Welcome to Mommy Mondays! This week I’m talking a little bit about being a mom in the NICU.
A couple of months ago I read a really good article by a mom who’s baby had been in the NICU for several months. I wish I could find the article again, but a friend shared it with me and she can’t find the link either! This mom explained what it was like to have a baby in the hospital for so long, her experiences and her life during that time.
On thing that really stuck out to me from that article was the concept of time. When your baby is in the NICU, time is totally different. All your days are centered around visiting the hospital. When you are there its like this special different time zone where you don’t even have the same concept of time as you do when your in the outside world! It’s like when you go to the movies in the middle of the day and you walk outside and you are surprised it’s still light out…that’s what its like every time you leave the NICU! During that time Carter was in the hospital it was like every single thing was centered around the timing of going to the hospital, nothing else mattered (and it shouldn’t, really)!
|Carter sleeping in the incubator. He was in here for about half the time, until he could prove that he could keep his temperature up on his own without the heaters. Then, he was moved to an open crib.|
Carter was in the NICU for being born early with low birth weight. They said at birth his nostrils were flaring, which is supposed to be a sign of trouble breathing, but he didn’t have any trouble with it after that night so I think that part was ok. He was given an IV with food to help bring up his weight and he slept in an incubator for the first few days.
Being a mom in the NICU was just so different than anything I had expected to happen. It just felt wrong, like this is not how it’s supposed to happen, this is not how it’s supposed to be! Every day I left there thinking I had not spent enough time with him. Every morning I woke up, fearful that some terrible thing had happened to him overnight. Every time we went in there it seemed like something new (bad and good) had happened. One morning we walked in and he was under the UV lights because he had become slightly jaundiced. One morning we got an email saying he had had a brady episode (apnea which leads to severely lowered heartrate) which thankfully turned out to just be a typing error by the new nurse who was working overnight. Every day we hoped to walk in and hear the good news that he could go home soon, but it seemed like there was always “something.” As you can tell, it was very stressful
And he was only in there for about a week, I can’t imagine how those parents whose babies are in there for months can deal with it!
|Carter hooked up to his IV. He was given food and fluids through it for the first couple of days.|
|Going into the NICU is a big process. You had to remove all your jewelry and wash your hands under scolding hot water for a minute. You cannot touch your phone or camera and then touch your baby without first washing your hands again. Only 2 visitors were allowed at a time and only the parents are allowed to hold the baby (at least at first) and then it was never as long as you wanted!
|Here you can see his tiny heart monitor.|
Thankfully we were only there for a short period of time and were able to take him home after a week exactly! He got his pictures taken, passed his car seat test and we were ready to roll! I remember feeling almost guilty when we were packing up all his stuff, smiling, putting him in his “take home” outfit (which was newborn sized, but still huge!) and seeing all the other little babies in there, still stuck in “baby jail.”
Despite the hard time though, we made it through and it is only a memory now! Carter is 7 months old, always smiling, learning to crawl and sitting by himself!
|Carter with daddy in the NICU.|
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