Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Progress? No? Okay..

Skyler is the same as ever, they have decided now that the max amount they want him bottling is 20mls, and only one attempt at bottle per shift. Annoying to me because he can take the whole thing, and I think if they are only doing 20mls they should do it more often than just once a shift. He can handle this. Apparently they don't think so, so he stays on nasal prongs, taking only 20mls of bottle once a shift, the rest is gavaged.

I'm hoping we get to bring him home sometime before he starts crawling or learns to walk. The stupid thing is in Canada or at least where I live he has to be completely off the air, and taking full feed by bottle all on his own. I've heard that in the states they can send you home with medical equipment and teach you how to use it. Here we have to wait until the baby is completely self sufficient. Better in some ways? Maybe. Less chance something will go wrong when he comes home, but it means him staying there for a stupid long amount of time which I don't like. He has horridly bright flourescent lighting in his eyes at all hours of the day and night, he is surrounded by a cacophony of beeping and shrill alarms going off nonstop, and a symphony of high pitched wailing from the other babies. Not to mention loud nurses and other visiting parents. It's no wonder they do a hearing test when babies have been in the NICU for a month or more. It's also no wonder that he is "so tired out" each day when they feed him, I can't imagine he is getting much sleep with all those distractions, would you sleep well under a bright light with nonstop noise?

I'm worried he will be confused at home, it will be quiet here. No beeping, no other babies crying, no bright flourescent lights.. What if he has a hard time adjusting? I have the most irrational fears.. I want badly to say when he comes home, but it feels like an eternity. It is one thing to have a date, a solid date, like January 16th. That is something to grasp onto, something to mark on the calendar, something I can count down to. But with everything up in the air, changing every day it is getting me very frustrated and it's hard to hold onto that hope of him coming home when every time I go see him they say "At least another 2-3 weeks." Well thanks people but that is what you told me last week and the week before that.

I know I have so much to be grateful for, he is alive! And he is getting hefty, he is already a solid 6 pounds 2 ounces. My little big boy! I am so proud. There are many other babies who have it much worse. I just wish progress was being made rather than this irritating stand still.

In much more delightful news I figured out a use for the baby lotion that I cannot use because I am lacking a baby. I put it on my hands last night (to see if it would be safe on a baby's sensitive skin, because mine is pretty sensitive) and amazingly enough it managed to smooth down some of the horrible crocodile skin I've gotten from washing with alcohol soap for the last month and a half. Who would have figured.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


So he is 37 weeks now, and if he were developing normally he would be home. But he is not. He seems to have plateau'd (how the hell do you spell that) he's just desatting every once in a while, still isn't taking full feeds from anything but the tube. He has done it by bottle but only like twice. Still on nasal prongs. Still having trouble laying on his side. He is getting better and better at breastfeeding which is no surprise since he started out doing pretty well. But unfortunately I cannot be at the hospital all day long sitting there waiting to breastfeed him as much as I would like to. So he remains in the hospital, and everyday we watch more people take their babies home.

There was a 20 year old mom in our pod, her baby was across from ours diagonally. We started talking to her a week or two ago. It turned out her baby was the same gestation as mine pretty much, 32 weeks. Turns out she had to be flown in from a very small town that's very far from here. She had been staying in a guest house, all by herself. She spent all of her time at the hospital. Christmas day we took her out for lunch, and then boxing day we had her over for a nice homecooked meal. Just for a change from the hospital. She was a very nice girl, and it felt good to be able to connect with someone, especially someone who is trapped in an unfamiliar place, with her baby in the hospital, and completely alone on Christmas day. Her and her baby were discharged yesterday.

C is now on parental leave, which is great. It means I won't have to take the bus to work anymore. Apparently he can get a longer amount of time off work because the baby is in the hospital.

I've been researching which stroller to buy. We have a Peg Perego car seat that we were given, but I'm not sure I trust it. How am I supposed to know if it's been in a crash or not? I think I want to go with the Graco snug ride, and the Graco Vie4 stroller. My dad is supposed to be buying them for us sometime next month. Anyways I hope you all are doing well, I am going to try to get another hour of sleep before I have to pump again..

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Skyler actually bottled an entire feed! Yay! He's still on prongs, but they are bottling him once a shift now, and I can breastfeed him whenever I'm there for his feeding time. I nursed him twice this morning and the first time he latched on and sucked fairly well for a good 30 minutes. Very impressive..

Anyway they say he will still be there for a whiele, but I'm proud of him anyway.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Yule

He's doing about the same, but I am doing much better.

Last night was great, we had friends over, celebrated together. Had a nice meal, good conversation. Presents were exchanged. C and I even did some holiday baking yesterday afternoon and spent time together just actually enjoying the day. We saw the baby of course, I finished his sweater and a matching hat which I brought today and took pictures of him wearing.

Yeah went to see him today, C held him for over 2 hours. Which is amazing we often just get to hold him for the 10 mins of tube feeding and then have to return him to his plastic box. But lately we have been spending hours snuggling him after his feeds. His sats were perfect the entire time.

And it's time to talk about the GOOD nurses. Lol yes we do have some of those. It's just the bad ones that get me so riled up that I need to vent. So I forget to mention the ones that make my day. We have this one nurse, S who is usually on nights with him. She is fantastic. She cuts little shapes out of his tape for his face. yesterday he had stars, today he has moons. Which is perfect and completely fitting as we celebrate Yule/Winter Solstice today.

The day nurse he's had for the past few days including today, R, is great as well. She lets us hold him as long as we want. Her words were "If he's happy I'm happy" which means we can hold him as long as we want if his sats are fine. She even said it's good for his knees (he doesn't sat well unless he is on his tummy usually and so his little knees have been getting so red) because daddy holds him on his back sometimes chest to chest, and it gives his little knees a break from the plastic crib (there's like a matress in it of course but it's very firm and not as soft on his little knees as his daddy's tummy. hehe)

There's another new baby across from us in the pod, and today we met his parents, we also talked to the mom of the baby diagonally across from Sky. It was nice, the 5 of us were talking and laughing and joking about our little ones. I felt almost normal.. Like a parent.. I think because they get it, they understand. I can feel like a parent with the other parents in the NICU. Whereas in public in my normal everyday world outside the hospital everyone else is walking around with their babies, looking like parents. Whereas no one would guess I was ever pregnant.
I have been much better since I talked to my daddy. I admit he was drunk and rambled a bit, but he was right. And my entire perception has changed. I no longer say "if he were home we could _____" Now I say "when he comes home we can ______" and it feels so much better. I'm no longer letting myself think of the if's. I have decided that he is coming home eventually and I am going to focus on that.

Last night and this morning we brought in some shortbread I baked, to give to his nurses. Walking in with 2 containers of breastmilk and a plate of cookies I said "Hey we brought milk and cookies." ha ha ha. Attempting humour, see I am feeling much better. Anyway it is only a matter of time now. I am going to go find the camera and upload the pics of him in his new sweater. :D

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nice While It Lasted

We're sorry but the promotional item you have selected is no longer available.

Anyway he's back on the prongs. And one of his nurses the other night tried to convince me I'm an idiot who can't tell time. When clearly she is the one with the mental retardation. I told his overnight nurse at 5am that I would be back at 6pm. Told his day nurse at noon the same day "I will be back at 6pm to breastfeed him." Both nurses had said they'd pass it along for me.

So I get off work, we get there for 6pm as I had said I would. The evening nurse is there, she says "I just finished his feed & touch time" I stare at her, slightly perturbed. She looks at me and says "His feed is at 6 o clock, did you not know that?" I look at the clock on the wall right behind her head, wondering if I have suddenly lost the ability to tell time. The big hand is on the 12, the little hand is on the 6. Exactly. She says "Do I need to write down his feeding times for you?" I look at her again, completely dumbfounded. She continues asking if I know what time his feeding is at, and tells me again that it is at 6 o clock..

I stand there wondering to myself if his feeding time is 6 o clock then why is she done feeding him? Does she know what time his feeding is at?? I tell her that I told both his nurses earlier today that I would be in at six. She says "Oh well if I knew that I would have waited, no one told me." Okay so I am cranky now, after being told by the doctor earlier today that I'm not keeping up my milk supply enough to keep up with him, and now having a nurse treat me like I'm retarded because she screwed up and fed him early. So I deposit the container of milk on the table by his bed and say alright then I guess we can go since there's nothing else for us to do here but watch him sleep. We leave, and then call them to say we will be back for his 9 o clock feed and to please NOT feed him before we get there.

We go back for 8:30 just in case she is on her own little timezone where everything is half an hour ahead. While we're waiting to pick him up we look over at his chart where it says on the very top in legible writing that "Mom will be in to breastfeed at 18:00" This note was made at 5am when I told the first nurse I'd be back. So Ms. Can't Tell Time either knew I would be back at 6 and didn't care or she wasn't reading his chart. We also read further in the chart where it was noted that she fed him early to take her break. Ok thanks. I totally understand having to feed a baby early because you have two babies that need to be fed at the same time, or having to feed him early because you absolutely cannot take your break at any other time. BUT I don't understand her making ME feel like I am the one at fault. Her people skills leave something to be desired.

Really is it so hard to say "I'm sorry I had to feed him early because -insert excuse here-."? That I could have handled, that would be just fine, it's happened before where I missed feedings and different nurses were on shift and explained what happened and apologized, I always say oh no problem don't worry about it. So it's not like I'm unreasonable or I puff up like a demon and start snorting through my fangs. All I want is a simple explanation as to why you couldn't read his chart to find out I was coming and wait for me to get there. (Which I wasn't even late. Though she almost had me convinced that I was.) Legitimate reason for not waiting that's fine. But don't ask me if I know when my son's feeding times are. I do know when they are which is why I told the nurses I'd be in for that exact time, and also why I was there for that exact time.

So he will be there until sometime in January, he is being slow according to his nurses and doctors. He is not developing at the rate he should be. I had one nurse tell me that they try to clear out the pods before christmas and send home as many babies as possible, but mine won't be one of them. He will be staying much longer. I was like gee thanks for that one. I've watched 5 babies go home in the last couple of days. People who have been in the NICU for a few days or a week, maybe two at the most. It feels crappy being jealous of them and knowing they get to go home before we do, they get to have christmas with their babies, while I spend it running back and forth to the hospital to make sure he has enough milk.

Honestly though today I feel much better than I have in a while. My dad talked to me last night and told me I have to stop stressing about it so much, even though it is taking forever, it's inevitable that he will come home, even if it takes forever I will have my baby. They can't keep him until he's 18. He told me that when I get upset I just have to start thinking about what I plan to do with him when he comes home. How I'm going to put him in his sling and walk around the house and sing to him and breastfeed him whenever he gets hungry not every 3 hours (or two and a half.. if the nurse can't figure out what time is what).

I started to realize today that if I just remember that he will come home eventually then I can stop focusing entirely on that goal of getting him home as soon as possible. I think I can just try to relax and let it happen when it happens. I'm still frustrated and I still want this whole NICU thing to be over with, but at least I can try to remember that it will eventually end and in the meantime I just have to deal with it a little better because he needs me.

I'm crocheting him a tiny little sweater for yule which is tomorrow. It's the first sweater I've ever made, so far it looks pretty cute. I hope it will fit over his big head. I'm going to give it to him tomorrow (we celebrate yule and christmas, yule is the winter solstice). Hopefully I can get a few pictures of him wearing it. Maybe if I have time tonight I will make a matching hat or something.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All New Wireless Handheld Baby!

Coming soon (hopefully).
They finally took away the oxygen. :D
I can't believe it, four weeks ago today I gave birth to this perfect little being.. If he can start bottling soon he will be home sometime around new years.
Oh and how cool is my blog that I have spammers in my comments section trying to get me to click on a link that will probably give me a virus.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I swear it's not a made up word. And yesterday I woke up with one on my left boob. What is a bleb you ask? It is a milk filled blister on the areola (which is the brown bit that surrounds the nipple..). Yes my life gets better everyday. Especially since today I am taking the bus to work at 7am. And I have to wait 15 mins in between buses, why is that a problem you ask? Mainly because it is currently -41 degrees outside. Celcius. Though I am assured that -40 is about the same in farenheit, probably because the rough translation is "weather that will kill you within less than a minute". Gotta love Manitoban winters.. ugh. If I suddenly stop posting over the next week or so feel free to assume I died of exposure in a snowbank somewhere.

Friday, December 12, 2008

7 Days

In 7 days he'll be a month old.. And to think he's spent the entire first month in the hospital. /Sigh.

So things have been about the same. He is too "immature" (their word not mine) to come home any time soon. In other words he needs to start breathing on his own without the oxygen tube and without the desats, and then he also needs to be taking full feeds by mouth (not the tube that is currently down his nose to his stomach) before they will even consider discharge.

The nurse tonight said the earliest would be Jan 1st, if he smartens up and starts breathing on his own etc. Last time they weighed him it turned out he had lost weight so they added protein to his breastmilk on top of the human milk fortifier. Hopefully that will cause him to start gaining again..

The nurse tonight was great, she went through the list of stuff we need to know before baby comes home. Even though it won't be for a while yet, she said she wanted to get most of it done so that when he is ready to come home we won't have to wait days just for them to go over the list. (It's like a take your baby home instruction thing..) She told us a whole bunch of crap I already know, which was fine because I explained that I take care of a baby for a living and she was totally understanding and said that I must have lots of experience with all this stuff.

She also (when going over the breastfeeding/milk expression thing) said that I clearly have no problem with my milk production (as she gestured towards the 5 filled containers of milk I pumped this morning). So yay +100 points for the nurse whose name I have already forgotten. Anyway she also let me nurse Skyler! I hadn't held him in like 5 days up until yesterday when I got to hold him for a tube feed. This time, even though he is intubated she let me put him to breast while she poured the feed down the tube, just so he could suck and get full at the same time. She said it was good because I had just pumped while there before his feeding. So he wasn't going to get extra milk or choke on it or anything, and this way he could at least learn to associate the full feeling in his tummy with mommy's boob. (I'm sure she said nursing or something and not "mommy's boob" but whatever)

Yep so we're in it for the long haul. Oh and another baby went home today. I haven't talked about that yet, but it makes me hopeful and sad all at the same time. We've been in Pod 4 the longest and you have no idea how many babies I have seen come and go in the last 3 weeks. Damn happy people taking home their baby after a few days... ugh. I wish I was them so bad. As I watched a couple tonight buckle their little one into a carseat and happily cart him off home I stared back at my baby and wondered desperately if that would ever be us. It doesn't feel like it. January is so far away.. Screw christmas and screw presents I just want my baby. That's it.

Oh I know, I know "It will all pass so quickly. He'll be home before you know it.." etc etc blah blah blah. I know people are trying to help but it gets tedious hearing that from my parents and whoever and then the nurses saying yeah he's going to be here at least another 4-6 weeks. It's like how is time passing quickly? I've been doing this for 3 weeks already and it feels like it's been 3 years. I swear there's some sort of time flux in the NICU that makes it seem like it's even longer than it really is. (There's also this one broken clock in his pod that changes time but is never the correct time, it's batteries are half dead or something and it ticks on ever so slowly. This only adds to my time flux theory) So if someone would like to tell me that time is passing by quickly I will have to say sorry but I don't believe you. When you come home to an empty crib every night and spend every other hour pumping milk for a baby that isn't anywhere in sight time doesn't go by so fast.

Oh and to make things exciting, baby and I apparently have thrush! Yay nipple pain for mommy and horrible diaper rash for baby. It's from the antibiotics they gave me in labour and him when he was born. Ugh. I'm now taking probiotics to try and combat that lovely holiday present. They're using nystatin and zinc on his bum. Hopefully it will clear up soon..

I know when all is said and done I will come home with a living squirming baby. And that makes this eternally long soul sucking torture all worth it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Post is for You

I want to take the time to thank all of you who come and read my whining and leave me all these wonderful encouraging comments and give me the strength to keep going, even though I know most of you have been through far worse than I have and yet you still find the time to "lend an ear" so to speak. Thank you so much. It means so much to me to have all these arms around me even if it's just through the internet.

I know things will get better. I believe in him, he is strong like his mommy and daddy and he will come home. Even if it seems to take forever. In the meantime I am getting by as best I can, but I couldn't do it without all the support.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Forget the Step Forward

Apparently we are proceeding straight to the two steps back. This is like when you land on Go To Jail in monopoly except much less fun.

They still have no clue why he isn't breathing on his own yet, it may be reflux or something. He is desatting (drifting in and out of low O2 levels) for about an hour after every feeding. Soo they are going to intubate him or however you spell that. Basically they have decided to stick a tube down his nose and into his tummy and leave it there and pour some food down it once every 2 hours. Apparently this will aggrevate him less because the tube going up and down his throat makes him spit up (it's called a gag reflex people, I know he is a baby but he is a person too, if you stick a tube down his throat yeah he might not like it. duh). So yeah they are going to be handling him less. Once every 4 hours they will change his diaper and take his temperature. They will feed him less food, every 2 hours through the tube.

This may help or it may make things worse. If he still desats after every time they put food in his tube, and continues to desat for an hour like he has been then he will be desatting for an entire hour every second hour. Which will be much more stressful. On the other hand if he's been desatting because his tummy is too full after each feeding then having a smaller feeding every 2 hours will likely solve the problem. Either way he now has yet another tube coming out of his tiny little body. I don't know what to think of it. Hopefully this will help him and not make things worse because I don't want them to have done this to him for nothing, or to make it worse.

As a result of this, obviously I won't be breast/bottle feeding him any time soon. They said he's too young for that and it will come in time. Insert sigh here. He is growing well. I guess there is that. But he likely won't be home for quite a while. Today we brought in his lullaby cd. The one I used to fall asleep to while I was pregnant. It was nice to have them play it for him, it kind of distracts you from all the beeping for a little while.

Oh today I didn't cry. There's a plus. Or at least I haven't cried yet I should say, the day is nowhere near over, I'll probably find a way to fit it in later. We had a nice nurse today, we kind of unloaded on her yesterday, told her all about the mean one the other night, and this nurse was very reassuring about it. She told me not to feel like he wasn't my baby etc. Tried to make me feel better about everything. Offered to let me try breastfeeding him (last night before they decided to intubate him) I wanted to, but I declined because I was afraid to touch him and I told her this. She told me not to be afraid and that I needed the cuddles. I let C hold him for the gavage feeding instead. Anyway she was there today and she was nice. I let C hold him again. I just don't feel up to it. I want to really badly, but I can't stand it, sitting there watching his sats go down to the 70s and thinking I must be doing something wrong because he can't get enough oxygen in his blood.

I really truly am hating this. Waking up each day is like returning to a nightmare that I can't escape from. I keep wondering does it ever get better? Does he ever come home?

Today I almost told C to hand Sky baby to "mommy" to put him in the crib. I almost said it without thinking. Can you guess who I was referring to? It wasn't me, it was the nurse. Why do I feel this way? I don't know. I'm a visitor to my own baby, I'm not the one who gets to reposition him in his crib and decide what time he is going to feed or go back down to bed. The nurse does all this. So yes I guess I don't feel very much like he belongs to me. I almost bit my tongue off as I was about to say it outloud. Yes I understand how important it is that he get all the care he needs right now. And I guess I am not the person to do any of this for him. I just have to accept that, and I am trying so hard but I just can't. If I didn't want to be the one to take care of him I never would have had him. I'm ready to be his mom. I want to be his mom.

Ok there we go. Cried today? Check. Lovely.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

One Step Foward Two Steps Back

Last night was pretty much hell. All day yesterday I had wanted to go see Skyler. C was at work until 2pm. I would have gone in the morning but I went the day before and the bus only goes so far and then I have to walk the rest of the way, and when I walked there to see him the other day I began bleeding heavily, which is not so good because I had stopped bleeding altogether before that. So as much as I wanted to go in the morning I decided to wait until C was home so that we could go together and maybe make his 4 o clock feeding.

When C got home we were both pretty tired. We had talked about what we were going to do that day, go visit Sky, come home take a nap, maybe if we were lucky watch a movie or do something else to try to relax. You can see where this is going. So of course his parents call and guess what they want to see the baby, but his dad doesn't get off work until 4:30. So our plans just aren't going to work for them. They decide they will take us to dinner and get to see the baby. So C agrees (without asking me I might add) and then when I ask him what's going on because clearly I do possess basic hearing skills, he tells me that I can decide what we are doing that night. I stare at him dumbfounded. "How am I going to decide what we do tonight if you just made plans with your parents?" Yeah no. So we decide that we have to skip his 4 o clock feeding and take a quick nap so we aren't completely dead to the world, and go for the 7 o clock feeding. If his parents want to see him they have to do so before 8:30pm.

Ok so I am unhappy, but alright compromise whatever. So we end up at the slowest restaurant in the world, chosen by his parents. Guess what time we get out of there. 8 o clock. Ok so 7 o clock feeding missed completely, and his parents decide it is almost 8:30 therefore no time to go see the baby. Ok thanks for dinner which I really didn't want, and completely mucking up our plans. So we go to the hospital and have to wait until his 10 o clock feeding now. And I was depressed because I hadn't seen him all day and feeling like a bad mom already for not visiting, and I wanted very badly to nurse him because the sooner he learns to eat the sooner he can come home.

When we got there we found out he had been moved from the nice quiet pod to the busiest pod in the whole place. Every bed had a baby, and there were at least 4 nurses, as opposed to the two in the other pod. They informed us that since they had less babies they shut down pod 4 where he was and lumped the pod 4 babies into pod 2. Lovely, it's a whole lot more crowded and noisy and busy where he is now. When we got there I noticed his oxygen was cranked up to 35 when it is normally at about 23. I ask the nurse, she says she has no idea why. The proceeds to tell me he is the same as before. Ok so again I ask if he is desatting the same, why is his oxygen so high? And I notice his monitor is set to alarm if he strays lower than 88. Before it was set to 85 or something like that. She tells me this is because if it goes too low he will get brain damage, if it goes too high he will go blind. OK.. So why was it set "too low" before then?

So then she tells me that they are now running multiple tests to see why he isn't breathing on his own yet. Including a chest x ray they did earlier that day, which no one told me or C about. They also pricked his heel again to test his blood oxygen levels which are apparently normal. So I ask if they found any reason as to why he might not be breathing on his own yet since they ran all these tests. She says no, it could just be from his prematurity. Ok.. So then she goes on to say that his due date was probably wrong and he is probably more premature than they thought. Um excuse me? No. I tell her this isn't possible, I remember the exact date of implantation. She gives me this look like I'm an idiot. OK whatever lady, but you know what I do recall a specific lack of you and the entire medical staff when I conceived him. And I do remember the date of my exact last period before him, and the TWO days that we could possibly have concieved which were 3 days apart. So he is either 3 days older than you think he is and therefore less premature OR he is the exact gestation that I said he was. BUT what do I know I am only the woman who conceived and gave birth to him.

I didn't say that stuff to her but I thought it. Ok so she says he is likely to be staying in the NICU a lot longer than we thought since he still can't breathe on his own. Fantastic. At this point I am not really able to hold back the tears. She moves on to focus on another baby for a bit, and C and I sit there while I try to hold back the tears. It only takes me a few minutes before I decide I can't handle it anymore and I slink off to the bathroom outside the NICU. Down the hall into the antepartum ward, and I go to the closet of a visitors bathroom and just sob silently for 5-10 minutes. Eventually I try to make myself stop crying by singing the "triangle" song. (James Blunt on sesame street, it's hilarious.) I splash some water on my face and decide to go back in.

We sit there staring at the baby, the wall, the floor, whatever is around. Knowing we both have lots to say but don't feel comfortable saying it with all these people around so we sit there silently until C has to go to the bathroom. While he's gone I decide to talk to Skyler. I sing a bit, very quietly and tell him how much I love him. Then I decide to speak to him in spanish. I did while he was in the womb, and I plan on teaching it to him at home so why not. I tell him he needs to breathe well on his own before he can come home with mommy and daddy. I tell him how much we love him and that he is strong and he can do this.

C comes back, I ask the nurse if he's alright for me to try nursing. She says she isn't sure with his breathing the way it is. She says we can try for 5 minutes before his gavage feeding. We do so, she is amazed that he latches on and sucks etc. His sats are completely fine for the entire 5-10 minutes he spends at the breast, he is alert and awake and doing what he is supposed to do. She gavage feeds him while C holds him. He dsats a bit, then after the feeding he dsats a lot. I think it's mostly because he is always trying to poo while he is being fed, and with his stomach full it presses against his diaphragm affecting how much air he can get.

After she settles him back in his crib and he is dsatting like crazy she tells me it's because he tried to breastfeed. It sucked all the energy out of him and he can't get enough oxygen now. She says they are going to discuss it at rounds tomorrow. I wonder to myself if that is true then why does he dsat after every gavage feeding, especially when I am not here. He had dsatted 3 times during or after feedings that day and I had not even been present for any of them. Instead of asking about this, I attempt to swallow down the lump in my throat, grab the milk cooler and head for the door. Tears stream silently down my face until we exit the hospital where it escalates into full blown chest wracking sobs.

I am the worst mother in the world. I am trying to kill my baby with my breast. Lovely. Next thing they will tell me I am going to take a guess here: "Your milk is poison and your baby gets physically ill every time you are in the building please leave now or you will kill him just by being here."

Oh yeah awesome. I'm feeling a creeping sense of despair. I feel like it is useless for me to visit him in the hospital because I am not supposed to touch him, he dsats with handling and apparently breast feeding soo I guess I can sit and look at him through the plastic box and watch him sleep while the nurses give me dirty looks and say things like "I guess you will be leaving soon" (no lie a nurse actually said that to me once while I was sitting there watching him). Is it wrong for me to want to go to sleep until he is ready to come home? Just wake me up when he is in the car seat and coming home.

This is my december,
this is my time of the year
this is me pretending
this is all so clear

Oh and here, you need something to cheer you up after reading this so go watch this:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Skyler and Sophie

This is a post that I have been meaning to write for a while now but everything tends to go sideways on me lately.

It seems I have been so caught up in the whole new/alive/preemie baby thing that I have forgotten about my not-so-alive baby. This is not true. She has been on my mind constantly as well. His due date was her death date, and I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. He came two months early, was there a reason for this? Also in other news of deaths and my family's superstition there's a death followed by a birth. Our best friend's grandfather died a few days before Sky was born, in fact his funeral was Wednesday afternoon, I was in labour & gave birth while they were burying him. Freaky no?

What I'm getting at is the whole life death cycle thing. If Sophie had made it Skyler wouldn't be here. He never would have been conceived. I like to think she is watching over her little brother. We even put the angel doll in his crib (at home) for now while he is at the NICU. We like to think it represents her watching over him and making sure he is alright especially since we can't be there with him every second of every day as much as we both would like to.

There is the ever important issue of gender here as well. Something that CLC discussed in one of her posts. Something I empathized with. When I found out Skyler was a boy I was (and I ashamedly admit this) not so thrilled. I mean yes I was happy yay baby! But part of me was sad too. Part of me had to give up having a girl all over again. Something I gave up when I lost Sophie. It was a different kind of loss, but it hurt somewhat all the same. I hate to feel like I wanted a replacement, like if I didn't get my girl the first time around then I would get my girl the second time. In my heart I know this could not be true anyway because it would never be Sophie, each child is different no matter what.

And yes I realize some people think I am referring to a blob of cells as my dead unborn baby, but she is. When people tell me a miscarriage is nothing and I should just get over it I think about how Skyler was once a blob of cells and now he is this beautiful 4 pound 6 and a half ounce baby. Every single person starts out as that little blob. I know very well that it's not the same as a stillborn, but believe me this baby was a baby even if she was just beginning to become one.

Back to the issue of gender. As I mentioned on CLC's blog I had a hard time accepting that he was a he. I kept saying to people that the ultrasound said boy but they can be wrong. I feel guilty about that, I invalidated his sex. I kept dismissing that he was a boy, I wanted a girl so badly that I didn't want to accept him for who he was. I still feel horrible about that, but it is what it is. It just took me a while to get over the fact that this was different. He is not his sister, nor would he be had he been a girl.

There is absolutely nothing like the moment when they place that tiny little person on your chest (or stomach in my case). I remember saying to him in my crazy post pushing exhaustion "wow I made you." in complete awe, and then repeating over and over again "hi.. hi.." I think I must have said hi at least 12 times. Then they had to whisk him off to the NICU. Now that he is here I would not trade him for another baby in the whole world, not even a girl. I love my son so much it fills my heart and spills over.

Could I ever choose between the two? No, I couldn't. I have to live with what was dealt to me and be happy that he is here, even if she isn't.

I must say I am missing being pregnant, there is this emptiness inside me where there used to be a baby now there is nothing but a shrinking-back-to-it's-former-size uterus. Sometimes I will listen to the songs that used to make him kick and I wait for it, to feel him expressing how much he likes Norah Jones and Elmo singing "Don't know why Y didn't come" but he isn't there anymore. It feels weird when I go to rub my belly and my belly is gone. It feels weird when Chuck starts poking my stomach or shaking me and I have to bite my tongue before I say "Stop shaking our baby" or "Don't poke at him you'll wake him up" and I know it's the hormones but I want to cry everytime I think that he isn't with me anymore. I can't feel him in my belly and I can't hold him in my arms. I mean I can, but only at his specified feeding times and only if I am in the hospital at those times and only if he is not dsatting. It's not the same as losing him forever, but it still hurts. I know I should just suck it up, really I know that, but I can't. It must be a billion times worse to not get to hold him at all ever again. I can hardly imagine the pain of it, and I find this situation to be quite painful. I don't take it for granted that he is alive. It's just tough not being with him..

Yesterday we had a really pushy condescending nurse. I felt so bad for C because he was trying so hard, and she kept putting him down. Basically every single thing he did was wrong. He wasn't gentle enough changing his diaper, he put the censor on wrong, he held his head at too high an angle for gavage feeding, then he held his head at too low an angle (she told him to lower it, and he did, then she bitched it was too low. etc etc.) I was suprised she didn't take out a protractor to find the exact perfect angle because really it wasn't like he was holding him much different each time she made him adjust and yet it was always wrong. And he also put the camera down in the wrong spot, and he didn't wrap him properly in the blanket, and he didn't wash his hands fast enough and he didn't hold the feeding tube in his mouth in just the right spot, and he basically did every single thing wrong. She made C feel like the worst dad in the entire world. Basically if he even looked at our baby he was doing something wrong. I felt sick to my stomach watching her berate him for everything. I seriously hope she is gone today..

Anyway enough of my ranting.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


When I asked the resident how he was doing her response was "fabulous" and she seemed shocked that I didn't realize how fabulous he is doing. She told me he has no health problems he is what they call a "feeder & grower" he needs to learn to feed himself (suckle from nipple or bottle) and he needs to grow, and then he is out the door. That is assuming things stay the way they are (getting better every day) The desats freak me out, but the resident assures me they are completely normal for his gestation and his colour is staying pink when they happen so it's not even a big deal. She says they usually grow out of it around 34 weeks-ish which he will be on Friday.

I'm crossing my fingers he will come home in about 2 weeks. That's what the nurses think anyway. They say of course it is up to him, he has to learn to feed, and if he can do that at 36 or 37 weeks he can come home. I was very glad to have spent the entire morning with him yesterday, and very happy the resident came to talk to me. She sat down with me and answered all my questions and reassured me over and over and told me how well he is doing. And I admit I am over the moon with this optimism.

So why do I still sit around thinking "what if something goes wrong? What if I get so excited about him coming home and then he takes a turn for the worse, just because I'm assuming he'll come home" It feels like I just can't allow myself to get so excited and happy because he is still hooked up to all those monitors. I thought about it and I don't think I would be so paranoid if he were at home. It's all those ringing. beeping, panic inducing monitors. He needs them for now, and that freaks me out.

I must say yesterday when I saw him he looked bigger, more filled out. He cried when he got hungry and it wasn't just a small squeaking noise anymore, it was pretty close to a newborn's cry. I will be very excited when he stops desatting and is able to breathe on his own without the prongs. Soon we should be able to bathe him on our own. I'm slightly nervous about that. They are bundle bathing him so that he won't lose any body heat. I'm worried because they have all these steps to washing him. What if I forget one, I think it goes head, arms, tummy, legs, back, butt? But when does the peepee washing part come in? Probably before the butt, but I just can't remember.

Last night as I laid blissfully snuggled up to C, I briefly thought that maybe in a few weeks there would be a baby in between us. Yes we plan on co-sleeping. Not with him on the matress though, ours is too soft for that. We have this little baby bed thing that goes into our bed. It's got a firm bottom on it, and a sleep positioner so he won't roll onto his back, and it has sides on it (with mesh) to make sure no one rolls over onto him. It even has a night light. I would put him in the crib, but with him being preemie and sometimes forgetting to breathe I think I will feel much more at ease with him right next to me so I can hear his breathing at all times. Of course his crib is right next to the bed and as soon as mommy feels comfortable he will be sleeping there.

Yesterday they tried to pressure me into giving consent for him to get the synagis shot. I know RSV is awful and everything, but the shot has risks too. None of which were discussed with me of course. I had to go to the product's website to find them out. One of the side effects includes anaphylaxis. Which if I'm not mistaken can lead to death in a matter of minutes. I know it's rare, something like 1 in 1000. But most people who have had a stillbirth have heard that it's rare too. I actually don't care how rare it is, I mean what happens if your baby is that 1 out of 1000. Then what? I walk around for the rest of my life knowing I let them inject him with something that killed him. Whereas on the other hand if he doesn't get the shots (they have to give one every month, and each one has the same risks of side effects) and gets RSV, then I have myself to blame as well. It's lose-lose really. I want to do what is best for my baby, and I am sure some people think that means getting the shots, but I just don't know. I'm afraid to inject his fragile little body with something foreign that he could be allergic to and there's no way of finding that out except injecting him..

Alright well please don't send me hate-mail about it cause I have enough to deal with, and then I'll have to post about another controversial subject like circumcision just to make everyone forget about this topic.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Up and Down

I think this whole NICU thing is all about ups and downs. One minute he is going great, the next he is desatting like crazy. He went the lowest I've ever seen him go yesterday and it was before his feeding which is not something he usually does. I must say it looks like we're taking a step backwards here and I don't like it. It scares me. I want him to just keep taking the steps forward, you know towards the door, and our car.. I didn't nurse him yesterday and only saw him once. We were so tired as always, and I had been called into work yesterday for the whole day (I've only been doing afternoons but they really needed me for the morning too yesterday) and C was working from 5:45am to 2pm so by the time I got off work at almost 6 we had time to go do his 7 o clock feeding and then go home to eat and sleep..

I've been pumping massive amounts of milk or at least what seems like a lot to me. Which is fantastic, I'm keeping ahead of him by a day at a time. In fact I've run out of sterile containers for the milk, again. C is at work right now until 1:45 and I start at 2:30 his work is like half way across the city and he has the car so I am contemplating taking the bus to work because I don't want to be late if he doesn't make it here in time. Yesterday he ended up working until just after 2 because his sister (who he works with.. probably not the best idea) screwed something up and he had to fix it for her. He assures me he won't be staying late today but I don't know. I am thinking of taking the bus to go see the baby and then bus to work from there..

We got to watch the nurse give him a bath on sunday, that was fun. He was actually pretty calm for most of it but he didn't particularly enjoy the crotch cleaning part. Perhaps he was embarrassed that his mom was watching. Wouldn't surprise me since he gives me the strangest look when I try to stick my boob in his mouth. I call it his "WTF" face. You can google what that means if you don't already know it. Seriously he looks like he's really disturbed by the fact that there is something soft and squishy and dripping milk in his mouth. One time he even yanked his head back and grabbed my nipple with his hand as if to say what the hell is this thing and why does she keep putting it in my mouth??

Last night I actually slept a fair bit. Went to bed around 10:30 or 11pm. Woke up to pump at 5am went back to sleep from 6 until 9 then pumped again. Now I am just sitting here waiting for the bottles to sterilize. Sleeping is good, makes me feel a little less crazy. We went to C's staff christmas party the other night, and I wore my sexy prepregnancy clothes and my boots! Heels for the first time in 7 months. I felt pretty, I even did my hair. Oh and I managed to get C to sit still long enough to get a hair cut because it was looking honestly quite clinically insane.

Yesterday I stopped in at a small local baby store. My boss is friends with the owner and she told me that for christmas she wants to get me a sling all I have to do is go pick it out and put it on hold. Luckily the Baby Bin Boutique is right down the street from my work so I went there on my lunch and picked out a black and white print pouch sling. I can't wait until I get to have my baby home and I can put him in the sling and keep him near me all the time. I swear when I get him home I am never ever going to put him down unless I have to. At least that is how I feel right now. I'm sure C feels the same way. We're probably going to fight over who gets to hold him and feed him etc.

I joked to the nurses that when we get home we'll be fighting over who gets to change his diaper. The nurses laughed and said why argue just let daddy do it. Eh they got me there. Skyler likes to pee on C and it's hilarious. When we had to undress him to weigh him C made the mistake of holding a naked baby to his chest and got baby pee all over his shirt. Hilarious I assure you. I took a picture of it but he was facing slightly away so it didn't show up as well as I would have liked.

Anyway I guess I should go attempt to nourish myself before I head off to the hospital.