Sunday morning started off pretty well. Scott got the kids fed, Nana and Papa Farnum resumed kiddo duty and we spent the day in the NICU at the assigned feeding times, 8-11-2-5-8-11-2-5.
Some folks have mentioned that it’s crazy that the nurses have such a strict schedule. And, I’ll admit that as a breastfeeding mom that it’s been my biggest struggle. I’ve always fed on demand, looked for the feeding signs and never kept a real schedule until the kids were older.
But, life is different in the NICU.
The schedule reigns for a few reasons. Namely, that those nurses have to get many babies fed and if they’re all on a different schedule, they’d spend their whole day doing it. So much more than feeding goes on there…tests, heel sticks, glucose screens, IV changes, xrays, ultrasounds, constant monitor checking…lots. And, the doctors rely on consistent reporting to get accurate results. So, if a baby eats at the same 30-minute time window every day they’re better able to compare trends, thus adjusting feeding sizes and testing as necessary. And, giving us as parents a better picture of our babies’ health.
After being on the schedule for a few days, we’ve started to figure it out. But, I did find myself nearly in tears about the formula thing. Everytime I gave that bottle to Luke and it wasn’t me, I cried. Guess you just have to be there to understand. I felt like the one thing that I could do for Luke, my body wasn’t producing. That stunk and I have a few other choice words, but this blog is family friendly :-).
So, I called the lactation consultant and we had a heart-to-heart. Belinda has been a great source of encouragement and lo and behold, two feedings later the milk had arrived – consistently – and Luke was officially off formula. Another small success. We’re still balancing the bottle feeding with the breastfeeding. Initially, Luke would not latch on. And, people, I know ALL the tricks. But, Belinda swung by on Sunday and he had latched on for a couple of sucks. Little milestones, remember?
The kids came back by on Sunday afternoon, as did the Godfather, Fr. Dean, and the grandparents. We again witnessed some sheer happiness. Seeing the kids with Luke made our separation a little easier. Will even helped the NICU nurse change Luke’s diaper. I don’t think big brother was too keen on it, and Luke certainly screamed like a crazy person. It actually made us laugh which we hadn’t done in a while.
Our report from the doctor was again positive news in that they were increasing his feeding size. A nephrologist is scheduled to visit him on Monday, so we’ll see what he says.
The kids took off with my parents and Scott and I enjoyed a nice “celebration dinner” courtesy of the hospital. It was nice to eat a good meal (which I have to say, Seton’s food is pretty darn good) and share it with the love of my life.
He headed home and I headed to the next Luke feeding. Sunday night was a little easier, I finally had the rhythm going and Luke and I were hitting our stride. Instead of going to every feeding, I opted to pump at 5am and have the nurses take the milk so I could get some rest. If you’ve been keeping up with me on facebook, you know how that went down with the nurses – not well. I paged them via the nurse button and asked them to take the milk to the NICU.
Let me give you a little history before I get to the showdown.
The NICU distanced from the new post-partem wing is a jog. So much so, that the nurses had been wheeling me back and forth in a wheelchair. I was slowly doing more and more, but the walk there and back, I could not do. I know my limitations.
Back to the story. So, the desk clerk says to me, “Um, the nurse says you should be able to walk it there yourself.” Oh, she does, does she. Since I’m so meek and hardly ever fend for myself, I replied, “Well, I’m NOT walking it there, but I have it ready for her.”
After 5 minutes, nada. So, I walked it out to the desk at 5am and told them his feeding was happening then and someone needed to take it up there. The FOUR people standing there (one being a charge nurse) just looked at me and absent-mindedly said, “Ok, we’ll get it there for you.”
I went to the bathroom and heard my name. Enter payback’s a %*#&$. Yep, it was my OB and she asked if everything was ok. After a quick check of my incision she walked out of the room and had a meet Jesus meeting with the desk staff. Amazingly, one minute later, two of them were in my room offering to get me water, pain meds and a trip for two to the Bahamas.
Day 3 ended with a bang, don’t ya think?