Saturday, June 08, 2013


I feel like a NICU veteran. This is not a role I ever aspired to, but one I have been given - and it comes with some benefits. I get to interact with other "NICU moms," most of whom are new at the NICU thing. I feel like we are part of a sisterhood and I have something to contribute. Today another mom and I joked about the vast amount of time feeding our preemies (it's terribly inefficient: pump breastmilk for 15-20 minutes, bottle and label it 5 minutes, wash equipment 10 minutes, mix extra calories into it 5 minutes, feed it back to baby 20-30 minutes. Repeat every 2-3 hours). Another mom told me about her daughter's apnea episodes and how scared she was when her daughter stopped breathing and how frustrated she was that it seemed they would never go home. Phoebe had the same issues, so I shared a little of our history and we talked about apnea monitors for awhile. I just feel sorry for the NICU moms; most of them were completely blind-sided, whereas I had the advantage of anticipating this trial.
The nurses call Oliver a "rockstar." He is really doing well considering his, um, youth. He is 34.5 weeks now, just over 4 pounds, and finally has the coordination to suck and swallow. He is eating 3 of his 8 feeds by mouth every day, and once he can do all 8 we can head home.
Oliver hit another milestone this week: he graduated from a closed box-like isolette to an open air crib. He can now regulate his body temperature. And see that little green folder on the counter behind him? It's full of discharge paperwork. It will probably still be another week or two, but he is headed in that direction. Tonight Grandma, Scott, Bruce, Phoebe and I sat down to watch a movie. Phoebe said, "Our whole family is on the couch!" Then 30 seconds later she said, "Actually, something's missing: my baby Oliver." We all want him home.
I had to get a picture of this awesome sign. Bruce and Phoebe made this (with the help of Grandma Raymond, I'm sure) to welcome me home from the hospital a few weeks ago. Coming home after being in the hospital for so long was wonderful and strange. When I went into the hospital in April, there were buds on the trees. When I came out, there were green leaves everywhere. Somehow the whole world looked different - better. The day after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to church. During sacrament meeting, the congregation sang "The Lord Is My Shepherd" and Scott had to locate some tissues for me. The third verse sums up nicely how I feel:

"In the midst of affliction my table is spread.
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er.
With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?"

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Blogger a.k.a. Olivia said...

Glad that you are home and that Oliver is making progress! Love that you are doing "Kangaroo Care" :) I am sure the other moms appreciate your perspective and encouragement. Keep up the good work!

8:54 PM  

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