Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Flying solo...

Remember how I said we were going to try split shifts tonight?  Well I just finished the 10:30/11pm round of feeding and I think I might call it a draw.  Isaiah and Ellie gave me a serious run for my money early in the game.  Ellie was supposed to eat at 10:30 with Isaiah and Avery due around 11.  My plan was 10:30 Ellie, 11 Isaiah, 11:30 Avery.  What a nice plan that was!  Michelle and her mom left around 9 and I settled into a kangaroo chair with some pillows and had my alarm set for 10:20 to get up and get Ellie ready to eat.  But the demo room nurse, a float nurse who was helping cover because they were short, came in at 10 to check on Ellie before she ate (check to see how much was left in her tummy, do vitals, and check on diaper change) so I just got up then and started to get ready.  Since Ellie was ready and awake at 10:15 I figured I'd feed her and get a jump start on the evening.  Right around 10:20 Isaiah, who didn't really eat at 5 or 8 because he was still in recovery mode from his circumcision, woke up and was ready to eat.  Um, buddy, this is soooo not in the plan!

I had already started trying to nurse Ellie and she was, as is typical for her, rooting around like mad but struggling to really get a good latch and consistent suckling, and was starting to get ticked about it. I had the nurse prepare a half feeding to go through her NG tube and he got the pump that slowly pushes the food into her tummy ready and showed me how to push the start button when I was ready.  By now Isaiah is really crying hard so I asked the nurse, Dan, to hand me Isaiah so I could try to tandem nurse them because I didn't really know what else to do at this point.  Let me remind you that they are still both hooked up to monitors so Isaiah had one big cord and three little wires and Ellie had the same plus a pulse ox monitor.  So, now I've got two babies in my arms on top of our big twin nursing pillow and they're both taking their time trying to decide what they think about this football hold and sharing! For a little while they were both nice and relaxed, periodically looking at each other and eating a little.

Since she wasn't eating much I wanted to start Elie's supplemental feed so she could associate the full tummy with breastfeeding but I had my hands full! I set her down and reached over to press start.  Well the pump only worked for one minute before beeping that something was wrong. Oy! Seriously?? That cuteness of the tandem nursing we originally had going on was now officially over, and I thought surely either the beeping of the pump or the wailing children would be enough to prompt a quick peek by a nurse, but no such luck. All I could think was that I needed a nurse call button! After a couple minutes I decided I had to take control of the situation. So, carefully watching for all the wires. I stood up with both babies, turned off the alarm, set Ellie down a little haphazardly in her bassinet and did a one handed job of wrapping her on a blanket.  As soon as I stood up Isaiah latched beautifully and not wanting to risk losing it I decided to be a rebel and just unplug him from the monitor cord so I could go track down help for Ellie's pump.

Another nurse came in and fixed Ellie's pump and I finished nursing Isaiah and put him down.  He has stinky pants so I put him down to change him and as I got his dirty diaper out he starts pooping again into the clean diaper.  So here I am trying to catch poop with the second diaper, find another clean diaper (which means opening a new package with my teeth), and figuring out where to put these two dirty diapers and wipes.  I finally got him changed, dressed, and swaddled and went to do the same for miss Ellie.  Then I have to go find Dan to make sure he will turn off Ellie's feeding pump when it's done because I'm already running a few minutes behind to feed Avery. (Remember how I started this whole feeding routine early...yeah...)  Avery was a bit of a turkey initially, maybe because I was late.  Her nurse said she had been squawking but when I picked her up she struggled to stay awake.  She came around and did fine eventually and I got her changed and back under the bili lights.  I got back to the demo room with enough time to pump and try to catch about 45 minutes of rest before starting all over again!

Round two went much smoother.  Isaiah woke up earlier than expected, probably still making up for those missed feedings.  As soon as he woke up I started feeding him (even though Ellie was supposed to eat first) and just about the time he was finishing up Ellie was waking up.  I got him changed and then started in on Ellie.  She ate okay so decided to just do a half supplement.  I got the nurse to help me hook her up and then went off to feed Avery.  Avery did well so no need to supplement her.  Got back into the room, disconnected Ellie's feeding pump and laid down for what I hoped would be another hour's rest.  Well the monitors didn't let that happen uninterrupted. Ellie had a couple of short apnea spells where she forgot to breath for 20 seconds so that set off her monitor and made me nervous so I was more alert than I wanted to be.  Then Isaiah's monitor just wasn't picking up his leads well and a loud "red" alarm would beep because the monitor thought he was in v-fib or super tachycardic (heart beating irregularly/too fast) but it was just a technology issue.  Both of them were really just fine every time I checked on them.  I even turned the lights on once to check Ellie's color because she had two apnea episodes in a row, but she looked just fine.  Oh, and then a nurse came in to check on them and saw that Ellie had pulled her n-g tube out!  It was probably like that when I disconnected her pump, but I didn't notice because it was dark and I was sleepy.  It's no big deal because if needed they could always put a new one in the next day.  I think I got about 30 minutes of sleep before reinforcements arrived at 4:30! Michelle and Denise can both attest that I was pretty out of it by the time they got here.  I wished them luck and headed over to the Ronald McDonald house for some much needed sleep!


  1. Welcome to motherhood, dear sister. Now that sounds about like it! Only yours is more like "extreme" motherhood! Either way, sounds like you're still able to have some laughs about the craziness of it all, which is terrific! Much love and hugs!

  2. Wow! I got tired just reading that. In six months it will be a funny story. Heck, it's funny now. Get as much rest as possible. And try to stay away from those poopisodes

  3. Girl, I lost it on the poop paragraph, great writing! Nice job with the new little beans MomMari! And congrats on the first discharge!

  4. Well, I know it wasn't funny to be in the hectic situation but it was pretty funny reading what you wrote, dear daughter! Hope you got a good nap at Ronald McDonald's house.


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