Apr
14
2009

  Extensions Filed, Heading to Hospital

As much as I would like to be with my son all day, it's just too hard for me with the way things are physically set up in the NICU. They do have a chair for me to sit in by his bedside, but I'm still suffering from major swelling in my legs and I can't put my legs up at all there, so it gets very uncomfortable. Not to mention the general discomfort of sitting in a hard chair on my nether regions at this point, which are still experiencing some swelling of their own. William was a lot of baby to push out.

Yesterday I went out to the NICU early in the morning (I left the house at 7:30am) and was so exhausted by 2pm I got desperate and took a nap in a chair in the lactation room. I still had to wind up going home around 4pm to lie down properly and sleep more, all the sitting and walking around took its toll on me. Just sitting itself wouldn't have been so bad, but I've got to walk a really long distance down a hallway every time I need to use the bathroom, and since I'm trying to drink enough water to establish milk production through pumping, that's a trip I've got to make, slowly and painfully, fairly often. Then the lactation room is a few rooms over in the opposite direction, another long and painful walk.

The grueling conditions are especially disappointing given the cheerful advice on posters in the lactation room. Here's some of the advice and my problem with it:

Take naps often during the day. Well, yeah, I had not really anticipated getting out of bed much the first week after giving birth. But where am I supposed to nap during the day when my son is in the NICU and not at home in the cradle next to me?

Eat healthy food whenever you're hungry, and drink several liters of water per day. Obviously good advice to help with milk production, but because I can't even DRINK WATER at William's bedside, I have to choose between my own thirst and his comfort (when he goes through a cooling cycle and starts to shiver, he's comforted when I talk to him and touch his hand). And going to the cafeteria to get food is quite a journey for me, I have to leave the NICU and can't just get Terry to bring me a snack when I'm hungry.

Get skin-to-skin contact with your baby. I wish. He's been around four days now, and I haven't held him even one time, not even for a second. It breaks my heart.

Eh, the list of complaints goes on, but you get the picture. So today I suggested that Terry go in early so he can talk to the doctors on rounds and see if they know any more about Will's condition. I would stay home in bed and rest as much as possible all morning so I would be able to be at William's bedside during the hours they are warming him up. Once he is warm, Terry and I will finally be able to hold him. But it might not be until 11pm or later. I'll still see if I can make it all night, or whether we'll come home for dinner, take naps, then go back to the hospital to stay for several hours late-night (we'll probably do that).

I've been using my time in bed this morning to file all our tax extensions electronically, and make estimated payments, etc. So that's all done. I've also been trying hard to pump every two hours. My milk production is going up every day, which is good since I suspect Will will eat a lot when the doctors let him, he is a big boy and there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with his stomach so I'm presuming he'll have a big appetite, and I'd like to be able to feed him what he needs.

Now I'll get a shower and rest and eat a quick lunch before my mom drives me back to the hospital for the afternoon. Will's warming process begins at 1:30pm, so I want to be there for that. We don't know how his body will react to the change, and Terry and I want to be there to comfort him if he needs it. He really does seem to recognize our voices and be calmed down when we talk to him. He's still not looking around much (or at least wasn't yesterday) but he should become more alert and awake when he's warmed up.