Monday, July 14, 2014

Parker Meyet - Nursing (Part IV)

One of the perks of being a NICU mom is that I have the time to go home and rest and write about my experiences of that day.  The perks definitely don't outweigh the alternative.  I can't wait to take Parker home with us instead of visiting him 2-3 times a day at the NICU.  Last night we went to visit with Bryce's parents, they've been so wonderful to have close as well as my parents.  What a huge difference having family close by makes.

**I forgot to mention a really powerful moment on Thursday July 10, 2014.  Bryce and his dad were able to give Parker a priesthood blessing.  It was so sweetly worded with strength and wisdom beyond Bryce's years, it was a proud moment for momma.  I am so grateful for the priesthood in my life and to have family members worthy to hold it.**

Anyway we went to visit last night and it was right about time to feed him, and he had been taking a bottle which is such great news to hear in the NICU.  We hear that the thing that keeps babies in the NICU the longest is not being able to bottle feed or nurse.  So Parker is a little rock star.  And our nurse came to me and asked if I wanted to try nursing.  I wasn't expecting to nurse for a few more days based on what we talked to the Dr. about the day before, so I was a little shocked, excited, and nervous. 

Let me preface nursing with my experience after Parker's birth.
For most moms, they get to try nursing right away with their little bundle, but when they are swept away to the NICU and on cooling pads for the first 3 days of their lives, it is impossible to nurse, and sometime even bottle feed.  Parker was hooked up to a feeding tube down his throat, and later down his nasal cavity.  The lactation consultants came to visit me and instruct me how to use the hospital pumps. Since I've never done this before I didn't know what to expect.  Pumping at first was frustrating because milk doesn't come in right away.  I thought I was failing, or pumping for no reason, but it was normal...I was just emotional.  Pumping finally got easier and I've been a lot more confident with it, especially when you see results.  It has been really nice to measure how much you are producing rather than hoping you child is getting fed enough.

When our nurse asked if I wanted to pump, I was scared because I'd heard how hard of a process it can be for both mom and the baby.  But I thought it was important to try.  It took Parker about 2 minutes to figure it out and seemed so content.  I have to admit I was a proud momma at that point.  and so relieved that it worked almost immediately!  I am sure lucky.  He took about 15ML from me the first time we tried, then took another 33ML from a bottle from Bryce. Our little guy is not on any eating restrictions anymore, so we get to feed him as much as he wants, which is fun, but a different process than what we've known the last 5 days of exact amounts every 3 hours.

Nursing is way cool.  I know before I had Parker, I wasn't akin to the idea of it.  Most say it hurts, and you're sore all the time.  But when you and your baby figure out this process, there's a sense of accomplishment.  It's so bizarre how cool I think nursing is now.  I didn't realize how special it can be between mom and baby.

After nursing we got to spend a few more hours with Parker before heading home, and I feel like he changed into a normal baby overnight.  He started making baby noises, before he had been pretty quiet.  It melted my heart (& I think my Mom's heart too)  He is making huge strides in the NICU.  We don't know when he'll be able to come home yet (I've learned not to ask the Dr.'s that question, you'll never get an answer)  It all depends on regulating his vitals and doing normal baby stuff, but we are so grateful for the St. Luke's staff that have made such a nightmare into a wonderful learning experience for us.  Props go out to our favorite nurses, Kerry & Kami!  They've led us through this whole thing and helped us understand Parker's condition, how to phrase our questions to the Dr. & just being great company!  We love them!  & honorable mentions go to Sheryl & Randi.  We appreciate everyone taking care of our little man!  

Here's a photo dump!
 














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