Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Day in the Life of a NICU Mom

Once again I find myself apologizing that I didn't keep up with blogging.  It's not like I don't want to write because I do.  It's not like I don't have the time to write because I can carve out thirty minutes of my day to do it.  I just don't know where to start with everything that has been going on. 

Life has been a whirlwind as some of you can tell from my recent posts.  Lots of emotion, many trips to the hospital, countless questions asked and answered, trying to keep busy, feeling guilt and just making it through each day.

Life as a NICU mom is HARD.  It's tough, it's gut wrenching, it's heartbreaking, it's bittersweet, but it's my life.

These last 25 days (counting delivery day) has been the toughest days of my life.  Not only did I give birth to two beautiful baby girls, but I had a rough delivery, an unplanned NICU stay for my babies and a change in mentality.  No longer was I working on my recovery so much, I focused on my babies recovery.

Here is my typical day as a NICU mom (on the days I work from home).

2:15 am - 2:30 am: Pump and clean pump parts.

6:00 am - 6:30 am:  Wake up to go pump (prepping the pump, bottles, hands free bra, getting a snack and my water).

6:15 am - 6:30 am: Pumping, writing labels, catching up on facebook and instagram, checking email.

6:30 am - 6:45 am: Cleaning pump parts.

6:45 am - 7:00 am: Showering and getting ready (part way).

7:00 am - 8:15 am: Working. Eating a breakfast which usually consists of fruit, protein bar and a yogurt.

8:15 am - 8:30 am: Pumping and cleaning pump parts.

8:30 am - 10:20 am: Working. 

10:20 am - 10:30 am: Pumping.

10:30 am - 10:40 am: Cleaning the pump parts and packing cooler with my milk.

10:45 am - 10:55 am: Drive to the hospital to see the girls.

10:50 am: Put milk away and heat the girls milk up.  Then I start changing Sutton's diaper and get the run down of the night from the nurse. 

11:00 am (ish): Feed Sutton.

11:30 am: I am either burping Sutton if she takes longer to feed or I am savoring the moments of holding her before I move on to working on Avery.

11:35 am: I change Avery's diaper.

11:40 am: Feed Avery.

12:10 pm: Finish feeding Avery and/or cuddling her at this point.

12:15 pm - 12:30 pm: I pump at the hospital or I am already heading home to get back to work (depending on the day).

12:30 pm: Clean pump and pump parts.

12:40 pm: Say goodbye to my sweet angels and cry almost every time I leave them.

12:40 pm - 12:50 pm: Drive home.

12:50 pm - 2:30 pm: Working (unless I headed home early, and then I am working from 12:30 pm and on).

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm: Pump again.

2:45 pm - 3:00 pm: Clean pump parts.

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Working.

5:00 pm - 5:15 pm: Pumping and cleaning pump parts.

5:15 pm: My husband gets home from work and I tell him all about work, about the girls and get excited that I have someone real to talk to and not just through email or phone or the nurses.

6:00 pm: We are either deciding if we are cooking dinner at home (which means something super easy that my husband can make since I can barely stand or cook for any periods of time or where we are going to eat dinner).

6:15 pm - 7:00 pm: Cooking and eating if we stay at home (doesn't happen that much). Or we go out to dinner.

7:15 pm - 7:30 pm: Pumping if stayed home, otherwise I pump before we go to dinner.

7:30 pm: Clean pump parts and pack cooler with milk. Or we are still out to dinner at this point.

7:40 pm: Drive to hospital to see the girls.

7:50 pm: Unpack milk and get an update on the girls from the nurse.

8:00 pm: One of us starts changing Sutton and the other hangs out and watches.

8:10 - 8:30 pm: Feeding Sutton.  And at 8:15 pm or 8:20 pm, the other starts changing Avery.

8:30 pm: One is feeding Avery and the other is cuddling Sutton.

8:50 pm: We are both cuddling our babies, talking to each other, talking to the nurse and asking a million questions on the girls.

9:30 pm: We usually put the girls back in their cribs, say our goodbyes and painfully leave for the evening.  It breaks my heart to leave the girls every evening.  I usually get upset and wonder when the girls will be out, I usually cry and make the drive home.

10:00 pm: We are at home. We change into our pjs, usually watch a tv show of some sort and I pump again(we have a DVR full of shows to watch just no time).

11:00 pm: We usually go to bed around this time.

Then we wake up and do it all over again.  I pump around 8 times a day.  Sometimes I only get 7 in because of an appointment or something else getting in the way, but I feel like I pump all day long.  It is worth it though.  My girls have plenty of milk in the NICU and even a huge bin in the freezer of excess milk.

Hopefully this changes soon and the girls get out.  Fingers crossed.  They are doing so well.  They are off of oxygen, into open cribs, drinking from bottles, have their feeding tubes out, drinking ad lib (however much they want per feeding, just has to be more than a certain amount total for the shift, 12 hours) and gaining weight daily.  Now we just need to make sure they have no more Brady's (dips in heart rate and oxygen levels), keep gaining weight and taking their milk for each shift and then they can come home.

I am absolutely scared and excited at the time same.  I have been doing this for 25 days and I feel comfortable knowing how to feed them, watch them and watch the cues to make sure they don't destat, but it will be a whole new experience being with them 24 hours a day instead of 3 hours per day.

Any advice, tips or words of encouragement for when we bring the girls home?  Anyone have to take one twin home before the other? That is a possibility and we want ideas on the best way to handle having one at home and still going to see the other in the hospital.

1 comment :

  1. You are such a strong mama; your sweet girls are lucky to have you! Lots of prayers to you, your husband and your adorable girls! Xo