On and on and on it goes…

6 Nov

The girls are still in the NICU.

(…and I apologize in advance for the rambling and poor grammar…exhausted mother of twins typing here…)

I had really thought that they would be gearing up to come home right about now (36 weeks gestational age), but that’s not happening so far. They are not doing badly, but Lennon is just gaining weight SOOOO slowly (she’s only 3.5 lbs still) and Evelynn still won’t eat very well. They took both girls off of the medication that they give for apnea and bradycardia so they are both having bad spells again (though only when they are eating). I’m thinking at least two more weeks. We shall see.

I am starting to fear bringing them home though, I have to admit. On the one hand – I love them SO much, I want to be around them all of the time and I can’t wait for them to be home with me. But on the other I am TERRIFIED that they are going to have apnea in their sleep and die. Have you ever had a child turn blue and limp in your arms? Mine do it all the time (typical preemie thing) and it’s terrifying! What if that happens after they come home? The nurses keep promising me that they won’t send them home until they stop doing that…but how can I ever get past the “what if”? I doubt I’ll be sleeping much. For the next 18 years or so I’d say.

I am also getting really disappointed with the whole breast feeding issue. I have been pumping breast milk for the girls since they were born, but since they don’t actually BREAST feed, my supply is starting to decrease now. I really, REALLY wanted to be able to breast feed them once they came home…so this is very upsetting to me. I am not really sure what to do about it though since the only “cure” would be to have them start actually breast feeding. I do try to have the girls latch on at least once a day…but they still just don’t “get” it. They root well and latch on perfectly….and then they sit there and stare at me like “where’s the food ya crazy lady!?”. Yeah…not so much sucking going on. ::sigh::

Should I keep on with it or not?

ANNND the rash: Still here! Ugh. I am on my second round of steroids now trying to clear it up. It just seems to be moving around my body. It started on my breasts, moved to my arms and I now have it all over my legs. The only thing we can think of it that it might have been the Mother’s Milk tea…but I stopped drinking it a week ago.

* If you haven’t already heard, Ms. Bella had her beautiful baby girl! Head on over and give her some props if you get a chance. 😉

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15 Responses to “On and on and on it goes…”

  1. Away2me November 6, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Awe, Im sorry they aren’t home yet. But I totally understand being scared about when they do come home.

    As far as breast feeding. Eat oatmeal! Also can you pump more often? Even if it is just 5 mins at a time. Pump, pump, pump. That’s how I had to induce lactation for my son (adopted).

    Good luck. Any chance we can see some new pics soon!

  2. Leah November 6, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    I didn’t have a preemie, so I can only imagine the fear involved in bringing them home. You will be fine, they will be fine, and I will send thousands of positive thoughts your way.

    As far as breastfeeding, you’ve done great! Even if you stop right now, you’ve already done an amazing job. Even when supply isn’t an issue or latch isn’t an issue or whatever else nonsense these babies dream up to make issues, breastfeeding is still hard. Very hard. It’s exhausting and limiting and challenging. You can and will continue to be an excellent Mom to your girls even when you stop breastfeeding, whenever that may be. Don’t you forget that. Formula is NOT the devil.

    Having said all of that, I understand the desire to keep breastfeeding. I’ve been known to do some crazy shit to try and keep my supply up, so I get it. Keep pumping. As often as possible. When they are able to latch on and suck, suck, suck (if they choose to), you may be able to increase your supply at that point. But, if you don’t, you can always supplement with part breastmilk and part formula. Any amount they get is great.

    I have to imagine that you get lots of advice from the LCs at the hospital so I can’t imagine I could tell you anything earth shattering. Pump, drink lots of water, all that jazz. My daughter would latch and then get all lazy and peter out. I used a nipple shield which worked wonders, we never would have made it without that. Also, I used to pump until I got a letdown which made lots of milk on the ready in my boob so that she didn’t have to work very hard to get a nice mouthful. Eventually I was able to give up all the tricks and crutches, but it was harrowing to get there. And I only had 1 baby.

    Your sanity is the most important thing here. Their health is important too but if your sanity takes a nosedive, their health will suffer too. And troubles with breastfeeding will make you completely insane if you let them. Do what you can, and when you reach the end of your rope, feel good about your decision. You are doing great!!

  3. BlueBella November 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    Oh sweets huge hugs to you all!

    Everything you said sounds EXACTLY like what I went through with my twins – wah! But DON’T beat yourself up! You are trying so hard and doing so great – there’s nothing more you can be doing right now and I know you still feel guilt – it’s OK. The milk you’ve given the girls already is the really important stuff and anything going forward is just gravy. They are so much more at an advantage now than they would have been had you not pumped.

    Again you are an AWESOME Mommy and the girls are so lucky to have you there taking such great care of them! They will go home healthy and you will keep them that way – breathing and hearts beating and eating & everything . . . Even if you do hear the monitor alarm bells in your head for the first week . . lol.

    And thanks for the shout out:)

    PS email me if you need anything – to vent, whatever . . I can certainly sympathize!

  4. Melissa November 6, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    There is a mat that can be used to ease your mind regarding the sleep apnea it is an Angelcare Movement Mat. It monitors the babies breathing and alarms if it gets to shallow. I highly recommend this to you for peace of mind. I worked with a lady whose baby had a case of interupted SIDS this mat saved her babies life. The alarm went off and they were able to start CPR immediatly while waiting for the EMS to arrive. It is a an exceptional product for any new parent.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=2620238&sourceid=19895649004251159433#ShortReviewTitleBar

  5. Amy November 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    I take an herb called fenugreek. You can find it at any drug store/health store. It smells like maple syrup and is actually what they put in artificial maple syrup. Ask the nurses if they think it would be ok for the babies to ingest. My milk supply went way up on it and Philip wasn’t affect at all. I’m so happy to hear everyone is doing well. Can’t wait to see new pics!

  6. Sarah November 6, 2008 at 6:58 pm #

    I’m with Melissa on the monitor. An apnea monitor would do wonders for your worries I think. I can’t imagine how nerve-wracking that must be, so if we need to take up a collection to get you one, consider it done.
    I’m also with Amy on the fenugreek and also a doctor could give you a prescription for domperidone which may also help with supply. My mother was told to drink beer (!!!!) to increase her supply but basically it just made her not care if I ate at all. (she’s a cheap drunk!)
    We’re here with you, if we can help, we will.

  7. Orodemniades November 6, 2008 at 7:06 pm #

    Oh with the pumping. Keep on doing it. The Chieftain is almost 9 months old and I’m still pumping (he’s no fond of the solids), although it looks like the boobs are giving up the ghost. As for herbs, get yourself a copy of the Nursing Mother’s Herbal. I don’t care for fenugreek, but fennel is great, add a little cumin seed, maybe some anise…get the book, it’s good.

  8. Ms. J November 6, 2008 at 8:08 pm #

    Since breastfeeding is so important to you, have you spoken with the lactation consultant about being able to keep it up? ANother thing, a woman who’s blog I read adopted an infant (was matched with a birthmother about 4-6 weeks prior to birth, I think), and she was able to take certain meds/shots to stimulate milk production so she could breast feed . . . I am thinking that if she was able to do this, then you should be able to resume it, even with the help of some meds?! Let me know if you want her contact info!

    Keeping you, the girls, and hubby in my prayers. Keep hanging in there, Mommy! (I am so sorry the rash keeps hanging on, grrrrrr).

  9. seussgirl November 7, 2008 at 5:51 am #

    Oh, I have so much I want to encourage you about! But I’ll try to keep it succinct, since I know your time is precious. 🙂
    I know it’s hard to still have them in there, but scary to think about them coming home, too. You’re right, though, that they won’t send them home before they’re ready! Either their alarms will have stopped, or they’ll send them home on monitors – which are somewhat annoying after awhile, but they’re also a HUGE peace of mind to know that you’ll KNOW if something is happening. I think they sell apnea mattress monitors, which aren’t as good as the medical ones, but that might help with your sanity if you’re worried. Angel care, or something like that?

    I agree that you should/could talk to a lactation consultant about your production. Our NICU had one on staff who was really helpful, and even called after we came home to see how we were doing with b/feeding. Are you double-pumping? That’s one of the main things she encouraged me to do. I’m sure that you’ve been given all kinds of advice from the nurses as you try to b/feed your girls there; have they tried nipple shields? Or expressing some into their mouths before they try sucking?
    I do encourage you to keep trying; even just pumping if you can’t get them to b/feed yet. I know that it’s so hard mentally and physically – especially pumping at home without a baby for the encouragement needed. But I know that whatever I could give my boys was beneficial; I just wrote about ceasing pumping after 7.5 months and how hard that was emotionally, but what a relief it was physically. I hope for your sake that the girls catch on if you really want to b/feed them, but that you won’t beat yourself up if you can’t or if they can’t.

    I hope that you find other moms or nurses in the NICU who can be a source of encouragement to you.

    Wishing you the best and a speedy (and healthy!) discharge!

  10. Io November 7, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    I so have no good advice on breastfeeding or how to make yourself feel better about being able to handle the girls once you get home and being scared. But I can send you a big hug.

  11. Michelle November 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm #

    Wow. I can only imagine how you must feel at the prospect of bringing your babies home. How bitter sweet. I think I would be in the same boat as you. It has to be hard to leave them in the hospital, but the fear of bringing them home and having something go wrong must be just as hard. I wish this was one of those moments I had sage words of comfort, but I can’t think of anything to say.

    At least you can say that you are absolutely doing your best on the nursing front. I can imagine that must be very frustrating as well. You poor mommy. 😦

    I hope the next couple weeks show signficant improvement on all fronts. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

  12. Eva November 12, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

    Starting breastfeeding was such a struggle for me too… It does get way easier but it took sooo much work and effort at first. I’d recommend 3 things to you – rent a hospital grade pump, take fenugreek and blessed thistle – 3 capsules, 3 times a day. Those herbs make a huge, huge difference in my milk supply. I notice a difference after missing just one day.

    I wanted to quit breastfeeding so many times but somehow I made it through… And now, sleeping through the night is easy because I can just grab the babe, give her the boob and go back to sleep. That alone made it worthwhile.

    Best of luck to you! I can’t imagine how tough it must be!

  13. the Babychaser November 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh god, it sounds so hard! You are so amazing and strong–sometimes I’m blown away.

    I have a friend who stopped breast feeding during the first month (she kept getting infections) but continued to pump. She’s been pumping for 6 months now and her milk is still going strong. I know it’s not what you wanted, but maybe you can just add it to the list of things that aren’t perfect about the way your kids started out, but that will be okay in the long run.

  14. BlueBella November 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    Thinking about you all . . . HUGS

  15. noswimmers November 24, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    I just wanted to drop by and say I’m thinking about you and the girls. I hope everyone is doing well. 🙂

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