A Night in the NICU

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.



This entry was published on June 27, 2011 at 11:40 am and is filed under Squawkings. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “A Night in the NICU

  1. I’m SO sorry you’re having to go through this. My son came home when he was 10 days old. Hoping your little Drew will be home soon! Then everything will fall into place.

  2. Oh dear, you have any reason to be all exhausted. Your level of stress must be very high. Try to rest as much as you can, pamper yourself. I know, easier said than done, not your first priority, but feeling well will make you feel stronger… I hope the next night will be more comfy and cosy. If the nurses are still rough, don’t let them be. Remember younhave fought and saved your daughter’s life, the daytime nurse are nice to both you and your baby, so the night nurse can be nice too. No offense remembering them you are human beings who deserve some kindness…
    In the meantime, many positive thoughts to you…

  3. What a sweet, sweet photo of Daddy and Drew. I hate that you’re exhausted and emotionally drained, but it will all be worth it when you get her home. Thank God for your daytime nurse. Sounds like she’s in the right place. Wish I could say the same about the night nurses. I hope it was just an off night for them. I’ll have my fingers crossed that Drew is ready to go home very soon so you can have some private time as a family. Hugs to the 3 of you!

  4. Karla on said:

    What a partnership you and your husband have together. Drew has given you a gift of appreciation in each other that you will draw from for the rest of your lives. Another reason to love her as much as you both do.

    Thinking of you all daily. She’ll be home soon- I can feel it.

  5. I know it is hard – but try to get as much sleep as you can. You can handle EVERYTHING better when you have had sleep! I am so glad you are feeling closer to your husband! In other hard times, you will look back on this and remember how the two of your got through it together. It is adorable that you pick a time and then are ready and hour early! That is love. Nobody can explain it to you. They don’t need to anymore. You get it! She will be home soon to meet all her four-legged siblings!

  6. Meghan on said:

    You and your husband have created perfection. Lil Drew will be fine and please don’t ever let ANYONE make you feel inadequate. My son and I had a terrible time nursing. I thought it was supposed to be an easy thing and many of the nurses made me feel like I was less of a mother because we didn’t take to it naturally. He and I finally figured it out after about 4 days but we honestly didn’t stick with it too long. My son is now 14 years old and an honor student and sweet and has a great sense of humor! Stick with your mom-senses. You and your husband know best for Drew. Please get some rest. You will need all you can get. Hugs, Meghan

  7. I know it is soooo hard watching them poke, prod, suction and fuss with her, especially on no sleep, and a good cry and a few minutes away will always help. It will help at home later when you feel emotionally drained too! It’s just all a part of being a Mommy! You now have your heart forever walking around outside of your body for the whole world to treat however they want – good or bad, and you can’t do much about it! You are a great Mom and she is one beautiful girl!!! Hang in there!!

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