After delivery our girls spent 11 days in the NICU. The first day, they had tubes all over them. They were connected to a ventilator to help them breathe. It was really hard for my husband and I to see them like that. The girls were so tiny and frail. They had signs posted in their rooms that we were not allowed to touch them due to over stimulation. They were in separate rooms because of the ventilators. This was the first time they had been separated. I visited them each twice that day and cried both times. All I wanted was to hold my babies and I couldn’t.
The next day the girls were taken off of the ventilators about 10 am. They were able to breathe on their own. They also moved the girls into the same room. They were in separate beds because they were now jaundice. So both girls had little uv goggles and were sunbathing under the billy lights. It was quite comical to the nurses because most babies hate being under the billy light but our little angels loved it. They were under the light all day so again we were not able to hold them. I was having a hard time with the whole child birth and not having them with me along with some complications I had. So, my husband went up more that day than I did. The night nurse told him to bring me up at midnight that night for a special surprise. So, he did. The night nurse had to take them out of the billy light for a bath. After their bath, she let us hold them for the first time. I couldn’t have been happier holding my little angels for the very first time. My husband felt the same.
|Joel and Bailey|
|Joel and Brooke|
|Bailey and I|
|Brooke and I|
The third day in the NICU the girls were taken off of the billy lights but were still being monitored. They had feeding tubes in their noses because they were not eating as much as the doctors wanted. We were told what expectations the girls had to meet before they could go home. They had to be at their birth weight or higher. They had to eat 1.5 oz of formula or more at every feeding. They had to pass a car seat test of sitting in their car seats for an hour. We were also told that they would most likely be in there a month at least.
The fourth day the girls were put in a cosleeper together. This was the day I was released from the hospital. I don’t think I have cried so much. I did not want to leave. My nurse had me read through my discharge papers as my husband packed and I remember reading them and becoming really upset. My discharge papers had a column that stated that I was leaving without my children. I felt as though I had lost my babies. The feeling became worse as I was wheeled out to my car in a wheelchair and I wasn’t holding my babies. I cried all the way to the car and all the way home. The doctors were very supportive and recommended that I rest and shower then return to the hospital to see the girls. Which is what we did. It felt different coming back up to see them but I knew I had to get used to it because they were supposed to be there a while.
The fifth day the girls were disconnected from their IV fluids. They had been on the IV fluids since birth to receive antibiotics and fluids. They were strong enough that they no longer needed the fluids. Each day to this point the doctors had been slowly increasing the girls food amount at the feedings. But our girls were still hungry so the doctors had increased it faster and planned on increasing it more each following day.
Day six was a wonderful day for us. The girls continued to maintain their weight goals. They still had their feeding tubes in their noses but did not use them at all. The nurses told us that if they could go without using the feeding tubes for three consecutive days they could go home once the remainder of the goals were met.
Day seven the girls met their feeding goal. They were both back at their birth weight as well. The first week has felt pretty successful. I didn’t want to ask but I felt like our girls would be home sooner than a month. I kept hoping and praying that they would come home with us each day. I stayed very hopeful and optimistic.