1. To get really nosey, I'd like to know how you're handling your job and your marriage with all the stress that you've had. With one healthy two-year-old I can barely hold it together most days.
2. I'm wondering how you are doing about Evelyn - have you been able to process everything; how Olivia is doing and feels about Ainsley; and whether you and your husband can ever rest mentally (i.e., have you reached a level of acceptance or "new normal" state)? Otherwise, I just can't imagine the stress hormones surging in your body all the time.
Here is the answer to every variation of the question: I don't know.
What we do is this:
We work full time, Monday through Friday.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday nights, I go to the NICU until Ainsley goes to bed. I generally get home around 8:30 or 9, and sometimes get to tuck Olivia in. Mark comes home from work and stays with Olivia.
Tuesday and Thursday nights, Mark goes to the NICU until Ainsley goes to bed, and I stay with Olivia.
Saturday and Sunday, we each spend 4-6 hours with each kid, switching mid-day.
Every night after Olivia goes to bed, we try to watch some TV and chat. But usually we just watch TV and look at our iPhones.
How am I handling my job and my marriage and my two year old? I don't know. (See? That's the answer every time.) Most days we just go along with the hustle of it all and it all just works out. Some days, we are bitchy and tired and over it. Olivia helps because she is just generally well-behaved and independent. She entertains herself.
I don't feel like I'm giving 100% to any part of my life. But I'm doing the best I can and that's just got to be good enough. I don't have time to exercise and I definitely eat like crap (and am carrying an extra 30 pounds to prove it) and a lot of times I just lay around instead of doing things around the house because, as previously discussed? Am exhausted.
How are we handling what happened to Evelyn? I don't know. I think we are really in survival mode. We had a lot of hard days right after she was born. We don't really have the luxury of dwelling on things because we beez bizzy nonstop. Evelyn died quickly and it appears that, even if she had been born earlier, she would have been a very sick little girl and probably would not have lived long. The focus is Olivia, and the focus is Ainsley.
How does Olivia feel about Ainsley? She freaking loves her. She asks to go visit her all the time, is always worried that she is crying or "is stinky" and she talks about Ainsley coming to our house. She isn't put off at all by the tubes and wires. She may change her tune once Ainsley is big enough to steal her toys.
Do we ever rest mentally and have we reached a new normal? No and yes...? I don't really ever feel relaxed. I do feel like we are at a new normal - this has been our lives for almost a year. It is routine. BIG CHANGES ARE COMING to our routine and it is all very stressful to think about. Especially since we can't really plan for it. It all depends on when Ainsley is ready to come home - we will have to rearrange work, and babysitters, and get nursing care set up, and find places for all the medical equipment, and you know, just generally be responsible for our Drama Queen and her big sister.
So, whatever. I don't really like to write about this stuff because I don't want it to seem like we are looking for pity. I hate when someone tells a story and tries to make it sound as awful as possible. Things are good! I mean, really. Things are good. We still have fun and laugh and occasionally go out and the State of the (Knepper) Union is Strong.
We are making the best of a situation that gets better every day.