Last Wednesday, we rushed home from work, fed the babies an hour early, changed them into PJs and ... packed them up and took them off to the NICU. Weird, I know, but not to worry, they weren't sick. We were there for a "NICU Social" for current NICU parents and NICU "Graduates". We were invited back by the new NICU Social Worker, and though I'd debated whether it was wise to go to an event from 5:30-7:30pm (the babies' bedtime is 6:30/7pmish), we decided that it was worth a try.
The babies did really, really well. We arrived early and went up to the NICU to show the babies off and they got oogled at before we went down to the conference room where the social was being held. There were a lot of families there, including about 5 current NICU families and maybe a dozen NICU "Graduate" families. We were the only triplets, there were a set of twins, and the rest were singletons. I think the gestational ages ranged from 25 weeks to 35 weeks. The graduates ranged from a couple months old to 3 years old, so we were by no means the youngest ones there.
There were a lot of NICU nurses that came down to spend some time with all the yummy babies, and they were so impressed with the triplets and how well they're doing. The babies spent their time crawling all over the tables and showing off all their tricks. When Sam got fussy, I nursed him and Seth held the girls who both fell asleep in his lap. If I hadn't been nursing Sam at the time, I would have taken a picture, because it was truly precious.
All in all, it was a wonderful opportunity to talk to some current NICU parents and tell that that there IS life on the other side, to talk to a set of new twin parents and let them know that life DOES get easier, and to show off our beautiful, thriving, and healthy babies. I'm so proud of how far we've come. We also got an opportunity to make suggestions for future outreach opportunities, for how the NICU staff can approach parents in the future to better serve them, and also to volunteer for planning committees for outreach programs in the future. I was so pleased to be at this event. The nurse educator who was there now knows that I'm on the board of the local Parents of Multiples Club and that she can direct any twin/triplet/quad parents in the NICU to me for support/help/questions, and she knows that I want to be involved with additional outreach projects in the future. All in all, it was a good night.
But the next day... I got a call.
My nanny called me and said, "I think Abby has chicken pox."
"What? Wait, Wha!!?"
"I think Abby has Chicken Pox"
"Yes, I think she has Chicken Pox."
Now, you may not remember, but this is decidedly not good. Because I am not immune to chicken pox. I have had chicken pox twice, I have had the chicken pox vaccine twice, I am still not immune to chicken pox. How do I know? Because Ye Old Fertility Clinic drew a Varicella Titer as part of my Infectious Disease bloodwork way back before dinosaurs walked the earth and made me sign a big gigantic waiver in order to proceed with treatment. I promised never to sue them if I got pregnant and ended up with chicken pox while pregnant. I figured the odds of getting pregnant were pretty slim and the odds of getting chicken pox were pretty slim, so the odds of both happening at once were really tiny, so I was pretty safe in signing that waiver. As it turned out, I did get pregnant (twice, though as we know, one of those times didn't work out), but nevertheless, I did not get chicken pox, so my bet still paid off in the end.
I. Freaked. Out.
Not only was I worried for me, but I was worried about all the babies we'd exposed the night before and the parents of babies in the NICU and... Oh boy. I know I couldn't have known, but sheesh, this was decidedly NOT GOOD.
I rushed home, took a look, and breathed a sigh of relief. Though my beautiful baby girl was clearly unhappy, running a fever, and out of sorts, she did NOT have chicken pox! She very definitely had Hand Foot Mouth Disease! And I knew *just* where it had come from. A week and a half earlier, we had visited Jess, Jon, and their Five Little Monkeys and the next day, Jess told me that she was really sorry, but her five little monkeys had the coxsackie virus! Whoops! We thought we were in the clear, since none of our kiddos had turned up with it by then, but I guess not. A pediatrician friend of mine down the street came up to confirm the diagnosis and after she did, I called my pediatrician just to let him know and make sure that he didn't want to see it for himself. He gave me the run down, told me to expect 2-4 days of misery, and told me to treat the symptoms (e.g. fever) as best I could, but otherwise said to hang in there as the others got it, whcih they likely would.Poor Abby had a fever all the way until Sunday! Poor baby! :( But, fortunately, none of the other babies managed to get her virus. Amazing! I did have to talk to the NICU social worker to give her a heads up about the virus, but at least I didn't have to tell her that there was a chicken pox scare... that would have been MUCH worse! But life is good again, and everyone is healthy. Hooray.