Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day 20

Today the frustration is really setting in regarding how long Parker has been in the NICU. That coupled with being 'cared for' by seemingly not-so-interested or uncaring nurses is making me a very unhappy mom right now. And unfortunately, I think Parker can sense it and it's causing him stress.
Today the OT came by during his first nippling of the day (bottle this time). Thank God she came by. After 15min (of the 30min he gets to finish at least 75%), I decided to burp him. Upon pulling the bottle away, the OT noticed the nipple was collapsed, which means the cap was on too tight which restricts flow as it doesn't allow venting. The whole time P had been sucking away, and yet he'd barely finished 10mL. This compared to how he sucks down a whole bottle twice every night; I was not pleased to hear this. She asked if I prepared the bottle and I said no, the nurse had. Of course the nurse turned around immediately and began watching everything. So, I told the OT, loud enough that the nurse could hear, that this really frustrates me as I feel like P's been set up for failure every morning since he started this second phase. I said he sucks away the entire 30min, but then passes out and only finishes 15-20mL at most.
Of course, there could be other factors playing into his day vs night feedings. Night time is dark and quiet, and much less stressful than the activity of day time. He's also a distracted eater. He looks around and wants to see what is happening around him instead of focusing on actually eating. So the increased activity and light of day distract him. He also could still have day and night switched in that he's more alert at night than during the day, very typical for a preemie, and even newborns. As much as this all makes sense and I know he is learning so much still being only 36weeks, I just want him to fly through these final feeding phases so we can get him home.
He's already almost 6lbs, and in just that one pound since birth, he has grown and changed so much. Knowing that I'm missing a lot of this is so discouraging, along with the continual restarting of phase two of the feeding pathway. Despite how quickly he sucked down the morning feeding with the OT there, he barely finished 20mL for his second nippling. I was pushing so hard, burping him, adjusting him to make sure his position was correct, changing sides to be sure he wasn't distracted. It didn't matter, he wasn't ready and he tried to make it clear by making the baby 'stop' signal: stretching both arms out straight in front of him and straining his neck. I ddn't know that's what that meant till now with the nurse explaining that to me. He can't be pushed. And my pushing and stressing probably just stressed him out, making him say 'no, this is definitely not the right time.'
It is becoming increasingly difficult to leave the hospital each day without Parker, our Baby Love 2. It's like a cruel joke, or even a semi sweet dream that ends in a nightmare each day. He's alive and healthy, with just a couple of things we can treat as he gets older. Yet he's not fully with us yet. We have to leave him with someone else to care for him, and I feel like we miss so much in that time without him. We already lost all time with Korbin, and so this is becoming a reminder of all of that lost time. I don't want to keep losing time with Parker, even time off from work at home with him. I see it dwindling away as each day passes. I wanted three whole months at home with him. We've already lost a week.
The frustration and feelings of intense loss make me feel like a failure as a mother. I'm not good enough to care for Parker myself, and that hurts so much. My heart just aches so much, and not only do I desperately want Parker home, but I also want Korbin home with us too. And yet somehow I need to remain calm for Parker, so he doesn't feel any stress and can do what he needs to do in the appropriate amount of time. The sooner he can figure out the eating thing, the sooner he can be home and the sooner we can relax and just be a family.
Because we got a lotta love to give.