Sunday, April 6, 2008

Life in the NICU

Since we've never had kids before, life in the NICU is normal for us. It's hard to believe that other parents don't have teams of people watching over their babies night and day.

While the docs and nurses (especially the nurses) are fan-freakin-tastic, the days are long and going home actually hurts. Going to get lunch in the cafeteria hurts. Going into the pumping room hurts.

Not being by the bedside all of the time is one of the hardest things in the world. I cried for the entire drive on yThe first night that we actually went home for the night. Next to the death of my mom, it was the worst night of my life. Driving around with two empty car seats makes me insane. Walking through the nursery with two empty cribs makes me want to lose my lunch.

In the past week, both of the boys have steadily gained weight. Neither of them experienced the initial weight loss that most babies have.

Peanut (the little guy) has been effectively weaned off of everything except some tube feedings. Now, the only cords attached to him are monitors. No more IVs, no oxygen, etc. He's still in an isolette because he just isn't big enough to maintain his own body temperature. He is quickly learning to breastfeed, and the nurses try giving him a bottle at night before resorting to the tube.

Meatball (the not-quite-as-little guy) was doing fantastic until two days ago when he developed some kind of infection (NEC, He was suddenly back on IV fluids and very aggressive antibiotics, and he cannot eat anything for at least ten days. He's mildly sedated all of the time because he needs to be relaxed and not agitated.

Moms are doing OK except that I get no sleep. Like I said earlier, it just HURTS to be away from here. I arrive at the NICU at 8am and leave at 10pm. I spend an hour with Meatball and then an hour with Peanut. Then, I have an hour to pump milk, potty, and make phone calls. The commute is 45 minutes each way at best, so I'm not spending much time at home. Bubba has been taking care of everything there, but my dog has declared a hunger strike and won't eat when I don't come home.

Bubba is also faced with extra stress in that her job asked her to choose between going in to work or being with me for the birth. Well, as you can imagine, there wasn't a choice to be made. She's now looking for a new job. Our philosophy: screw 'em.

No comments: