Sunday, August 19, 2007
A big difference!
Such a difference 5 pounds can make! Chloe was 2 lbs 14 oz when she was born. Cora was 8 lbs 3 oz. The picture above is with the doll that was made to Chloe's birth size. Isn't that incredible? She didn't weigh eight pounds till she was about 6 months old. Cora is wearing clothes that Chloe had to grow into.
The difference between my two babies is so tremendous. Just having Cora here at home, instead of in a hospital for months, is so nice. She eats without choking, she breathes without being stimulated to do so. She isn't plugged into the wall! Chloe was literally plugged in at all times unless we were bathing her and even then she was still on 15 feet of oxygen tubing. She had a 6 foot radius - she didn't leave the living room. We can pick Cora up and carry her into any room we want without thinking twice about it. When Chloe would get mad and really cry, her heart rate monitor would start beeping at us because it was too high. That meant at ever diaper change, in the middle of the night, when she was hungry, whenever, we would wake to a beeping that sounded frightfully similar to a fire alarm. Now all we have to deal with is a baby crying, and that sound is like music compared to that awful beeping. There aren't nurses and respiratory therapists and physical therapists coming each day - it's up to us to make sure Cora is really healthy instead of having her checked constantly by strangers. Cora can wear outfits of Chloe's that were never worn because they weren't conducive to monitors and feeding tubes. Anything with a zipper was out of the question for Chloe, we needed gaps between snaps to let the tubes come out. Instead of hooking up special tubes and feeding and burping her, Cora just latches on, nurses for a bit, then burps heartily before nodding off to sleep. No waking up every 3 hours on the dot to pump more milk into her belly. If she spits up, we clean it up. We don't have to worry about whether her surgery worked properly as we did with Chloe. If we want to go somewhere, we just pack up a diaper bag, put the girls in the car and go. No checking to make sure there's enough oxygen left in the canister, packing feeding tubes and breastmilk jars and heart monitors and whatnot around her, driving somewhere with the fear that she may stop breathing in the middle of traffic and oh my god, what do I do if she does?
Every little thing is so different now. It's easy to forget how hard it was to be a preemie mama. Having Cora reminds me of all the little things we had to do with Chloe that 'normal' mamas just don't have to worry about. Having Cora is SO easy compared to Chloe. Chloe's babyhood was one that we just couldn't enjoy like other parents get to. There was always a worry or fear in the back of your mind. We enjoyed Chloe as fully as we could, but all that added responsibility, especially for two young and inexperienced parents, was so hard! And for the past couple years, amazingly, I've been able to look back on it and just kind of forget all that hard stuff, and only remember the wonderful, happy times, which I'm thankful for. But yeah, it's all coming back to me now, having another infant to care for.
There are some similarities between the two, too. Chloe always hated having her diaper changed - so does Cora. Watching Cora nurse reminds me of when Chloe finally went to breast - the rooting, the 'milk drunk' look in their eyes, the chin quivering and leaking milk out the side of their mouth as they fall asleep. The crazy baby hair in the morning. The look of pure innocence in their eyes. The way they can just listen to your voice and suddenly calm down and relax.
Ahhhh. Babies are so wonderful!