NICU day 13

Emmett had a pretty good day today. His O2 saturation levels are still all over the place, but that’s to be expected at this age. He had his physical therapy evaluation this morning and the PT recommended a special sleep positioner that feels kind of like extra moldable memory foam. Since they put that in his isolette, his O2 levels seem to be more stable and he was able to come down from 30% oxygen to 23% (the goal is to stay at 21%, which is room air). He does look pretty cozy on his new positioner, even on his right side, which seems to be his least favorite and usually requires the most oxygen support.

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The doctor decided to increase his feedings by another 2 ML per feed since he’s handling his feeds so well and said our primary goal right now is gaining weight. He was up another 6 grams today, which isn’t a lot, but every little bit in the upward direction helps.

I was finally able to hand off everything at work today, which feels good to get off my plate. When I was pregnant with Theo, I had kept a running “hand-off” document for the last month of my pregnancy — something I could give to a coworker at a moment’s notice as an instruction manual for all my programs while I was gone. I had every intention of creating something just like that this time, but obviously didn’t expect to have a baby three months early! But I finally got that done today and did the official hand-over to my boss and another coworker, and it feels good to check that off so I can focus on E. Even though no one at work has been bugging me about anything, it bugged me knowing I had left so many things up in the air. I’m officially off work until June 29, at which point I’ll go back until E comes home (I may still work some of that time remotely so I can be at the hospital, depending on how things are progressing here), and then take the rest of my leave. We still need to figure out logistics, and it will be weird going back, knowing E is here, but with any luck things will continue to be fairly uneventful and E can just work on getting bigger and stronger.

I attended the NICU parents’ support group at the hospital for the first time this evening and I really think it did me a lot of good. Even though I feel like I’ve been handling things pretty well (and writing has truly been great therapy for me), I realized tonight that I’m dealing with a lot right now that I maybe wasn’t fully recognizing — some postpartum depression, guilt over what happened, a major case of the “what ifs,” stress around whether I’m pumping enough and guilt over how this may be affecting Theo. I used to give him his bath and tuck him into bed every night, and now I’m only doing that about half the time, since I’m spending half my nights in the NICU. I feel like I have so little time with Theo that I need to maximize the time I do have — but I’m tethered to a pump every hour and a half and am physically stuck. And then I feel the need to be with Emmett all the time too. I have anxiety when I leave the hospital, worried something bad will happen when I’m gone. It’s funny how just yesterday I talked about feeling good about the balance we’ve been able to strike — and while I do think we’ve struck as good of a balance as we possibly can from a time perspective, it still feels like it’s somehow not enough. I think the mental balance will probably take a while longer to reconcile.

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2 responses

  1. As Bob Marley said, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.” Keep in mind that being strong doesn’t exclude moments of worry, doubt, and anxiety. The ability to STAY strong through a long ordeal like this is better accomplished with the support of others, prayer, and focusing on the end game. You and Dave are doing a remarkable job and–even as tiny as he is–Emmett has a lot going for him already!

  2. I totally agree with Debbie’s wise comment. I am amazed at how well you and Dave are handling a situation which would be very difficult for anyone. I love reading your daily posts. Aside from the fact that you are such a good writer, I care very much about E’s progress. I pray for you and your family many times a day.

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