Thursday, December 8, 2011

They warned us...

The NICU staff always warned us that it was highly probable that the girls would not come home on the same day.  They also told us that the "sicker" twin is often the one that takes off and sometimes goes home sooner.  When they told us that, Sophia was hooked up to a CPAP machine, had a hole in her lung and a chest tube draining air out of it, and we couldn't even talk to our baby girl because it overstimulated her to the point of her not being able to breathe.  When they told us that, we seriously questioned the ability of the staff to take care of our sick babies because what they were saying seemed absolutely absurd.  We had always mentally prepared ourselves that one would come home sooner, but in my mind at least, I was always prepared to have healthy little Annabel home a few days before Sophia, who had struggled so much for the first few days of her life.

Well, the tables have turned, and it looks like Sophia will get to come home before Annabel.  She has taken all of her feedings for 24 hours now, and is now an "ad lib" feeder...she has to wake up and eat on her own every 4 hours now and continue to gain weight.  If today goes well, her feeding tube will come out tonight!!  They told us today that if all continues well, she will be discharged on Saturday or Sunday (Monday at the latest).  Of course, we are so thrilled with this news and proud of our little girl (who is back up to her birth weight)!  Sophia is such a little feisty fighter!

Sophia tuckered out after a feeding on Tuesday night.
As if the NICU hasn't been enough of an emotional roller coaster, this news is definitely bittersweet.  On one hand, we have to celebrate Sophia's incredible progress and success, but on the other hand, Annabel is still struggling a little bit to take her feedings.  She always starts out taking them very vigorously...sucking, sucking, sucking, and then she seems to just stop.  She hits a wall about half way through, and it's very hard for her to come back from it.  From a mommy's perspective, it breaks my heart.  We burp her, we move her around, we talk to her, we kiss her, but once she hits her wall, she is too tired to feed, and too tired to finish her bottle on her own.  She tries SO HARD to eat her food, but she just can't pace herself yet.

And then the inevitable hiccups arrive.  Who ever thought a mom would cry over their baby having the hiccups?  Sweet little girl is all cuddled up in my arms trying to sleep and recover from her feeding sprint and she always--every single time--gets the hiccups, and there's nothing we can do to help her.  There's nothing David, I, my mom, or the nurses can do to "teach" her to slow down and finish her entire bottle in one feeding.  We just have to wait for what the NICU nurses call "the food fairy" to arrive.  And in the meantime, it kills me to see my otherwise healthy little girl laying in an isolet in a hospital just waiting for the next feeding time to come around to see if she can eat her entire bottle.  Everyone keeps telling us that soon this will be a distant memory for all of us and just a blip on the radar, and I completely believe that, but for right now, I wish there was something I could do to make life a little bit easier for my Annabel.

AnnieB all tuckered out after a feeding
 It's so hard to admit that my baby (Annabel) just isn't ready to come home with us yet.  The nurses remind us that they aren't even supposed to be having to do all these things--breathing, sucking, eating, etc.-- yet...they are only 36w3d gestation.  I know they are trying to make me feel better by telling us this, but I think it goes without saying why it's so hard for their mom, who is still supposed to be providing all of these things for them, to hear that.

Mommy Montero

1 comment:

  1. Mary,you've been an incredible mom to those beautiful babies. Here you are recovering from surgery,getting by with very little sleep & you never post one thing about the pain you must be in or how exhausted you must be. Please keep up the positive attitude that you keep showing us. I know little Annabel will all of a sudden turn things around! I love you guys & I'm still praying for all of you.