I spent the night with my baby girl last night in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). We thought that she may be coming home today or tomorrow, so I wanted to prepare myself for all of the night-time baby sounds I would hear when I got her home. That way I might be more comfortable with what’s normal and what isn’t.
It was not a good night. She was gassy. She dropped her oxygen levels. She tore off her thermometer. The nurse came in 1,000 times more than they ever do during the day. They poked at her, prodded her, took her blanket off, took her clothes off, checked her diaper, poked some more, sucked out her nose, sucked it out again, fed her, fed her some more, burped her, fed her again and again, then poked her more, then decided to return her to oxygen. The poor child (and her mommy) didn’t sleep 15 minutes last night. I felt so bad for her, she was just roughed up by that night crew and I didn’t like it one bit.
So at 8 this morning a new crew of nurses came in to feed her. My nerves were raw, my emotions on fire, I asked the nurse to please feed Drew for me because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get that tired little baby to eat. She was happy to do so and talked baby talk to her, cuddled her, gave her sweet kisses.
I was emotional watching the affection with which this nurse cared for my daughter. Through my tears I told her that it meant the world to me to see her treat Drew like a little baby after watching her be treated like a hospital patient all night.
Then I headed for a private area where I sobbed my eyes out. I’m exhausted, I miss my baby when I go home and I am trying to conjure up the strength to get through a few more days of this until we can bring her home.
She is 10 days old today. She makes the funniest noises and the silliest faces. She is definitely a daddy’s girl already. As soon as he kisses her little forehead, she just lights up. We’ll agree on a time to leave the house headed for the hospital, it is the same every day… We say 9am, at 8:30 he is ready to go. We say 10am, at 8:15 he wants to know if we can go early. We say we’re going to sleep in, 7am we’re both up and hitting the showers because we can’t wait to see our little Drew.
It’s a whole new world, this being a parent thing… And as much as I loved my husband prior to having a child, I didn’t understand how much closer it would bring us to go through this experience together. He has been so wonderful and strong through all of this, and he’s kept me going.
Now… home, nap, doggie cuddles, and maybe an evening visit to the NICU.