Life in the NICU is hard. There’s no question about that. Right now it seems like she’s gonna be here forever.
She is healthy, but her suck, swallow, breathe co-ordination seems to be taking ages. Babies all around us are going home, and here we are, struggling to get in even half a feed by breast or bottle, 2 or 3 times out of 8 each day.
Add that to the 3 times daily walk through labour and delivery where all the happy people are coming and going either clutching large pregnant bellies or walking out with gurgling bundles of joy.
I never had a large pregnant belly – mine stalled measuring about 28 weeks. I was constantly asked if I was even pregnant at all. People were always surprised to hear my due date as I looked so small compared to other pregnant women everywhere I went.
The nursery isn’t finished. She was born before her crib arrived. We haven’t cleared out the stuff that’s stored there. We haven’t washed more than the preemie clothes she can wear in the hospital.
It feels like she isn’t really here. Life in the NICU is like life in limbo.
Not pregnant. Not pushing a baby carriage.
Just waiting. Watching the monitors. Trying to convince her to take another 5 mls of milk by mouth. Pumping. Endlessly pumping.
Watching all the other babies going home.
Once the joy of her arriving safe and sound passed, and one week came and went. And the second week came and went, the wind seemed to drop out of my sails.