A Night at the NICU

In anticipation for a NICU baby's homecoming, it is required that a parent spend the night in the NICU in order to practice keeping your baby.  This seems silly to someone like me, who has a healthy baby, but for parents who need to learn how to care for their babies with medicine, monitors, and other special needs, this time is very valuable.  When we had the sleep over with Marco, I was annoyed and upset... truth be told, I was over-the-top emotional about it!  I felt like it was no longer about the baby proving himself ready, but about me proving how good and capable a parent I am.  At this point, I'm just over it.  I'll do whatever it takes to get him home... even if I have to prove to be the best mom this NICU has ever seen!  I'll do it!
Last night I got the opportunity to spend the night with Jonas.  They put us in a Family Learning Room, which has a futon bed, rocking chair, bathroom... oh, and the baby!  It's no luxury suite, but hey, at least I've got my baby!

The nurses are told to basically leave you alone.  You are supposed to fend for yourself... which is fine by me!  They come in and check on you periodically, but pretty much you're on your own.  
Last night I got here around 7pm.  He was supposed to eat at 9pm, so at that time, I got ready to breastfeed.  He fed for about 10 minutes, and then while burping him, he spit up a great deal.  The nurse came in, helped me change his clothes and told me to give him a bottle instead.  So, he ate 40cc's from the bottle... then while burping him, he had a projectile spit up... ALL over me!  The nurse came back in and re-changed his clothes.  We were debating as to whether or not we should feed him AGAIN, and risk him spitting up yet AGAIN, but while we were changing him, he was rooting for his hands and tried to latch onto the nurses wrist!  So, I offered him the breast again and he drank for 7 minutes before passing out!  By the time it was all said and done, it was 10:30pm!  I couldn't believe it... he had been such a good baby for the 4 weeks he's been here and then within the 3 hours I'm with him, he proves to be problematic!  Just acting up for Mama! 
The nurse then told me to feed him again at 1am... so I set my alarm... and COMPLETELY ignored it!  Yup, Mother Of The Year, right here!  I woke up at 2 instead.  The thing with premie's is that they usually wont wake up when they're hungry.  YOU have to wake them up to tell them that they must be hungry.  By 2am, he was SO ready!  
After that, I was paranoid that I would ignore my alarm again, so I was waking up every 15 minutes or so to check the clock.  How annoying!  Needless to say, I haven't missed another feeding!
So it has been said that he is coming home today.  At 1pm we have our Infant CPR class and then at 4 we have our monitor training.  Since he's still having heart dips (his heart rate will drop momentarily and then return to normal), he'll be coming home with a heart monitor.  He's also on a daily dose of caffeine to keep his heart rate steady.  Like baby speed.  He also has to pass his car seat test- 1 hour in a car seat without having difficulty breathing.  Once all these things have been done, and all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed, we get to have our baby!
I can't wait to have this little bundle in my house... I can't wait to see the way Marco reacts to his baby bro, who's not going away!  Stay tuned... it's about to get interesting! 
And here's one more pic... because I love showing off my babies!


Rita said...

Awesome!!! I can't wait to hear about how Marco acts around his baby brother, you are going to have your hands full!!! Please advise if I can be of any Assistance, I'll be happy to visit! Love You and Praying for you too! Mami

Nana Mary said...

Oh Nicole! He is beautiful. And your story was brilliant. Life isn't easy but so rewarding. Praying all those "i"s get dotted so you all can be together as a family finally.

Congratulations to you all!
<3, Mary