[this week, we return to our story. we left off here]
When we returned from the hospital with Juniper for the second time, we tried to settle into a routine. We stopped warming bottles in coffee cups filled with hot water and began using the bottle warmer. We busted out the rock and plays. We traded in the disposal burp cloths from the hospital with cloth burp cloths. We tried to get the girls on an eating schedule. We weren't exactly running like a well oiled machine for quite a while, but we started getting the basic logistics under control.
The girls still cried...a lot. Their cries crept into the cracks in my mind like blood on a hardwood floor.
Sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety chipped away at me. I like to think of myself as a good man, but I can't say that Bernard Mottisier (a man who sailed around the world, fell in love with the sea and left his family) didn't cross my mind from time to time.
Then I got the break of a century. My wonderful, beautiful wife took the girls to her parents house for two days to let me focus on work and rest. At night I watched movies and listened to music. Slowly, sanity started soaking in again. I felt like myself. I took a shower and cleaned up my beard.
My world, which had nearly fallen off its axis, straightened out and started spinning again. I called Nicole and she sounded ok. She and her mom were working the night shifts but getting enough sleep to get by. Juniper's eating was still frantic and uncoordinated, but she was doing well and her weight had been steadily increasing for a few weeks by this time. Maybe everything would keep getting better and better from here on out, I thought. Then, I received a call from Nicole and she asked me an odd question:
"Have you ever noticed Juniper make repetitive, rhythmic twitching movements?"