For those of you that have never had to be there. . . Let me tell you. . . NICU life is no fun. Being in hospital is bad enough with out getting sleep, being roused out of bed every three hours to go feed the baby, not being able to have the baby room in with you. . . and then the icing on the cake was being discharged before your baby! I was stuck in a "care by parent" room, which I was told was so I could stay near my baby. I was treated so rudely by the nurses of the MAT ward as I was "no longer their problem" and they routinely forgot my meals.
I do have to say though, that the NICU staff was great for the most part. The only thing that really bothered me was the girl who looked about 13 years old, with no children of her own, trying to tell me how to nurse my baby. Hello, I have done this before. I will smile and nod so you walk away, and then close the curtain around me and MY baby, and feed her the way that I want to feed her. If she falls asleep on the first boob, I will let her sleep! I will not wake my baby, if she is hungry, she will wake up and let me know. argh!
I can say that I am sooooo happy that I was only in there for a week with each one of my girls. I have so much respect for the parents of multiples and preemies that do that for months on end! They are some of the strongest people I know! I only got a glimpse of what life is like for you all, and I will say again how strong, brave, and amazing you all are!
We welcomed our second beautiful baby girl into this world at 7:23pm on June 21st 2011. We had our struggles even with this.
I woke at about 2 am. Usually Lilybear was pretty active at that time, but something felt off. I didn't feel her move more than 8 times or so in a few hours. I was concerned, and so woke my husband (whom I will refer to as DH - Dear Husband going for ward), and we got my parents to look after Peanut (our daughter - 3 yrs old). We headed into L&D for a non stress test. After three hours, they were not happy with the results, so asked me to come back in again later that afternoon to try again. There was a good heartbeat, just not a lot of movement. We went home, and I laid down to try and get some sleep. My water broke around lunch time, and I started to have contractions that were not very severe, and were all over the place for timing. I called L&D again to see if they wanted us back in straight away, and they asked what color the amniotic fluid was. Good question I thought and I looked. . . green? That can't be good. Meconium in the fluid. . . and they asked me to come in as quick as I could so they could assess the situation.
I won't give you all the gory details, but there sure were a lot of people in that delivery room. I had an OBGYN, and two nurses for me, and our Pediatric specialist (for the clubfoot, she was born with Bilateral Clubfoot (meaning both feet were affected), Two or three nurses from NICU, (including my wonderful Auntie Anne who stayed for a double shift to look after Lilybear for me :) and a respiratory therapist for the potential Meconium Aspiration. Clubfoot, risk of infections, and a "leaky lung." I got to hold my baby for all of 3 seconds, and they had to take her up to NICU. Flash backs to the birth of our precious peanut. . .who also was in NICU for a week for a partially collapsed lung and infection.
When I finally got to see Lilybear again, she was hooked up to oxygen, heart monitors, and wires everywhere and in an isolette. All I could think about was how beautiful she was. Her feet didn't look near as bad as those pictures online. . . She was perfect!