Today my beautiful baby boys are one month old. The only word I can think of to explain the way I feel about this is…complex.
I’m so blessed to have 3 children after a decade of infertility! I’m so pissed to have the trial of being a NICU mom.
I’m so blessed that my babies were born at 5lbs each! 5lbs does not negate the fact that they were 8 weeks early. Big does not equal mature.
I’m so blessed that the boys are healthy – no health problems at all! I’m miserable coming home every night without my boys in my arms.
I’m so lucky that I live close to the hospital, have child care (hubby and I alternate time in the NICU), and don’t have to work right now so I can visit the boys. I’m so so sick of hearing how my boys are doing from nurses. I’m there 3-8 hours a day but they still know more than I do about my babies.
I love all the time I’ve spent getting to know my sons. Asher makes little mewling sounds when he sleeps. Boston loves to lay on my chest while I sing in his ear. I hate how much of their first month of life I’ve missed because they weren’t with me.
I’m so glad when I’m away from Aellyn she’s with Daddy and not at daycare. I hate that I’ve spent so little quality time with her this past month.
I love the doctors, nurses, and pure technology that have made my sons thrive. No bones about it – 100 years ago my sons would have died in the delivery room. I hate the lack of control I have on the process and the lack of knowledge I have. About birth, babies, breastfeeding, etc. I prepared and learned but preemie care is very new to me so I have torely on the experts. I’m thankful for the experts but don’t always know the right questions to ask. They are pro-breastfeeding and even gave my babies human donor milk before my milk came in but they also fortify with “Human Milk Fortifier” which, despite the name I falsely assumed was a human product, is just cow’s milk and corn syrup – not a choice I would have made simply to add 4 calories. It is frustrating to be unsure.
I hate the struggle between GET THEM HOME and GET THEM TO BREAST. Seems like those would not be mutually exclusive, right? They are. Going home = oral feeds. If I follow breastfeeding advice I would not allow bottle feeds at all which will just keep them there longer. Breastfeeding exhausts the babies and then they have to be fed through the tube. Bottle feeding will get them home faster where I feel I can work better on breastfeeding with a good babymoon. This whole ball of wax, “Nursing in the NICU”, is definitely its own post. And its own set of frustrations.
While I was in perinatal Pete started keeping all of his visitor badges and sticking them on the glass of a Picasso hanging in our living room. We’ve continued with each visit to the boys and it is now tradition for one of us to lift Aellyn up to put the “stick” up on the wall. We don’t know what to do with the stickers eventually (I mean I really like my Picasso) but we will keep this picture with it:
Aellyn adds to the collection
So, there you go. Lucky. Frustrated. Tired. Love. Complex.