It’s no doubt that we are incredibly grateful to have our sweet Addie home. It’s been over a month now and I honestly still can’t believe it some days. We spent 10 months total in the NICU and PICU (minus a few days) with doctors telling us many times they didn’t know if Addie would “make it” or be able to live a fulfilled life outside of the hospital. I don’t know about you, but I draw my strength from my family, and I’m stubborn. If someone tells me I can’t do something, I go out and do it…especially when it comes to Addie. Now that we’ve proved doctors wrong, I’m on a mission to make sure Addie has the very best days at home. My days start with Addie at 7 am and end at midnight, despite having a night nurse. It’s tiring but SO rewarding, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A typical day at home:
Our days start out with the nurse and I moving Addie to the living room. She loves to lay on the couch while I sit next to her and snuggle. Then, I move her to the floor for playtime while I draw up her many medicines, do her trach and g-button care, dress her up, and give her freshly pumped milk. Y’all know I’m an exclusive pumper, but did you know Good Start® Gentle has certified Lactation Consultants that can help you if you have questions about breastfeeding? As a pumping mama, I think that’s an awesome resource.
Usually Addie’s work outs tire her out and she takes a nap in her 4 Moms Breeze Pack and Play. We love it! While she naps, I really work hard to clean up the kitchen from my mess of syringes and bottles, pick up her living room toys, do laundry, make or reschedule appointments, or pump again. If I’m lucky, I’ll even get time to blog for a few minutes! Then, it’s time for her Occupational Therapist to come and work with her. It’s an hour of playing and hard work but somebody’s got to do it! I help along while they work with her so I can learn techniques to practice with her during the week.
Around this time we usually have company join us for an hour or so (depending on the day) and we play some more. Addie practices standing in her Bright Starts Sweet Safari exersaucer and also plays in her Snugabug swing. Her therapist wants her to practice being in her swing to feel more movement, sit up more, and become aware of the world around her more! We have fun whether we’re alone or with friends during this time!
After bathing Addie, we have to do trach and g-button care. Trach care consists of cleaning her trach area, drying it, and having one person hold her trach completely by itself in her neck (without letting go) while the other person dries her neck and puts on new trach ties. It can be very scary if Addie gets upset and cries because she likes to hold her breath. When that happens, we have to be incredibly careful not to lose the trach, but be fast enough to finish up quickly so we can calm her down. Trachs are serious things and letting go of the trach could result in an emergent trach change or a call to 911 if her emergency trach were to be unable to get in. Luckily, we know Addie pretty well and know when we should take breaks during her trach care and when to just hurry up and finish.
Bedtime can be hit or miss. Sometimes, Addie is so tired she knocks out before I can get her adjusted in bed (or even IN bed like the other night when she slept on her lamb mat for several hours. Other nights, it’s torture and the nurses say she will be up until 1 in the morning just wanting to play.
Good sleep for Addie, for your baby, and your family is an essential component of enjoying the journey through motherhood. That journey isn’t always perfect, but getting support every step of the way helps. That is why Gerber® Good Start® Gentle has a Certified Sleep Consultant for your little one’s needs. I try to get Addie to sleep through the night, and we’re getting there, but she’s almost 11 months old and finally getting the hang of it.
If you’d like to know more about Gerber and want to make a free appointment with Gerber® Good Start® Gentle’s certified baby sleep consultant or lactation consultant be sure to visit their website!