot.

Damn it

We'd been doing so well. Nearly ten months had passed since P, the second twin to graduate from the NICU, had come home from the hospital. We hadn't had to so much as see the doctor for anything more than your everyday, run-of-the-mill sniffles. Until Wednesday, that is.

On Wednesday, I noticed that P had developed a bit of a cough in addition to the runny nose she'd had for the previous couple days. E had been sick for a week and a half -- bronchitis, it turned out -- and had been on antibiotics since the previous Friday. He was feeling great by that point, but I wasn't surprised to see P finally coming down with the same thing. I called the pediatrician and reported that P had all the same symptoms E had exibited when he first started to get sick. The doctor said this happens to just about all of his twins, and said he'd go ahead and call in a prescription for P on the assumption that she'd contracted E's virus. If she didn't seem to be getting any better by Friday, he'd go ahead and see her. We didn't make it that far. By Wednesday night, P had a terrible, awful cough and was wheezing with every breath she took. I called the after hours number and reported the new symptoms. Not surprisingly, the doctor wanted me to bring her down to the ER, just to be checked out.

Right. Four hours later, when four rounds of breathing treatments hadn't made a dent, she was admitted to the hospital. I kept trying to remind myself that this wasn't the same as before, that she was sick, yes, but no longer a 33 week preemie with immature lungs. Still, I couldn't shake all the NICU flashbacks, nor the knot in my stomach and the voice in the back of my head telling me we were probably checking in for the next seven weeks, just like the first time. It was awful -- especially when they told me she needed oxygen and taped that damn nasal cannula to her face. Fucking cannula. I saw enough of that thing last April through June to last a lifetime.

Early Thursday morning, we got a diagnosis. Pneumonia in both lungs. The doctor said it had probably progressed more quickly than it would have in most other babies because P's lungs had undergone so much stress during her first few months of life, leaving her immune system not quite up to par and her lungs particularly vulnerable.

Anyway, long story short, we're home now, and P is doing much better. She didn't come home on oxygen this time -- WHOOOOOHOOOO! A good friend of mine who works at the hospital had already explained to me how differnet things would be this time. When I told her how long it had taken P to be weaned off the oxygen last summer and how they'd had to lower it in such tiny increments, she said, "Oh, they won't do it that way this time. They'll probably just come in and shut it off altogether and see how she does." She was right, and thankfully, P did great. She'd just needed a little help for 48 hours or so. We are still doing breathing treatments at home though, and that will go on through Monday at least. No biggie. Hopefully, when we go back to the doctor on Tuesday she'll get a clean bill of health. Or mostly clean, anyway. Anyone know how long it typically takes pneumonia to run its course?

So, there you have it. Another April, another hospital admission. But next year is going to be our year. I can feel it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Well, that's settled. Kind of.

So, about P & E's birthday party. We decided to keep it small and intimate; immediate family members only. That is, until I mentioned it to my best friend, who reeeeeally wanted to come. So fine, we invited her. But then she mentioned it to another of our good friends, who brought it up at girls' night a few weeks ago in front of everyone. And so on, and so on.

We've invited 46 people.

There's no way on God's green earth we can fit 46 people into our 1450 square foot house. Maybe we'll be able to go outside, but for a party to be held on April 22, I'd say the odds of the weather cooperating are maybe 50/50. There are a number of community buildings in the small towns around here that you can reserve, rent free, but we didn't really want to go that route either. They're just so blah. And sometimes a little rundown and dingy. (Although, to be fair, I think the one in our own tiny town is at least fairly new and clean). Anyway, long story short, we've decided to have the party at G's parents' house. They have a huge, sprawling ranch with big rooms that should allow plenty of space for everyone to spread out. They also have an enormous deck overlooking their pond, should the weather happen to be nice that day. I think it'll be ok. Now, the main thing I'm worried about is whether P & E will be up for the festivities, particularly when the festivities may involve this many people. E still loves pretty much everyone, but P has turned into a mommy's girl to the extreme. I'm guessing I'll have her in my arms for most of the day, but hopefully she'll at least let me put her down so she can get her hands on her cake!