31 days: preemies & the NICU.

31daysBeing parents of preemies is hard. It’s hard on your heart.

The day they discharged me from the hospital was really rough. Leaving my girls in the NICU was like leaving a part of myself behind. If I could have stayed at the NICU with the girls 24/7 I would have. But having Tucker at home meant I needed to be there, too.

But we spent as much time as we could with the girls. When you have babies in the NICU (which, tomorrow’s post was scheduled to be about “NICU” but I think I’m going to combine these posts together and take a day of rest tomorrow instead) you learn really fast what all of the sounds mean. The beeps & buzzes. The tiny squawks from your babies. The hum of a machine & all the terminology that is used. There are more acronyms than you can even think of, but we knew them all. I knew how to read their charts if the nurse wasn’t around when I showed up in order to see how they were doing with remembering to breath (because that is the biggest hurdle preemies face), how much food they successfully digested during their last feeding, and what kind of diapers I missed out on.

Even though I wasn’t there around the clock, I was there and I was involved when I was there (Mike was there too, but not as much seeing as he had to be back at work and I was still off for summer & my maternity leave). When we were there, we were the ones who changed their diapers, gave them baths, checked their temperatures, and held them while they ate (at first feedings were done through and eventually they were able to bottle feed). We knew what to look for when one of the girls would stop breathing and we knew how & when to step in if they girls weren’t pulling themselves out of an episode on their own.

& even though we knew all of these things, because we were there, I still felt a huge hole in my heart. Every night when I had to say good bye to them and come home with half my family missing. It was hard & something I would never wish on anyone.

Part two of this post tomorrow…the picture part!

About TwinkieTotMom

Heather has written 1535 post in this blog.

Heather is the founder of Life as we know it with Two Twinkies & a Tator Tot: the blog. From home DIY to weekly fashion of an everyday mom, wife, and former teacher turned marketer to stories about surviving life with three kids, you can find it here. Heather is keeping it real and telling it like it is. You can also find her on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Instagram, and Pinterest.

One Response to 31 days: preemies & the NICU.

  1. Cassandra says:

    You described this experience beautifully! It’s heart wrenching to leave at night even though you know thisis the best place for them. My 34-weeker spent 17 days in the NICU, at least a 50 minute drive from home. I made that drive up there and back EVERY DAY for 17 days. He is now 10 months old (9 adjusted) and caught up to full term with! I credit my being able to stay home, a quality therapist that came to us every few wins to show me how to work with him (his feet were turned in,) and a visiting nurse who checked in on us weekly for I think the first months or so.

    Friends comment they have no idea how I was able to do it. You just. Do. They are your life and you just plunge into your new reality and participate fully.

    Congratulations on the birth of your girls!

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