With the girls coming up fast on 1 year, I’m afraid I’ll forget all the funny, beautiful little pieces of their babyhood.
Like when Lulu was discharged, all 3lbs 2ozs of her, and got her back to our room and handled her like an ice cream cone on the verge of melting. We insulated her and (metaphorically) licked her, fretting over everything, watching that little face no bigger than my husband’s thumbs stuck together, for any signs of distress. We barely breathed for fear our breath might topple her over. She looked back at us, from one to the other, then unleashed about 50 facial expressions in 30 seconds. Happy, wacky, silly, surprised, tired, interested, angry, distracted, goofy, sly- she left nothing out and we just about fell off the bed laughing.
Those 4 days she spent without her sister (who was still in the intermediate nursery) were the never to be repeated days of only-childhood for Lulu, and she pines for them still. That first night, the Neonatologist’s words rang in my ears “Glad you’re taking her home and not me!” That night we learned. Lulu was a 3lb tyrant. A dictator whose demands would make Castro blush. And we loved her for it.
Jungledad and I would do shifts- traveling back and forth from our rented room to the hospital. I would nurse Mumu at the hospital, and Jungledad would introduce Lulu to music back at the room. She loved “Lime in the Coconut” (very appropriate!) but the White Stripes were a bit much for her 8 oz brain (guessing. I have no idea how much a brain weighs in a 3lb baby).
Back at the hospital, Mumu wasn’t all that keen on nursing but she did love to be zipped up in my sweatshirt. I’d stare at her little strawberry blond head for hours. When she slept in her cot she refused to sleep on her back. She would only sleep on her tummy with her bum way up high in the air. Patted firmly and often, thank you very much.
The first book we read to them was “Team of Rivals,” the 700+ pager about Abraham Lincoln. A weird choice, I know. It happened because I was nursing their little preemie selves, then pumping, every 2 hours around the clock and it started to get a bit exhausting and monotonous, so my husband would read to me and by default, to the girls, while I fed them. It was the perfect book for the occasion because it was endlessly long and full of interesting things but nothing so exciting that it would keep me up, depriving me of my 2 hours sleep.
One of the first nights they slept longer than two hours, swaddled and tucked together in their little co-sleeper, Mumu awoke with a start. I jumped out of my chair because she was screaming bloody murder- this horrible terror filled shriek. I flipped on the light and saw the cause of her panic. Lulu, limbs immobilized by the swaddle, was frantically licking her sister’s face. Like an ice cream cone.
Awwww, the memories…