Sunday, June 9, 2013

8 days in the NICU and counting...

Bailey left, Brooklyn right.
Obviously I have not had much time to post updates on this blog. Here's a quick summary of the first eight days of the girl's lives.

I delivered on Friday June 1 at exactly 34 weeks. Girls were immediately taken to the NICU. They both had CPAP masks on to help with breathing, IVs for fluids, feeding tubes and a variety of sensors for breathing/heart rate checks. They were in incubators and we were allowed to touch them but not hold them that first night. Talk about torture. On Saturday, they took both girls masks off briefly and I was able to hold Brooklyn. Both girls had some issues with breathing so the masks went back on. Brooklyn's came back off by Sunday and I was able to try skin to skin kangaroo holding and she even breast fed a little which was totally cool.  (I had only been pumping until that point.) I did not hold Bailey until Monday when she got her mask off again which was really hard. Of course when I finally did I was sobbing, ha. Darren didn't even get to hold her until later that night or maybe the next day. I can't remember now as the days are beginning to run together.

Right from the get go, the nurses start helping you learn to care for your preemie babies. Our girls are on a feeding schedule of 6,9, 12 and 3 (am/pm) so we try to be there for as many feedings as possible. We always change their diapers (which is interesting through the incubator with all the wires), check temps and then do a combination of me breast feeding one or both and Darren giving one or both their required formula. I am pumping as much as I can, but the girls have to have a set amount of food each feeding to gain weight and we have to supplement formula. TMI for a blog post? All I've talked about our babies, breast feeding, etc the past week plus.

We were lucky to be moved out of the "scary NICU" and into the continuing care room on the same floor as the postpartum patients (mommies who have already delivered.) That meant the girls were down the hall instead of me having to take an elevator down one floor. And when you are recovering from a c-section, getting around is pretty hard. Anyway, the continuing care room is for more stable babies. it's much quieter and has more privacy and space. We were in that room for a few days and then got moved to a room in pediatrics that is basically the girls own suite. Very private and nice in there. It even has a TV. And they bring me a tray for every meal in there since I am breastfeeding mom.

The nurses at Fairview have been wonderful. We are learning so much about caring for our little ones and we've been so lucky that the girls have done great. Every report is positive and they always say how close they are coming to going home. I can even call in the middle of the night (which I do) to check on them whenever I want.

It is extremely emotional and hard to see your babies stuck in the hospital. On the day of my discharge (I stayed till Wednesday b/c of the c-section), I sobbed all day long. I've heard from other NICU moms that this is always the roughest day. The thought of leaving the hospital without your babies in tow is just miserable. And its so scary to think they will be in the hospital and you will not. You feel like you are abandoning them.

I constantly ask the doctors and nurses when they will come home. Most nurses say "oh they will be home by their due date" because I'm sure that's what they've been told to answer. But when I really press, I keep hearing sometime next week. Yesterday they even said maybe Monday or Tuesday. I literally cried I was so happy.

One thing I did not expect was how hard the recovery from a c-section is. First of all, they pump you with so many fluids and various meds that make you retain water. I blew up like a balloon for the first five or so days after. Literally my weight were swollen like Fred Flintstone and I had fat face, fat arms, well fat everything. Thankfully the swelling has gone down. You are also in a tremendous amount of pain. It's major surgery remember. And if you are lucky like me, you will have an allergic reaction to your pain meds and break out in hives all over your body. But yes, the c-section recovery was awful. If you can avoid it, don't every have one.

For now, our lives revolve around going back and forth to the hospital. Pump every three hours and breast feed when I can. I am trying to get at least four or five hours of sleep each night between all the pumping. Doing my best to prepare for the girls coming home, which hopefully will be soon!

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