Never in my “what if” scenarios did I think we’d be in our recovery room without our baby or that we would leave the hospital without her.
Verity gave us all a surprise with her birth.
Once a baby is in the NICU its almost like feels like it isn’t your baby… of course that isn’t true, but it almost felt like it. Protocol starts and you dont have too much of a say. After they wheeled her away she stayed for five days and we left the hospital after two.
The first couple days we had to ask to hold her, ask what the tubes were for and what they were doing, what kind of treatment she was getting, etc. Her nurses were great and for that I am so thankful.
When Haddon met her for the first time he said: “she’s locked up!” He then watched the nurse check her with the stethoscope and then yell at the nurse: “she doesnt like that!”
That week didn’t include the grand welcoming home and snuggling I imagined. A week after we were home for good even with Verity, if I had my slippers on Haddon would ask “mama go to the hospital again?” Thank God for my mom being here to take care of Haddon, feed us, help play taxi, visit with me and V so Haddon could have his dad, etc!
My sweet husband arranged for us to have a golf cart at a Christmas tree farm during one lunch break to keep us distracted and excited. Most days I mostly lived at the hospital just without a room. I packed my lunch, snacks, things to do, and would only leave the NICU for rounds or during a shift change. I also went home for dinner/nap and after the 11 pm feeding until the 8 am feeding.
I was there so often that I learned a lot. I felt more prepared for a newborn with Verity than I ever did with Haddon. Not because I was a second time mom either. The nurses were just very informative and patient with all our questions. The doctors were great too. One in particular that would always encourage us that she was passing her tests, that she was an A+ baby, and that she was the healthiest in there. But, she would never tell us for sure when we would get to take her home. She said she wouldn’t want to disappoint us if something changed. The morning we went to the hospital expecting to take her home if she passed all her tests throughout the night I prayed “Lord please please let us, and if we don’t get to help me not turn into a basket case”. My prayers have been pretty simple and straight forward these days…
As great as the nurses are, they are not those babies mamas. It broke my heart to see moms in and out and wonder their story (for some reason moms in there while we were there did not make eye-contact! I wanted to hug them all and find out each of their stories… but I guess there is an unspoken rule that you are all sad your babies have to be there so just keep to them).
One good thing about her NICU stay is she goes kind of long stretches with her eating/sleeping. The nurses have to tend to all the babies so they have them on schedules from the beginning.
It was hard to hold my baby with “spaghetti” all over her and beeping happening constantly.
It was hard to say “okay” to formula for a couple feedings until my milk came in (it took 4 days…).
It was hard to know she was getting sugar water, protein, fat, antibiotics, heel pricks (her little heels still have over 20 little marks on them), etc.
It was hard to come home without her.
It was hard to know she wasn’t getting nurtured if she was upset.
But at the same time… it wasn’t hard at all. So many things in life are all about perspective.
I got to bring her home.
I get to feed her (who cares how that is done).
I can cuddle her all I want now.
She is an amazing baby. Regardless of any of those things that happened the first week and you know what she is probably better for them.
I am so glad she is home to stay.