Today was the first difficult day at the NICU. Maybe it was the lack of interest Ainsleigh had in nursing or Annabelle's brief drop in heart rate. Maybe it was the daily four hour total trip time for the girls' feedings at the NICU which drains the remaining energy from my healing body. Or maybe the struggle leaving my older girls every afternoon, knowing that they, mainly Caroline, wonder if I'm leaving for good, like I did for the delivery.

My heart hurts today.

In the back of my mind I know that, yes, incredible miracles took place last week. My babies are here, resiliently. They are progressing. I'm healing and back home.

But that doesn't make up for the natural nurturing instincts that come after giving birth which I'm feeling so strongly and not being able to fulfill. It only teases me and makes me feel more robotic and less as a mother to routinely "mother" under observation an hour a day, per child.

It is all I have right now. That anticipated, wonderful, and short two hours.

I'll keep it.

On a lighter note:

If the definition of fascination means being intensely interested, I believe Caroline wins the award for most fascinated sister of newborns, ever.

Not a single centimeter of skin on either Ainsleigh or Annabelle was passed by today without loving caresses, kisses, and rubbing cheeks against. At one point Caroline found her sister's hand tucked into her blankie, pulled it out, pushed up her sleeve, and begin feeling, rather gently squeezing her forearm down to her hand.

I would love to know what was going on in her three-year old brain: she was intently interested in what this little being was.