Being a NICU mom, I've experienced a lot of things. In the beginning they tell you it's going to be a roller coaster ride, so fasten your seat belt. No one asked if I liked roller coasters (I don't) and no one asked if I wanted to get on the roller coaster (I didn't). But none the less I stood in line for 26 weeks, to endure the longest roller coaster ride of my life and to witness a beautiful miracle unfold before my eyes.
I've learned a lot...
ALWAYS TRUST YOUR MATERNAL INSTINCT....and don't be afraid to speak up and voice your concerns.
IT'S OK TO QUESTION AUTHORITY (just because they have the medical degree doesn't mean they know your baby as well as you do, you are part of a vital team that is making sure your baby thrives!)
YOU HAVE VERY LITTLE CONTROL OF THE SITUATION... very very little control. I'd say 95% of what happens in the NICU just happens, and quickly too. 95% of the care your child receives is what I always "have to care" as in it has to happen for your baby to survive. You will get used to things just happening and then they throw a wrench in things and ask you to make a decision, large or small.
YOU WILL FIND OUT WHO YOUR TRUE FRIENDS (and family) ARE...cling to those who are really there for you and get rid of the negative.
YOU WILL GET A LOT OF UNSOLICITED ADVICE... people close to you will suddenly become experts on Preemies and/or make constant comparisons.
EVERY PREEMIE IS DIFFERENT...including my twins...so TRY NOT TO COMPARE THEM TO OTHER BABIES...they are unique in their own way.
COME UP WITH SOME KIND OF ROUTINE...trust me it will help you maintain your sanity and give you some sense of normalcy.
MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF...AND YOUR SPOUSE...even if its 30 minutes, just do it. Go to dinner, see a movie, take a bubble bath, something. (This is easier said then done, but it does help).
PRAY...prayer is a powerful thing. Trust that God will not forsake you and what is HIS WILL , will be done.
TRY NOT TO LET YOUR MIND WANDER... I by nature am a planner, I need a plan and I need to know what happens next. I often found myself thinking about the what ifs and what will bes. Whenever I felt like I was slipping to far, I went back to the above and PRAYED.
As Addison approaches surgery day (Monday) I wonder and pray that we made the right choice. I ask myself is she strong enough, then curse myself for doubting her. Of course she is strong enough, she is stronger then anyone in this world. She is fierce and empowering (like me), determined and persistent (like her daddy), really she is the best this world has to offer. An amazing little person who is ready to bloom. I pray she keeps fighting and exceeds all the expectations set forth for her. I pray that we made the best decision for her and that she wants this... we are expected to be her voice, and I pray that in years to come she understand all we did was out of love.
Two weeks home at home with Blake under my belt, I feel accomplished but lost at the same time. This isn't how I planned, not how I though at all. Once I knew there was a chance we'd have preemies, I knew one would come home first, but I thought it would be just a few days, not weeks. I love having Blake home, but wish Addison was here too. (Things were easier when they were all in one place, not that I want Blake to still be there.) This isn't the routine I wanted for Blake and Addison. I envisioned waking when "Daddy" goes to work and feeding those first AM bottles. Snuggling with two little ones in my arms and who knows, maybe going back to sleep just for a little while (or at least letting the twins sleep), followed by tummy time, walks in the park, swinging in their babies swings, bouncy chair time, dinner with Daddy when he gets home from work, bottles, bottles, bottles, bath time, bed time and anything else we could come up with in between. Instead it's been up for a bottle, shower time for mommy, get dress, go visit Addison, try to juggle two babies without disturbing the whole hospital with a screaming infant.
But it will be ok, not much longer. Soon Addison with join her brother here at home and I will wonder what the hell I was so worried about (that is when I have time to wonder).
That's a lot for one night, but if you read it all thanks. And thanks for the prayers that you continue to pray.