Life with Coco and Gigi... and Jack-Jack too!

Life as a Mom, A Homesteader, A Blogger and A Wife.

Our time in the NICU

One of the hardest experiences of our life as a family was the time we spent in the NICU. We were only there for a meager two weeks, which pales in comparison to the months and months that some people are imprisoned there. My heart aches for those people. I know that only two weeks there was enough to temporarily break my spirits. I don’t know how families manage endless months.

The girls were headed to the NICU before they were even born. Because of my gestational diabetes we didn’t have a choice. Couple this with Abby’s diagnosis of brain malformations prior to birth and it really was a no brainer for the doctors.

Abby’s Apgar was very low at birth. Once she was born she was very quickly raised above the sheet just long enough for me to see her tiny blue body. She was then taken to her incubator where five or six doctors and nurses began working on her. Grace came next and she was a little bigger and a little pinker. She even made a little kitty cat meow. I remember thinking over and over “why aren’t they crying” and “why are there SO MANY doctors working on Abby “ and “where are they taking them” even though I knew.

At that point a cyst burst inside my belly and I only remember bits and pieces of the next 12 hours. Once stable I was taken to see the girls in the NICU but sadly I have little memory of it. For the next almost 24 hours I wasn’t able to visit them. I got reports from Brian and our parents and I called the NICU nurses around the clock to see how they were.

They showed no signs of sugar trouble from my diabetes but began showing other problems almost immediately. Grace was too “breathy” for the doctors tastes. She also became jaundiced quickly. She dropped weight quickly. Because she was only 5 pounds 14 ounces at birth the docs didn’t want her to lose too much. Abby was also jaundiced and lost a lot of weight (equally bad because he birth weight was 4lbs 14 oz). The biggest problem she had was not being able to master the suck, swallow, breath reflex. Because of that she ended up with an NG tube in her nose. It was so hard to see such a tiny person struggle that much. The tube made her gag and cause so much mucus in her throat she could barely breath. It was awful.

After a week the doctors decided that Grace and I were stable enough to go home. I felt lucky that my issues during delivery were enough to keep me with the girls that long. That day we make the painstaking journey home with only one of our babies. It was heart wrenching. We knew it was only for a brief period but after everything we had been through to not come home as a family was a slap in the face.

At that point we had to coordinate being at home with Grace but visiting Abby at the hospital. No matter where I was I felt like I was missing out. It felt so torn. It was NOT what you expect in those first few weeks of life.

She finally began to eat a little and got her weight up to five pounds. She needed to be five pounds to be able to come home in a standard car seat. She finally passed the apnea test and was able to get her NG tube out. Each day we went to the NICU hoping and praying that today would be the day. We watched her go from her private room, to the main NICU and eventually to the step down nursery. Then they sent her home.

I have never heard more beautiful words in my whole life that “today you are ALL going home!” 




About this blog

Over 8 years we have struggled through 3 IUI's, 6 rounds of IVF, several RE's, hundreds of appointments and the loss of three little angels. Now we find ourselves the proud parents of two perfect little girls and a wonderful little boy!!

Both of our girls struggle with some disabilities but that won't keep us down. Each day has it's own brand of insanity but we love it. Most days I am more monkey wrangler than mother but I do the best I can. Todays goal - getting to tomorrow.

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