Today Isabelle turned one month old. And we have also been home for a week. It has been quite a change in pace to be at home. It has been amazing but also nerve wracking and exhausting at the same time.
The day after we got home the phone started ringing. First there was home care. Then the surgical clinic. Cardiologist clinic. Public health nurse. I hadn’t realized how many appointments we would have. This upcoming week we have an appointment a day. One of the differences in the care at the NICU and outpatient care is that although we are being seen by the same groups of people, being in the NICU automatically means they all see you in one place and can consult one another. As an outpatient, the different teams are not connected so we end up with a lot of different opinions. The home care nurses thought Isabelle’s omphalocele’s look and smell were concerning so off we went to the surgical clinic. The surgeons thought it looked fine. One nurse told me to pump after each feed the increase my supply. Another nurse told me to feed Isabelle a bottle each time she finished breast feeding. I find that I am quite overwhelmed being at home because we are finally the ones in control now. Being in the hospital and having everything done for us or being told exactly how to do it has really eroded my confidence as a mother. I am constantly worrying that I am not doing the best for Izzy in regards to her feedings and her wound care.
Being at home also means that the times where Isabelle is sleeping are filled with doing other things like laundry, cooking and playing with Addison. Having Isabelle at home also means waking up at night. While she was in the hospital we had eight hour sleeps at night and naps during the day because the room was dark and there wasn’t much to do. At home it feels like every waking moment is filled with something. Addison is right at that age where she questions everything and gets into everything so we can’t really focus our attention on one girl or the other. Addison also doesn’t understand when the bedtime routine has to change because baby sister needs a feed. It has been heartbreaking for me to see Addison upset because we can’t give her the attention she needs. To top it all off I think Addison gave Isabelle a cold.
I didn’t know that coming home would be so busy, or that I would feel as overwhelmed as I do. I am thankful that my dad is still around so we aren’t outnumbered. As hard as this week has been I wouldn’t trade it for anything because it means this can happen: