At the NICU, we are allowed to have our immediate family members on a list that allows them to visit when we are not there. This includes my parents (Grandpa and Nisey), my sister Courtney (Aunt CiCi), and my father in law (Grandad). They have all dutifully gotten their TDAP vaccine (tetanus and whooping-cough), which is necessary for handling preemies. Whooping cough can be carried as common cold in the general population, but be fatal to preemies so this vaccine is really important in protecting the babies. Since the babies were born, this bunch has also visited often and lovingly doted over the babies. At first, no one really wanted to get too close to the babies and all of us were unsure about what we could and could not do. Mom and Courtney started out gazing at the babies and gently touching them in their isolettes. The day we were allowed to hold the babies for the first time, Courtney was there to share the moment. She held Rylin for well over an hour and got a great snuggle. Shortly thereafter, Mom also held Rylin and then Harper. Courtney held Mason recently and is still making rounds to get everyone.
The grandfathers were another story. They were so worried about the fragility of the babies they hardly got near the isolettes. My dad has been hysterical. He is so proud of the babies that he wears his “Proud Grandpa of Quadruplets” polo as often as possible and loves snapping pictures to share with his friends as he brags about their cuteness. When he decides to take a picture, he creeps up to the isolette, quickly snaps, and then backs away as quickly as possible. Dad is sort of known as a “bull in a china cabinet” as he tends to break things (he attributes this to his Carpel Tunnel Syndrome). However, I really wanted him to love on the babies, even if it was just touching them gently. Well, this week one of our sweet nurses, Amy, decided it was time for Grandpa to step up to the plate to hold someone. Dad was really uneasy, but agreed to hold Harper. We reminded him time and time again that none of the babies are hooked up to anything that sustains life. They merely have monitors to check oxygen, respiration, and heart rate. That’s it. Dad was a champ and held Harper for at least 45 minutes. Then of course Harper decided to be a stink and de sat (drop his blood oxygen level) so he had to go back to bed. I just hope this hasn’t scarred Dad. He needs more snuggle time.
Well, a few days later, George’s dad came for a visit and we put the pressure on him. We let him know that everyone else was brave enough to hold a baby and he should too. I don’t know why but George decided that Grandad should hold Sydney (I would have chosen a bigger baby since he was already intimidated by their tiny sizes). Well, he did it for at least five minutes. He did great, but decided he had enough for one session. I think he will try again in the near future. Holding the babies is just too much fun.