I'll start this post with stating, I LOVED some of our nurses during our almost 3 week stay in the NICU with the twins. There are several things about the NICU I didn't love..
Let's start at the beginning..
On Wednesday October 29th 2014, the boys were a month from their due date. I however, was already having contractions and had been for a few days. My OB let me know it would be sooner rather than later. I was 35 weeks pregnant. Needed to get to 37, but just figured that wasn't happening. I took Anders (then 2) to the library for story time. He acted a fool and I ended up having to wrestle him back to the car. 35 weeks pregnant with twins. I got home, called the doctor. He told me to rest until evening and come in if the contractions didn't improve. At about 5:30 my mom came to take Anders to Trunk or Treat and Garrett and I went to the hospital. I was definitely in active labor. I had a c-section at about 8:00pm. (My whole break down a c-section for another blog). The twins were born at 7:59 (Garron- 5.11oz) and 8:01 (William- 6.4oz). Big babies! They both looked good, and I held them for a few minutes. Due to them being 35 weeks, they NICU team needed to take them up to the regular nursery for a few tests. They took me to recovery. The NICU doctor (with the worst bedside manner) came in about an hour later to let me know Garron needed to head upstairs to the NICU floor because he had fluid on his lungs. I kissed him, and sent him off. I didn't see him until the next morning. William stayed with me, and we went to sleep pretty soon after.
The next morning, we sent William to well nursery and headed up to see Garron. I couldn't walk really yet so Garrett wheeled me up. Garron was in a regular infant bed with oxygen, but his nurse (whom I loved) assured me he was doing great. He got his oxygen off a few hours later. I tried to nurse him, and fed him a few drops of colostrum through a syringe. I went back and forth from Garron to William a few times that day.
The next day, they came to get William for his circumcision. He couldn't hold up his body temperature, so up to the NICU he went. This was hard, but actually made life a little easier for them to be in one location. I sent Garrett off to work a football game, and I slowly (like 25 minutes) walked up to the NICU floor to feed the boys. I was pumping in the room, nursing what they would, and feeding with a bottle. When I got upstairs, the boys had been moved to a room with about 15 babies. It was insane!! There was beeping, crying, all kinds of chaos. I sat down to feed William and he turned blue. The nurse that night came over and readjusted his head and he was back to normal. I however, cried for about 5 straight hours. I tried to feed Garron next, he didn't want any part of eating. The nurse let me know that they would either have to eat formula from a bottle, or get a feeding tube. They were like 48 hours old, why couldn't I nurse them. Meanwhile, still crying.
I called the NICU the next morning at like 5:00am, and asked that the boys please be moved. I could not go back to that room. So the same lovely nurse from day one moved them to a room with only 5 babies. Hallelujah! They held steady for that day. Feeding, breathing, all was well. The next day they were put under the head lamp for jaundice, and we had to go home. They had been there for 5 days.
The next two weeks was back and forth everyday. They were really struggling remembering to breathe. They would have spells, turn blue, monitors beeping, nurses running, madness for two weeks. I was still nursing, taking milk, and calling around the clock. I was so thankful for nurses who answered all my questions, held my babies, gave them baths, let me nurse them, etc.
After 17 days, William had gone 5 days without a spell and he was able to come home. Before he could come home, we had to spend the night at the hospital. This drove me crazy. I have another baby at home, not my first go around, and I know how to take care of a baby. Anyway, during that night, a nurse insisted on Garron drinking from a bottle a certain amount gave him too much, he choked, couldn't breathe, etc. I let the doctor know the next morning how I felt about that. Finally, the next day Garron also got to come home.
Things I think the NICU could improve on:
- Unless your baby is extremely ill, there isn't room to stay for very long periods of time. I had one chair, crammed in a room and barely room to get around. Not ideal for visiting two babies everyday.
- The strict visitor policy. I understand that some babies are sick, but mine weren't and they had family that wanted to meet them. It would have helped for someone other than me to always been there trying to hold two babies
- No one really appreciated me trying to nurse. They dealt with, but they still thought the boys needed to be eating from a bottle. Had I brought them home full term at 6.4oz, no one would be constantly judging my nursing.
Things I loved about the NICU:
- They kept my tiny humans alive
- They had conversations with me that weren't about my babies- just normal real conversations
- They rocked them, held them, fed them, dressed them, and loved them. I'll be forever grateful for that.
If we ever have a 4th, I am holding that baby in as long as I possibly can!!
Next up on the blog... "homeschool" preschool ideas