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!