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Being a NICU mom isn’t easy. Tomorrow marks 5 weeks that Addison will have been in the NICU. The hospital she’s currently staying at is 30 minutes away, and I drive every morning and leave incredibly late to be with her. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, I resigned my teaching position to be with Addison, which means I’m literally at the hospital every single day. I stay pretty busy most days, and I love taking my Intel Tablet from Acer to the hospital while Addison sleeps to update friends, family, and my readers on how her day is. I thought I might show you guys what all I use it for in a typical day.
Every morning I wake up and use my Intel Tablet to check Facebook and Instagram. Lately I’ve been updating everyone on her progress there, because it’s easy to spread the word fast to every family member and friend. Pumping takes up a good amount of time each morning, and I shower, get dressed, and run out the door so I can make it on time for the doctors to round on her.
I love getting to see her sweet face each morning, but usually she’s sleeping like a little angel. I scoot my chair next to her bed and play on my Intel Tablet until I see her stir, or it’s time for “hands on”. Hands on is our special time where I get to change her diaper, take her temperature, and feed her. It may not seem like the most fun thing to do, but as a NICU mom, I cherish every single diaper change. I’ll take whatever I can get while she’s in the NICU that makes us a little bit more normal.
After Addison gets comfortable again, I usually head to the lactation room to get my pumping on. Addison currently drinks her milk via a little tube that goes down her throat, so pumping is part of my daily routine so she can have the best nutrition possible. Although the room has a tv, sometimes it’s nice to use my hands-free pumping bra and scroll through Twitter on my Intel Tablet to see what’s going on in everyone else’s lives.
I usually go sit beside Addison’s bed again, chat with the mom whose baby is by Addison, and then I grab lunch or bring my own lunch to eat in the hospital cafeteria. I love people watching because I feel like I’m in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, and read Buzzfeed articles on my Intel Tablet while I eat. It makes the time pass really quickly and I practically run back upstairs to the NICU to do the next “hands on” time with Addison.
The 1 pm hands on is my absolute favorite, because not only do I get to change Addison’s diaper and feed her, but lately I’ve been dressing her up now that she has less cords! I also use that time to do kangaroo care and hold her. I could hold her for hours and just nuzzle my head onto hers. It literally is the highlight of my day!
After several hours of holding her, I put her back in her crib, pump again, spend time talking with her, showing her toys that light up and play music, and just wait for Mathew to arrive at the hospital after he gets out of work. We always wait for shift change to see who her night nurse will be, give them our own update of the day (even though they get one from the day nurse), and read bedtime stories to her before we head out.
Some nights we get home at a decent time, and other nights if Addison is having a rough day, we don’t get home til incredibly late. Thankfully, Addison has had way more good days than bad, and we are able to grab dinner, watch a little tv (of course while I browse Pinterest on my Intel Tablet), and then hit the hay to start the day over again.
Soon, being in the NICU will be a thing of the past, and it’ll all seem like a distant memory. For now, we’re making the best of it. Addison is so incredibly special to us and we are so happy to have her in our lives. She’s our angel girl and she makes every day worth living.