I didn’t plan to write a post today. I thought perhaps I’d take a day off to try and accomplish some of the items on my to-do list. But then Kangaroo Kare became a part of my new routine. This just had to be shared.
For those of you expecting an off-the-wall rant or adventure involving marsupials, you may be shocked to learn Kangaroo Kare is actually a medically proven technique. (It’s even listed in my new preemie dictionary.
Since the boys arrived last Friday, my to-do list has been steadily growing. I’ve even had to organize my lists into a list to keep everything straight. Six weeks of bedrest, four spent locked in a hospital, gave me lots of time to realize what we needed to do before the boys come home. In addition, now that I’m home (and very sadly my muppets are not), nesting fever has fully encompassed me.
I’d like to straighten out several of our rooms: clean out my medicine cabinet (since I have oodles of extra pre-term birth prevention, which worked oh so well…), organize the office and categorize my digital files (since the boys will be top paparazzi targets) and put the nursery in order.
I have lists of items to get like basic household necessities in Costco bulk, groceries, baby needs (we’ve ordered preemie pacifiers based on the boys attitude toward sucking on their food lines and impressive attempts at thumb sucking) and books I think the boys may enjoy hearing now.
I’ve got paper work to fill out for my maternity leave, insurance, new dependants and Thank You cards to write for all of you who have been so wonderfully generous during this seriously stressful period. And Gramma J keeps heavily hinting that perhaps we should be looking at new (larger) vehicles. (I have become the lone supporter for my trustworthy 12-year-old Honda.)
I’ve got pampering issues to deal with. I’d love to get my hair cut and perhaps even a massage since my back still hurts. Ideally, I’ll be out walking and enjoying beautiful weather – something I was dearly deprived of during lockdown. (This is doctor ordered to help heal a C-Section and muscle atrophy from long-term bedrest.)
Babywise, I am in process of crocheting each of my sons a unique baby blanket. Yet, since this takes time, I am also looking for a simple sewing pattern to make them small quilts. One of the practices in the NICU is to place a blanket over the isolettes.
(This helps keep the environment darker for the boys as they’re already getting enough stimulation as it is.) Right now, Search’s blanket is blue with surfer dudes. Destroy’s is green/tan with John Deere tractors. Neither is appropriate – I just can’t seem them as “brahs” hangin’ 10 or country-boy farmers.
So what does this have to do with Kangaroo Kare? And how does that add to my current commitment and dedication to being the Dairy Queen every three hours and visiting their temporary home twice a day? Simple. All those activities in the previous five paragraphs – so what, who cares? They may or may not get done some time in the future, possibly before Search and Destroy graduate college and move out.
We got to hold Destroy today (hopefully Search will be Joey-ready tomorrow). For the first time, I held my tiny baby in my arms, cradled him and felt his heart beating against mine. He opened his little eyes before falling into what I perceived to be a tremendously content and peaceful nap.
Kangaroo Kare is the technique of skin-to-skin contact between baby and parent. Our nurses have repeatedly told us how much the babes enjoy the experience and that it makes them thrive. Studies state this marsupial method offers significant benefits for preterm infants such as increased ability to regulate their own temperature, decreased apnea occurrences and increased weight. Additional studies also suggest that Kangaroo babies have improved cognitive development, decreased stress levels, reduced pain responses, normalized growth and positive effects on motor development. Maybe this means earlier release home is a possibility?
Going back to yesterday’s post, today gave me yet another new perspective – realizing how small they are and the expansive intensity of a parent’s ability to love. I would happily spend every moment of the next several months holding my babies. It’s true. I’d voluntarily commit myself back to the hospital for this.