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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lessons Learned

I've learned quite a few things from my 3 week NICU experience. I'm sure I"ll learn a lot more in the next 5+ weeks. Here are some things to know if you or anyone you know has to go through a NICU stay with their little one.

1. Never wear eye make-up.Crying happens too often for mascara.
2. Always wear pants, no matter how hot it is outside. The babies are kept warm in their incubators, the rest of the place is freezing!
3. Don't bring preemie clothes or hats to compare to your baby, even if you think they look small enough. When you see how big the clothes are next to them, you'll be super bummed.
4. Pack food=blahhh (I actually learned that from my 2 week hospital stay). But if you want good food and you're at the same hospital my kiddos are at...1st floor coffee shop. Why do they get better snacks and food than the cafeteria? I don't get it.
5. If you're breast feeding, put on nursing pads or an extra blanket when you kangaroo. Things get messy from your hormones gushing while cuddling with your bambinos.That's all I'm going to say about that.
6. You can stay there all day, even if the doctor tells you that you need to try to live a normal life and do things for yourself to get your mind off of the NICU. My mind is never off of my babies, no matter what I'm doing. I feel much more comfortable being there with them and knowing that they're safe....even if I am freezing and hungry some days ;)
7. Trust the nurses, but take cues from your own babies. I knew Jackson wasn't feeling well for a day before they told me he had a virus. Mom's know. Let the nurse and doctors know what you know. It helps everyone in the process. The nurses and doctor's are in and out and change. Even though you're not with your baby 24/7, you still know best.
8. Don't pay attention to babies coming and just gets you down seeing a baby born after yours and leaving before yours do. Or maybe that's just me.
9.I may just be super uncoordinated, but don't wear clothes that you don't want breast milk on. Don't even ask how things go when I'm doing the hindmilk thing.
10. Don't go near snack food. I am drawn to sugar and I think it's because I'm so emotionally and physically drained from this whole process. I will eat an entire large bag of reese's pieces in 1 pumping session and not think twice about it. Ask my husband. And I still could pull off parking in the "Expecting Mother" parking spots. I wonder why. And that seems to be all that people bring me. I get a lot of "Poor girl, here's some chocolate" vibes. I love the chocolate, I will eat the chocolate, I don't need the chocolate. Please bring fruit :)

So we'll see if things change over the next few weeks or what other lessons I learn along the way from this experience.

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