For 3 longggggg, uncertain, and incredibly frustrating days…my daughter held a residence at the NICU. I know…three days…big whoop, I certainly don’t deserve any medals for this…maybe a bumper sticker? There were kids there who had been there for 3 months and had many more days to go. There were the moms who had the “NICU Culture” down. Bring in pumped milk, sit in chair, put on the gown, snuggle the baby, feed if you can, and leave after about an hour. There was a little guy next to Emma who was due around the time she was supposed to be born…but he was born in July. Truly helps put your scenario in perspective, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to be there… At. All.
Emma was born at 36 weeks 6 days. Making her a “premie” by one day…unreal. Me? I had a premie? No, I have big babies that never wanna come out…I don’t have premies…oh, but apparently I did. The reality of that still has not sunk in…I should be here typing about my last weekend of being a mom of 1 and worshipping every hour of sleep that I get before the big day on Monday. But nope, I have a 2 week old sitting on my lap who just sneezed her large paci outta her mouth. It’s an adorable little sneeze, powerful and mighty yet dainty.
When the peanut was born, she came out looking like a blueberry. Her face was bruised and purple like the creepy purple teletubby. I don’t have a real answer to why this was, I think one of the doctors told me it could be related to the chord that was around her neck, or the fact that she was just sitting really low and pushing up against god knows what…also causing that adorable crooked nose. But when the first thing you here is…”OH SHES PURPLE”…ya don’t feel so assured.
Her breathing was fine, but we were told to communicate to all other staff “just look at her body, it’s pink, she’s breathing, she just looks like a purple marble”. MMMMM NOT COOL.
It seemed as if things were going well, until it came to do her blood glucose reading, and when the nurse did it she said “Oh no, thats not good”…Inner monologue: WTF…and Emma and my husband scurried off to her new room in the NICU. She was supposed to be coming upstairs with me…thats what her brother did…to spend 3 long days of just staring at his face and letting him get used to eating off the fun bags of milk. THATS WHAT HAPPENS.
But nope. She went to be taken care of by a gaggle of really nice (some obnoxious) nurses and get her foot pricked every few hours to tell us if we were making decent progress or not. And I went upstairs alone…as if she wasn’t even really there yet.
Day in and day out, I pumped, brought milk downstairs (upside my supply was like MAJOR, all other moms were so jealous of my ounces of milk…suckers…I have super pumping powers now!), learned to read the weird thermometer, changed her tiny diaper around chords and wires, we kissed her “cricket paddle”, and waited with baited breath to know what her next reading was to determine if we were one step closer to bustin outta the baby hospital jail as I learned to call it.
We learned to drown out the annoying, constant beeps from the babies around her. We made friends with nurses, we were the cool couple…which must of been why they were determined to make us stay there as long as possible, they just liked us. I was willing to become very unlikeable if it meant we got to leave…
In the end, she finally got to come upstairs on our last night there. I think our constantly asking “when can she leave” started to annoy them to the point of action. And even after our less than encouraging nurse whose name rhymes with “lattice” told us we’d be lucky if she went home on Tuesday…she came home with us on Monday morning.
She finally got to meet some grandparents and most of all her wild older brother who wanted to poke her in the eyes and pound her head in between kisses.
Woot woot, take that Nurse “Lattice”…Goggins for the win. WE OUT.