I have many fears with this pregnancy. But the one I want to blog about is my fear of another premature baby. Dr. Love has already stated that he would be happy if he could get me to 34 weeks. I would looooove to get to 36 weeks. I have 2 children that I wasn't able to hold right after birth. I wasn't able to nurse them. Nate had an extreme case of jaundice that required him to be under lights most of the time so that we could take him home so I only held him for a few minutes at a time multiple times through out the day. We were able to take him home one week after he was born. That was two days after I was discharged. I thought that was hard until Abbie. I learned what it was to be a parent of a preemie with her. Nate didn't feel like a preemie. I mean, there were other moms around me who had been with their babies for months and were still waiting to take their baby home when Nate was discharged. But I became that mom, the mom who watched other moms and babies go home when Abbie was born weeks before that baby was, but yet they were going home and I still couldn't hold my baby for more than 20 minutes a day. There were many sleepless nights because of anxiety. I consumed myself with thoughts of the NICU calling and giving me bad news. And during the day I would try and spend time with Nate before leaving on my one and a half hour journey to the NICU Abbie was at so that I could hold her for 20 minutes. Hopefully changing her diaper, taking her temperature, and maybe even feeding her through her o.g. tube. I called the NICU every morning to check on her. To see if the doctors said anything different from the day before, find out if she gained an ounce of weight... I had a routine of questions I always asked and before long the nurse would already answer my questions before I even asked them. *Has the doctor seen her yet? If so what did they say? How much did she weigh today? Did she have any spells (apnea)? Is she breathing room air or does she still need oxygen? Did the doctor say anything about when we can try to bottle feed?* I was able to hold her for as long as I wanted when she was 5 weeks old. That was one week before we took her home. Thankfully, we took her home without any special equipment and she weighed 4lbs .5oz at 6 weeks old.
Any NICU mom will tell you it's the hardest thing to have to leave your baby and go home. And to do it day after day, week after week is almost traumatizing. I remember resenting the mothers on the same floor I was on when I was still in the hospital. I would hear their babies cry and would get angry. I wanted my baby in my room. I wanted to console her when she cried. I wanted a nurse to bring her to my room instead of having to make a journey down the hall, take a left, go past the corridor to the elevators, go down 3 floors, take a right, then take the first left, go all the way down that hallway until you come to the only brown door with an intercom system. Buzz in and let them know you are the parents of Baby McKee. Wash your hands all the way up to your elbows with warm water and liquid soap and scrub them with the disposable scrub brushes provided to you above the sink for 3 minutes. Rinse and Dry. And then you can see your baby through a plastic window. And only touch her thru the doors provided on the incubator and don't touch her too softly as that will hurt the baby since their nerves aren't fully developed. Yes, don't rub, gently press your hand up to her back and hold it there.
Please Baby McKee #3... I plead, bake for as long as you need to.