Speaking of boobs, the nurses asked me not to bring any more milk in for a while. Apparently I have so much in the fridge in the NICU that they're running out of room. So they'll take what I pump while I'm at the hospital, but everything I pump at home goes to the freezer for the time when Robbie might actually catch up to me. I have rock star boobs.
Anyway, today was my first day as a mom of a NICU baby that wasn't in the hospital. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had a little bit of a rough morning being reliant on someone else to drive me around. I REALLY hate feeling like a burden and my dad- who had volunteered to take me to the hospital- sort of snapped at me about wanting to go to the pharmacy to fill my meds (yeah. My BP this morning was at 150/105 again. I REALLY needed my meds.) So I had a little cry. But then my dad got over himself.
I found out later that he's trying to quit smoking and has been 4 days w/o a cigarette. I think he's just snappy in general- not snappy with me.
My dad picked me up and I got my meds filled and we headed to the hospital. I was very nervous because today was the day they were doing the ultrasound to look for brain bleeds. Brain bleeds aren't uncommon in preemies, particularly preemies as early as Robbie. The nurse on Wednesday's day shift had said that it's usually more of a problem for babies who were in distress of suffered some sort of trauma in utero which Robbie didn't, but still. You can't talk about brain bleeding and my baby in the same sentence w/o putting a hurt in the pit of my stomach.
It started storming like mad just as we got to the hospital. The power eventually went out. I was mostly oblivious because of course everything in the NICU is on a backup, but the hospital was pretty much on shut down. They weren't even really letting people in the hallways.
They had just done the ultrasound shortly before I arrived but the radiologists hadn't read them yet. I was told it would likely be the end of the day before we knew. I commenced mentally chewing my fingernails.
It was busy in the NICU today. Robbie got a new neighbor to his right- a 36 weeker whose mommy has type I diabetes. (Don't worry, there were no HIPPA violations. His mommy told me about it, not the staff.) He's a fat little baby and was too adorable for words.
His neighbor to the left was the same. Her mommy spent most of the day doing kangaroo care. And she had what I think was her mom with her, too. My dad was with me. We're all in a corner so it's a little bit tight quarters, but fortunately all the moms were very considerate and we managed.
I talked to Robbie most of the day. At one point he had to have a glucose test which meant a heel stick. He didn't appreciate that and I spent the nest hour trying to keep him calm. As long as I'd sing, he was fine, but let me pause to take a drink of water and he'd cry again.
He is reintubated, so he can't really cry audibly, but his little face scrunches up and he sticks his tongue out and really furrows his brow. It brakes my heart. All I want to do is pick him up and hold him close. Instead I cup his head in one hand and put a little pressure on his butt with the other- trying to make him feel safe.
His nurse had me take his temperature and change his diaper. The nurse practitioner came by to tell me that they still didn't have his test results because the power was still out to the lab. I tried to be patient.
I got the chance to use one of the family rooms to pump. At least 3 times someone knocked on the door (despite the sign that says "occupide." Yes. Occupide. As opposed to occupied.) and gave me a heart attack that someone was going to walk in on me hooked up like a dairy cow.
Oh- I had a bit of a laugh. My dad was standing in the NICU with me when it was time to pump. I said "Well it's time to go make him some dinner." My dad says "oh..I'll step out." Mind you, I'm in a VERY large NICU- we're talking about 80 babies and all the people that go with them. I looked at him funny and said "What am I going to whip 'em out right here?" and he said it seemed like the place to do it. ??? Um. No, dad, there are rooms for that. My dad is very pro-breast feeding so I guess he thinks it would be fine if I chose to do so, but no thank you.
Anyway, after I got back from nursing, the NP found me again and said she'd been looking for me when I went to pump. Doesn't it just figure?
She said his brain was immature but otherwise fine. My dad freaked out about "immature." He asked pensively what that meant. "It means he was born 14 weeks early dad." He's driving me a little bit crazy being freaked out by normal things. I offered him a copy of our book on preemies hoping to calm some of it down but he says he doesn't want to know. I guess he just prefers to just be paranoid all the time. I suppose I shouldn't judge since you all know I was like that when I was pregnant. But it's frustrating when he asks me how things are and then says he wished he didn't know. Then stop asking.
About that time they decided that Robbie would get to Kangaroo tonight and offered to do it right then. It was all I had to say no. I wanted David to have the chance. So we waited.
David got there after work and we hung out. His nurses got really busy with another baby and couldn't get back to us for a while. Both of us were getting more and more tired by the minute.
Finally it was time. I was giddy as could be. David had never held ANY baby before, let alone his newborn son. We got him situated in the chair and the nurses prepared Robbie.
They stuffed Robbie down David's shirt- very kangaroo style indeed. Robbie was in bliss. David seemed unsure. I asked what he thought. He kept saying "It's different." "He's not too squirmy." "He's good." Then he got sleepy and started to nod off. I can understand the sentiment. There's something so relaxing about having your baby on your chest.
Robbie's stats kept going on. His oxygen saturation kept spiking to 100, making his alarm go off. Robbie was clearly enjoying this.
In the end, David held him a little more than a half an hour. I was getting worried about Robbie's body temperature and David was getting fidgety and making me nervous.
They put him back in his isolette and we told him goodnight and left. What a wonderful evening.
Tomorrow I plan to actually try to get a few things done. Some friends are coming to take me to lunch and I think we might go by Old Navy to return the maternity clothes that came while I was in the hospital. I'm hoping to exchange them for baby stuff. And maybe even a thing or two for myself if they have plus sizes in the store.
David has to mow. If you saw our yard, you'd be stunned. I'm surprised some of my neighbors haven't called the city to complain.
Then we'll visit the Tater. I hate to leave him alone during the day, but I know he's being well cared for.
Without further adieu- pictures!
Mommy gets me calmed down after a heel stick:
I managed to pee out of my diaper and had to get changed again:
I don't see what's so funny about nearly being eaten by a giant hat but all those mean nurses and my mommy & daddy laughed and laughed.
Daddy finally gets to hold me:
If I'd gotten to finish cooking, I'd have probably had a LOT of hair:
You can't quite see it, but Im chewing on my thumb a little:
This is awesome:
Geez. Can't a celebrity get a moment's peace?