Monday, January 9, 2012

Things You Don't Say In the NICU

This is not a "in general" kind of post.  Well.  Maybe it sort of is for some in  general purposes.

Let me preface.

The NICU that we were in was fabulous.  This NICU is unlike some others in that each baby has their own room (I could have slept there had I wanted) so I only interacted with the nurses and the doctors that stopped by to care for Miss S.  Loved the doctors and most of the nurses.  I really don't like that I didn't love all the nurses -- I think it has something to do with the fact that many of my friends are nurses in all sorts of healthcare capacities.  Some just rubbed me the wrong way and I was generally pretty happy when their time with us was over.  I didn't like having that feeling but that is raw and honest.

So, here are two things you don't say in the a new mama.  Just don't do it.

Many that have walked the road of motherhood with me know that I have had a difficult time nursing.  I am committed to breastfeeding my babies as long as I can without losing my sanity.  It's a hard road to hoe for me but I made it to six months with Miss L and Miss A.  I had already been pumping in the hospital and trekking down to the NICU with my, literally, drop or two of nourishment.  I was discouraged.  If I produced next to nothing I didn't bring it down (another nurse would be encouraging and say bring even the drops!) and felt like this was useless and I was facing another major obstacle.

Not knowing the battle I was fighting, or that I had fought this battle twice before, curtly informed me that consistency was the key to making milk.  For most, it's no big deal.  I think she made it because of the lack of breast milk that I was bringing down.  However, she didn't know that I was in my room every couple of hours doing exactly what the lactation consultants told me to be doing.  Only going a little longer between times at night so I could get some sleep.  Husband knew this struck a very hurtful cord with me and he tried to help me keep it under control.  My postpartum hormones got the best of me.

I cried.


If this had been my first baby and knew nothing of breastfeeding that would have been one thing.  However, this was number three... I get it.

On the upside, she apologized and was a little more sensitive to my emotional state.  She was our day nurse again the second day.  I was not thrilled.  However, day two was MUCH better than day one.

End Scene One.

Begin Scene Two.

A conversation with a night nurse started out well enough.  She started asking questions and the question that I got often, "Do you have other children?"

"Yes, two girls"

"Really?  What are their ages?"

I smile because I know what the reaction will probably be, "My oldest turns three this weekend and my second is almost 16 months."

"Really?  Wow, that's really close.  You must be busy!"

I tired to be on top of it enough that I see it as my cup runneth over!  Hands full of blessings!  However, this nurse said, "I have a 5 year-old and a 10-month-old at home.  I still think it's hard with the spread but I am glad that I can give each one the attention they deserve."

Awesome.  Thanks.

Basically, you just told me that I am not giving each child the attention she deserves.  Not exactly what I need to hear as I am thinking through how to balance time at home once I am discharged and time here with Miss S.

I responded in kindness with the positive sides of them being so close.  It was probably lost on her but that's okay.  I love how the Lord ordained each little life for us.  Busy?  Yes.  Trade it? No.


  1. as they say in Africa, "SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I'm SO SORRY! :( :( :( :(

  2. The more I think about this the more it just makes me sad...for the fact that it happened and for the nurses.

    I am thankful that we have a BIG God who knew/knows exactly what He is doing when choosing the timing of a baby's birth...from His own Son to our little ones.

    Psalm 139: 13-16
    13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

    Each one of your girls' days were already written and their arrivals were perfect timing!! The same promise can be for those whose timings don't work out like they plan and have children closer in age. I am thankful God can be trusted even in this! my whatever kind of box this is...ha ha ha! I just felt like I needed to get that off my chest. ;)

  3. So hard. I think that so often many people (including me) take someone's comment or situation and immediately make it about them so that their comment is skewed toward their situation whereas they are giving zero thought to the current facts at hand of the person WHO MATTERS.

    So sorry, that is discouraging I know.

  4. ugh. Jess, your responses to them were gracious. You are a wonderful mom and I have seen you give each of your children the attention they deserve. You do a fabulous job. AND you make freezer meals to boot ;-).