Week one has come and gone. This has been an overwhelming week of reevaluating priorities and resetting expectations. These lessons will serve us well through this journey and help strengthen our family in the long run.
Slow, steady improvement
After our one bad day in the middle of the week Izzy has done a complete 180o and now is back on track. She gets 9ml feeds every 3 hours and each time we try to let her try to drink from the bottle or nuzzle at my breast. Today we will be upping her feeds again until she gets 18ml every 3 hours. She is also completely off the oxygen. The doctor is keeping her on the antibiotics for a week. Yesterday’s weight measurement seems to show she has lost more weight. What I have learned though over the last two odd days is that looking too up close at the graph makes it too easy to get lost in the details. It is kind of like investing in stocks. It is not just important to focus on the here and now, but on the long term trend. Mark and I are both data collecting people and the NICU possibly might be the best and worst place for us because they track everything so closely. But I think we are slowly getting used to the fact that some things just can’t be rushed, and that as long as Izzy is making slow steady progress we are happy.
I think the NICU or the hospital in general exists in this strange place where time does not run linear. There are moments where time basically is at a standstill. Usually this occurs when I am cuddling baby and need to go pee really badly or when my IT band is screaming for relief. Or when I am waiting for help for my next cuddle. At other times, like on a day when a lot of people come see Isabelle, the time just flies by. Next thing I know, I’ve missed my T3 dose and am doubled over in pain. I look at what I do all day and basically I cuddle and I pump, which sounds like nothing. Yet there are many days where it was so busy and time went so fast that I didn’t get to get a nap in. Even when I do get sleep I feel completely exhausted every day when I wake up.
On the first day my husband met with the surgeon when Izzy was one day old, she had mentioned going home in 2 weeks. At that point, my husband and I were really excited we kind of put all our expectations on that. Now, however, since we have seen how quickly things can change, we have learned to take everything with a grain of salt. Neither the best results nor the worst results ever seem to come to fruition, usually it is something in between. From now on we will be more tempered with our expectations to not be too disappointed when things don’t go exactly as the doctors said they will.
cutting some slack
Yesterday my husband and I got into a fight over priorities. The last few days my husband has left me at the hospital has he went running errands. In his mind, this was being helpful because then everyone has everything they need. I think that he believes that’s what the family depends on him for. But every time he left me alone at the hospital everything became so much harder for me and Isabelle and I just want him nearby for cuddle times and to help me as I can’t do too much myself yet. The worst part about this fight was that we had it in front of Addison. Addison has been doing great but you can tell she is having a hard time adjusting. As a toddler she doesn’t really know how to express herself yet so she is having more tantrums at home. Us fighting in front of her does not help make her feel reassured. I think that in general all our tempers are really short and we need to learn to cut each other and ourselves a bit of slack. We need to learn not all errands need to be taken care of, but that the physical and emotional well being of everyone in this family needs to be the top priority because that’s the only way we will get through this.