How do you do it?

NICU moms…  How do you do it?  It’s only been 22 days and I feel like I’m gonna go crazy in this room everyday.  I have a routine now, which helps, but yet also doesn’t help, as everyday seems the same.  Maybe it would be better if Eric were here with me, but of course, he is not, he is working.

And pumping for 22 days as well.  Gosh it feels like years!  That’s a normal feeling, right??  I’m still pumping every 3 hours day and night.  And yes, I know that’s how often a baby eats.  But gosh its no fun to get up in the middle of the night to a pump!  The lactation nurse said my supply might drop when I went from every 2 hours to every 3 hours, but honestly, its increased in total per day.  I’m consistently getting 34 to 37 oz every 24 hours.  I have no clue how much babies eat in a 24 hour period though.  Do I need this much?  I guess it’s good to be freezing all I can, right?

I’m still using the lanolin, but I ordered a few other products to try, as I feel like I itch from the lanolin.  I forget the names of what I ordered, but once I try them out, I’ll be sure to report back!

I held Nora today during her afternoon feeding…  And I’m fairly certain she spit up the entire feeding on me.  I know babies spit up, but the first time she did was the day they realized she had meningitis.  They increased her feeds again today to 24 cc every 4 hours.  I feel like that’s a lot since it goes into her stomach from her feeding tube in less than 10 minutes.  Maybe that’s why she spit it up!  The doctors know best, but just seems like they increased too quickly.

I’m feeling good on my antibiotics but this darn rash I have is still with me.  My OB/GYN said its hormones and totally normal.  But its gross.  It looks like little pimples all over my chest, back, upper arms, neck, and now some on my face too.  Almost like tiny white heads, or blisters.  I Googled ‘rashes after delivery’ and I find lots, but most mention itching… mine doesn’t itch, thank goodness.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Nora and me 🙂

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30 thoughts on “How do you do it?

  1. Babies eat around 25 oz per day. I would honestly give yourself a break at night. Maybe get up once or twice. And don’t worry if you go 4 hours during the day occasionally. You are going to have so much milk in the freezer and can handle a bit of a supply drop!

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          1. I imagine if you’re like me it would be easier if the doctors could give you a finish line beyond the standard “by your due date”. Maybe counting down would be psychologically more positive? Maybe not. It’s just rough.

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  2. A beautiful picture! Nora looks content in her mommy’s arms!
    I have a few friends who are former NICU moms. They found just talking about it, journaling, and being honest about their feelings really helped get them through the darkest times. I wish there was a magic pill, potion or wand that would make everything better!!!

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  3. It’s totally normal the way you are feeling about the NICU. Even though my daughter was there for only 10 days it was a lot.. My husband was working and I was pretty much on my own. The pumping feels never ending but it’ll be better when you breast feed and she latches. So hopefully that’ll happen for you.

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  4. That picture of you and Nora is so precious! That is the one bad thing about nursing, is you never really know how much the baby is eating at a time. I would say if you are pumping that much you could totally space out your time a little at night to get some more rest.

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  5. I don’t know about delivery rashes, but I had a hormonal rash across my chest during my 3rd tri; however, it went away upon delivery and returned once I started weaning. I tried everything, and the only thing that made it stop itching and look less icky was tea tree oil. Hope this helps. 😉

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  6. I think you are making more than enough! Double check with a consultant and then cut back at night! As long as you pump them to empty when you do wake up, it’s TOTALLY OK to give yourself one 5 hour stretch! The NICU sucks. It does. Try to have one thing every day to look forward to – a visit or phone call from a friend, leave for a meal or go for a walk! Or hop online for baby clothes! Once you hve it all figured out it will be time to go home!

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  7. I would also recommend going to a every 5 hours at night. If your supply drops you can go back to 3 and it will go back up. Pumping full time is like a job! That feeling is completely normal. Hopefully you start feeling even better. Here are some things that got me through our 3 NICU and 1 PICU stay. iPad and netflix. When you can’t do anything but watch and wait it was my best friend. It allowed me to get lost in a super cheesy show and feel “normal” for a few minutes. Doing what I could when I could, this was easier with each stay, I did more and more when I was able and it helped. Have lunch with friends, if you can have friends meet you at the hospital you don’t hVe to leave but have support and a little break. Find a friend or family member or 6 that you can text or send photos to during the day, it helped me feel less alone. I’m a knitter and I wish I had taken my supplies with me. Hang in there!

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  8. “How do you do it?” There IS no other option ethically and morally for you. Some people simply do not show up. But for you there is no option so you do it. I am like you. I cannot imagine being like those who do not show up, but their shoes and their path simply are different from mine.

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