My NICU Experience (My Babies Birth Story Pt 3)

This is the third and final part of my babies birth experience. Last week I took you through the long induction process that lead to my cesarean.

During their birth the doctors had to cut through my placenta to get to the boys. This caused a massive blood loss for me but it also affected the boys as well. It caused them not to get as much blood as they should have during delivery.
Right after they were born they were given a blood transfusion. They were kept in the NICU that night. As I mentioned in my last journal, .it was hours before I was able to see them and that was only for a few minutes before I was taken to my new room.

The new room I was put in was very small and uncomfortable. It had a bed for me and a small bed in the corner for my husband which was nice. But had the boys been ok, I have no idea how we would have fit. I do not really remember much more from that night. I think I just rested and cried for my babies. My poor little guys. I feared they were scared and confused. It must be hard ti be born in the first place, but add in punctured lungs and blood transfusions and that must be so scary for a little baby.

The next morning I woke up to one of my doctor's explaining to me how much blood I had lost and that I too would need a  transfusion. I did not want to do it at first, until the explained the problems I would have if I did not. While I waited for my blood, my mom and sister had to leave. They had stayed much longer than they were supposed to. They had spent the night in the waiting room. There was some drama right before they left which caused a big argument between myself and my sister. It was all about these passes you need to get to the NICU. In the end, it really does not matter. I am happy and thankful they were there and they stayed to be there for me. Sure, the timing for another big fight was bad (yelling at someone while waiting for a blood transfusion is kind of bad form)  but in the grand scheme of things, it really does not matter. So, I got my blood. I wanted to go right away and be with my boys but it was still hours. It was the hardest thing but my husband (rightfully) was making me take care of myself first. I was making a mess and had a lot of healing to do. As much as I hated it, if I did not take care of my own healing I was useless to them.

When I was finally strong enough to go to them, it broke my heart. My little Bruce was doing pretty good. He was beautiful! I was able to hold him and give him a bottle. My milk was having a hard time coming in because of my blood loss. I could not hold Oliver. He still half the cpap machine helping him breathe. I was only able to stay for an hour before I was too tired and needed to go for a nap.

This was pretty much how every day went until I went home. Every day I got a little stronger and so did they. On Thursday (4 days after they were born) I was able to go home. Leaving my boys in the hospital when I left was horrible. While I was in the hospital all I wanted was to take my boys and go home. Then for me to be well enough to go home felt great but leaving them there was by far the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. We were not even sure when or how we would be able to come back. The hospital was an hour drive from our house. We were trying to see if we could stay at the Ronald McDonald house when we found out our insurance would provide a taxi. We had to stay home on Friday while we got everything worked out. I hated being so far from them. I was worried they would be confused and feel abandoned. I mostly feared they would forget me. Especially Oliver. Bruce was doing so much better. I could hold him and give him kisses. We were trying to work on breastfeeding.  He was so small he had a hard time with the mechanics of it, but he had the desire. My milk was still coming in so they were both getting donor milk and then formula after the fifth day. I would bring with me what I could pump. When we got to the hospital on Saturday our little guys were doing so good! The only thing keeping Bruce in the hospital was his feedings. He still had a feeding tube and was not taking all of his feedings. As soo. As he could take almost all his feeding, regulate his temperature, and gain weight for two days he could go home! Oliver had a harder battle still, but was doing so good. He was off the cpap machine.  This meant that my perfect little baby could finally be held! When we first got to the hospital he was sleeping. He woke up while I was feeding Bruce so my husband was the first to hold him. I was so nervous. It had been 6 days. I was terrified he would not know me. Once Bruce was done with his bottle I had my chance to hold him. It was amazing. All my fear about him not knowing me were quickly eased. As soon as he was put in my arms he tried to nurse, through my shirt and everything. He got the hang of it right away. It was so nice to be able to be with my baby. No parent should ever have to wait 6 days to hold their baby.

The rest of our time with our boys in the NICU was pretty much more of the same. More waiting. Every day they each grew stronger. By Wednesday (10 days after delivery) Bruce was able to come home. Oliver was doing really well but needed to get off the feeding tube. It was so nice to bring my baby home but we needed his brother. It was too much on little Bruce to be taken back and forth from the hospital in a cab every day to go see his brother, but we could not stay away from Oliver either. What we decided to do was to have me go up and be with Oliver and leave Bruce with my Husband. I would get to the hospital at about 11:00 and stay until about 3:00. When we were both going to the hospital we would stay until 7. The majority of the time I was there Oliver was asleep. But I would be able to hold him and give him kisses and work with him on breastfeeding. Within One week of Bruce coming home, Oliver came home too. It was almost like as soon as he realized his brother was leaving, he did whatever he could do to get home. It was actually very impressive. We have such strong little babies. When we took Bruce home, their Doctors were estimating that Oliver would have to stay in the hospital for at LEAST another two weeks. He sure did prove them wrong. It was so amazing to have both of my boys home and together. Within a week of being home they were exclusively breastfeeding, no supplementing with formula.

I have to say, I was so happy and impressed with the care my boys received from their doctors and nurses in the NICU. It is so hard to leave your babies behind as you go home, and to trust that they are getting the best care. Was it hard to take a backseat when it comes to caring for my babies? Absolutely. I hated not only being away from them, but then watching other women hold my babies and watching them respond to the love and attention someone else is paying my babies was very unnerving. I felt like I could not just go and take care of my baby when he cried or feed him if he seemed hungry. I could barely even touch my little Oliver. Feeling like you have to ask permission to a stranger to care for your own child is a terrible feeling, there is just no other way to describe it. I would not wish this kind of pain on anyone. As positive as I try to be, there is just no way to escape the utter loneliness that I felt during those days, and I know my Husband felt the same. I felt very sad for my Husband having to stay home and not see Oliver during the week he stayed at the hospital alone. He was able to stay with Bruce but I know he missed his other baby so much. I guess that is the thing about having twins. If one gets sick, as amazing as it is to have your baby with you, there is still one struggling so how are you to be completely happy? All I can tell any mom or dad that is going through this is to just be patient. Lean on your family and friends. Ask for prayer (or positive thoughts if you are not religious). Do not let your fear and sadness take over. Moms are at risk for postpartum depression as it is, twin moms are even more susceptible. You will find that nothing lasts forever and there WILL be a day when you baby(or babies) get better. My babies are so strong and I know that there is nothing that life will be able to throw at them they won't be able to handle. You will hold your babies. As hard as it is, whether its 6 hours, 6 days, or 6 weeks, your baby will get better and you will have a wonderful life together. I had to believe that or I would lose my mind. In the end, I was right. I have spent the last four months with my two beautiful, smart, amazing, strong little babies. Our journey may have been a hard road, but we made it through and we are all a stronger family for it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story. I know it has taken me this long to get through it all. If any of you are feeling lost or know someone going through a hard time after having a baby in the NICU, do not hesitate to reach out to me. Leave a comment, or you can always message me through my Facebook page. This page is about community so do not be afraid to tell your stories.

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About Amara Franklin

If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times... I LOVE MY LIFE. I have a great husband and the best little baby dudes in the world! I have found that raising twins is not so different than a singleton, just a little bit louder (and a lot more fun!). I look forward to going through this journey together... SUPER MOMS UNITE!


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