Eric stayed home with Nora today and I’m in Iowa City visiting Nadia. How bad is it of me to say that its soooo nice to be here without Nora. I can actually focus on Nadia and not worry about Nora pulling on the cords, knocking over the stroller and garbage can, waking up the other babies, running into other rooms, etc. I did feel awful leaving Nora this morning though… She clings to me and it’s terrible to pull her off and watch her cry as I leave. I know two minutes later she is fine, but still, it breaks my heart.
I arrived at the hospital around 10:30am, my first stop being Java House for an iced mocha and cranberry orange scone. Exactly not what my body needs. I gained half a pound this week, what’s up with that? I thought you lose after you have a baby? And for whatever reason I’m making about 5 oz of milk less a day all the sudden, even though I haven’t changed my pumping schedule. Maybe I’m not drinking enough water… I need to start exercising, but won’t that decrease my milk supply as well? I’m allowed to exercise now, right, it’s been almost a month…
Nadia is still in bay 5 and I pray we are here until discharge. This back and forth is tearing me up. I was worried to walk into her room, worried they would have bad news for me. I just seem to expect the worst lately. Maybe it’s easier than expecting good and being disappointed. But… They had all good news for me. Dr. Rabe is on today, not my favorite, but she’s pleasant and I remember her from our days here with Nora. She said Nadia is doing really well, hasn’t had any spells lately, with her oxygen or heart, gained overnight to 5 lbs 5 oz., and they will try increasing her feeds today to 15 cc (1/2 oz) every 3 hours. Doesn’t seem like much, but she’s still getting nutrition through her PICC line as well. They currently aren’t fortifying my milk for her, as it seems when they fortify she doesn’t digest it as well. I assume they will try again soon though as they’d like her to get more calories per ounce. Today is the last day of her antibiotics as well, the ones they started Friday when they stopped feeds. Just 48 hours this time, as all the X-rays and blood tests came back fine. Sounds like she still gets a dose of another antibiotic at bedtime each night, preventative for the UTI she had. All in all though, she’s doing really well. Personally though I’m still terrified for her. For the life of me, no matter how good she appears right now, I can’t help but remember the MRI results. I’m so so scared that something is still wrong with her brain, something we won’t discover for months or years from now. I’m a planner. I hate not knowing, or feeling like I don’t have all the information. And I realize there isn’t anything I can do now, but that doesn’t take away my worry or make me feel any better about the situation. How do other parents live with the not knowing? I know we went through this with Nora too, and it was and is still awful. Every time I try to get Nora to say a word and she won’t I worry. Is that normal? Is that all parents, regardless of what their children have been through?
So I’m sitting here in Nadia’s room, pumped a bit ago. Nadia is still sleeping, so I’m trying not to bother her, although I already took a bunch of pictures of her when I arrived. She is scheduled to eat soon and the nurse said we could try breastfeeding today, so I’ll let you know how that goes. I don’t expect too much from her, as this will be our first attempt, but I’m anxious. I would much prefer she just breastfeed once we are home, as this pumping thing is already getting old! Nora is actually quite funny when I pump, she likes to hand me the bottles when I start, and at the end she knows that I put pads into my bra. She is so smart it amazes me! Yesterday she brought the watering can in off the deck as she knows I fill her water table with it from the inside sink. Yes, clearly she was trying to tell me she was unhappy her table was waterless!
In the mist of this post Nadia’s nurse came in and asked if I wanted to take her temp and change her diaper, which of course I did. Then it was time for her feed, but unfortunately Nadia was not even remotely awake, so the nurse decided I should just hold her and maybe we could try breastfeeding at another time. So she got another feed by tube. I did tell the nurse that Nadia could have bottles of my milk when I’m not present. I’d rather her have bottles and get out of the NICU I guess, than her wait for me to breastfeed, since I’m with her so seldom. Kind of sucks, but so much with the NICU sucks, I guess I should be used to all this by now.
As I was holding Nadia during her tube feeding I was sad… I hate holding her a few minutes a couple of times a week. I hate that the nurses know what my baby likes and dislikes better than me. I hate I don’t feel a connection with Nadia like I think I should. I hate most of her pictures are taken through an incubator. I’m so jealous of moms of full-term babies who are discharged when they are… I want to take my baby home. I’m sick of pumping. I’m sick of washing pump parts. I’m sick of calling a nurse to find out if my baby had a good night. This all just sucks. And I know, it could be worse, a lot worse, but I just want some sense of normalcy with Nadia. I really wanted this pregnancy to end differently than Nora’s, but so far, there are so many similarities.
Maybe tomorrow things will look brighter.