By Dec 19, two weeks after their birthday, we got the much anticipated permission from our insurance company to transfer the twins to the hospital in Laramie – which meant we could finally go home for Christmas! (A side note: the cost of transferring two babies on the same ambulance 150 miles was almost $10,000, PER BABY! Even though the transfer was pre-approved, we still spent the next 9 months fighting with the insurance company to get the amount paid).
The twins spent another week and half in the Laramie hospital, learning how to eat (babies born before 34 weeks gestation do not yet have the ability to nurse or take a bottle). Even when we brought them home from the hospital, Grace still had to be hooked up to oxygen for another couple weeks to handle Laramie’s high elevation and thin air. Up until then we’d had nurses taking care of them round the clock, and now we had to take over. They had to be fed every three hours, and feeding both of them could take up to an hour! B. is my hero for taking the 3 am feeding every night for a month. Fortunately Serious and Starlet gained weight fast and were actually sleeping through the night by three months. The twins were basically quarantined at home because preemies are more susceptible to sickness, in fact Grace spent three days in the hospital again with pneumonia. I couldn’t have survived those first few months without tons of help from my parents, B.’s parents, neighbors and friends bringing us meals, my Aunt Margie coming for two weeks to help (and giving me time to catch up on some sleep), and the help of a part-time nanny so I could keep my sanity by getting out of the house every other day!
We’ve come a long way… Serious and Starlet are already a year old, crawling all over the place and starting to cruise. It’s kind of like having little gremlins in the house, you never know where a baby is going to pop up, usually in some kind of mischief. They have completely different personalities. The doctor’s comment about Serious when she was in the NICU was that “this one doesn’t know she was born early; she’s ready to go.” She has always been a little ahead of her sister – the first to sit up, the first to crawl; usually the first to cry, too. She is always exploring, and loudly vocalizing her opinions about the world. She is also likes to crawl over her sister (why go the long way around?), and will often pause to pummel her sister in the process. Don’t feel too sorry for sensitive, wide-eyed little Starlet, though. On many occasions I have seen her steal her sister’s pacifier. She is good at pulling her sister’s hair too.
I am still working part time (going to my office is almost a vacation for me, so quiet and peaceful compared to all the noise at home). I still manage to find time to ride my horses once in a while and go hiking in the mountains. B. is still running large machinery, moving lots of dirt and occasionally the extra special treat of getting to tear down a building.
When B. got pretty good at roping this fall, he decided he needed his own steers to rope, so we are now owners of two calves. At first I threw a fit when he moved them in behind our barn. But they are so cute, I softened up (we only get to keep them for a few months, anyway, then they get moved to the ranch down the road from us).
Many blessings to you all for 2008.