My progress was that I was able to get up and walk, rather than using a wheelchair. I went down to the NICU a few times, and tried to rest. I had the same nurse for Thursday and Friday: Sara. She was my favorite out of my personal nurses.
I got pretty weepy in the evening--which would happen regardless of the situation since it's just the usual post-partum hormone shift. It's happened every time I've had a baby, and thankfully I know that so I didn't get too worried about it, but of course it's still not fun. I was mostly worried about my milk supply. I would do my best to get something out, but my milk wasn't in yet and the best I could do was a few meager drops of colostrum, which the nurses would suck up into a small syringe. I was pressured to supplement with formula because the IV's were hard on the babies. After having pretty much NO choice about things thus far, I didn't want to give up the one choice that I had to keep things natural. D had been fed formula without my consent, but they respected my choice and didn't feed any formula to E.
E was taken off the oxygen during the night, so she looked a lot better...but D's veins kept collapsing and her IV was put in her forehead, so she looked worse.
The ladies were moved to a new room (226) and had a new nurse this time-- Jennie. She put the breastfeeding/formula/bottles all into a context that I could understand: the sooner they gain weight and learn to eat, the sooner they go home. She also predicted that they would be exclusively breastfeeding by 3 months, but they weren't going to progress on IV's, and it'd take a while to get my milk going. I really liked Jennie, and though I was still super weepy, I chose to take her advice and allow formula and bottlefeeding. By the end of the day they both had their IV's out and feeding tubes in.
|This picture was taken before Judy's visit, so her flowers aren't shown, but they were very appreciated as well : )|
|HH taking a picture : )|
By Sunday I was spending most of my time down in the NICU. I was discharged and moved my things down to the NICU room cupboard. HH and I hung out in the NICU for a few hours and then went home in the evening. It was weird to be home in a quiet, empty house. I missed my kids, and it was strange to leave the hospital without any babies. It was actually a hard evening to not have any kids home. Plus my milk was in and I didn't have a pump for the night...I did my best to hand express, but by morning I was quite uncomfortable.
|My wonderful Aunt Diana drove me to the hospital in the mornings, since I wasn't able to drive yet.|
No cell phone reception started driving me crazy.
Nighttime pumping was dreamy...I was soooooo grateful for a double electric pump!
D & E's first 4th of July!
HH and I went to breakfast at the ward 4th of July social. It was so nice to be out in public & doing something non-baby for a few minutes. Then we headed over to the hospital. HH went home to finish laying the carpet in the nursery : ) and I resumed my regular schedule: breastfeed, pump, Kangaroo Care, repeat. Somewhere in there are potty breaks and snacks for me....
I had a great visit with Christine, one of Charlotte's associates, and she gave some great advice on pumping/increasing milk supply.
|D getting weighed before a meal. |
We've since stopped weighing before and after meals because the scale was too fickle.
|D getting patriotic in the NICU.|
|The pinwheels were the centerpieces at the ward breakfast that morning.|
HH and I finished out the day by going up to the 4th floor of the hospital to watch the fireworks on in the Sound. It was a really great view, and certainly a unique way to celebrate the 4th during this unusual period of time.
At the end of the first complete week:
My favorite NICU nurses were Jennie and Rebekah, who thankfully have been our nurses for a lot of the time. I'll have to take a picture of them...I haven't done that yet.
I'm not noticing the smallness of the babies so much anymore. They ARE small, but I'm used to it. I change their diapers (they have NO bums) and dress them, and love to hold them. My favorite part of the day is Kangaroo Care when I get to cuddle with them.
|E. Both girls like to eat their fingers and fists.|
I was finally starting to see the swelling in my ankles and feet going away (it was from all of the saline that they pumped into me because of the c-section), and HOORAY, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight! I had gained 20 pounds total, which is a miracle in and of itself (and 10 of that was baby, and probably the other 10 was placenta and fluids).