Thank you, Diane (aka Grammy):
Well, both grandmas have come and gone and now we're on our own . . . can we make it? I think so (I hope so). I've outlined some funny, some serious glimpses of our home life:
- The oxygen and apnea monitor aren't as bad as I thought. Afterall, holding the baby in one hand, hanging the apnea monitor on my shoulder, and doing dishes with the other hand kind of makes me feel like this:
- Privacy at last--I can sing to my little one at the top of my lungs and not feel like my five NICU neighbors could jump in and harmonize if they wanted to.
- Occasional days to paint, which is a much welcomed oasis of rejuvenation (new and improved images coming to my website soon!)
- 2-5 medical appointments/wk means lots of reassurance that Brynn is gaining weight, staying healthy, and developing as normally as can be expected
- No two year old running around making this even more difficult (I don't even want to imagine . . . )
- Funny pictures of a baby that has no desire to be photogenic:(okay, she can be cute, too)
- GERD (reflux). After the arching, coughing, gagging, wheezing, and refusing to eat, there's the puke. This is no ordinary puke. I feel extra sorry for Brynn when it comes out her nose, and into the oxygen cannula.
- Dishes from pumping, dishes from bottle feeding, dishes from tube feeding . . . plus each feeding takes an average of 45 minutes (up to hour and a half). Now you tell me, when am I supposed to sleep? When the baby is sleeping? Ha. That's the time I have to spend doing the dishes for the next feeding.
- Brynn's taking very little food orally due to GERD, poor suck reflex, and an inability to control the liquids once it's in her mouth. She's heading downhill pretty fast and will likely require a G-tube.
- Laundry, laundry, and more laundry.
- Did I mention dishes?
- 40+ calls to five different companies, and NO ONE can send me NG supplies that will work for Brynn. In two weeks she'll have outgrown her current NG. All the "single use" items I've been carefully washing and re-washing will be obsolete--even if I CAN manage to make them all last until then. Apparently it's so rare for preemies to leave the NICU still on an NG that no one knows how to handle it. What to do? I have NO IDEA . . .
- Learning to eat while holding a baby can be a trick!
- Overwhelming feelings of love for my baby girl.
- A surprise gift of patience today, straight from Heaven itself, especially since I'm so low on sleep and Brynn is screaming from her immunization shots. I still haven't done the dishes.
- Sweet moments of inspiration--if Brynn can live in the moment, sleeping peacefully just seconds after she's just coughed her lungs inside out--then I can do it, too. No wonder God says to be like little children. She never thinks of the past or worries about the future.
- A split second where I SWEAR Brynn met my gaze and smiled at me.
- Strength that seems to come from nowhere that somehow makes me fit for this particularly difficult task.