Happy two months to my little muppets! Sixty-one days down in the NICU, but we’re making progress. The last two hurdles to clear are a full five days with no As and Bs (apnea and bradcardias) and steady oxygen saturation and two full days of taking all their feedings via the bottle.
We’ve now reached that point where time has slowed down. We’re so close, but not quite there yet – or should I say not quite home yet. And every progressing day brings stronger feelings that they are MY children (with subtle overtones of “back off nurse”). We are eager to take on the life-changing experience of full parenthood.
This morning a nurse told us not to bother Search because they liked to let him rest. Jon was in process of changing a poopy diaper. This was the first time in two months someone had told us not to touch our babies without a very specific medial reason. (And as Search’s mommy and daddy, we’d made the executive parental decision that our child would rest better when not stuck in a smelly diaper.)
Naturally, Jon and I have grown incredibly close with them and feel that we are getting pretty good at reading their cues. This particular skill has been greatly enhanced by some of our favorite nurses who subscribe to the “they’re your babies – you deal with them” method of care. Yet because their regular nurses spend so much time with them, they’re part of our family right now too.
During their NICU stay the boys have amassed an awesome team of nurses who know them and their quirks as well as us. (Dear Search and Destroy’s regular night nurses – I’ve never met you, but I’m assuming you’re just as awesome as our day and evening nurses).
Search and Destroy still swing. One of the neonatologists continues to call them the “Swing Boys” instead of the “Stream Boys.” But they’re recoveries back up to full oxygen saturation have become so much faster that the monitors are often up to half a minute behind. Last week, Destroy’s levels dipped low. A nurse unfamiliar with him rushed to his bedside and hurriedly started trying to stimulate him while frantically looking back and forth between a bemused looking Destroy and the offending monitor. Moments later, our nurse returned from her break. She peered into the crib and calmly noted, “He’s fine.”
“But I really don’t like those numbers!” the unfamiliar nurse retorted.
“So don’t look at the numbers,” our nurse suggested. “Look at the kid.”
When the boys swing during feedings, our nurses barely give us a second glance. They know the boys and they know us. They’ve made it clear when we’re visiting they rely on us to let them know if something is off. Jon and I have chosen to interpret this as a great sign of confidence.
But a nurse who doesn’t know them often thinks of them as “the twins” or “the baby.” Our nurses know them as Search and Destroy. The nurses who don’t know them don’t know that they’ll immediately recover from a swing. A nurse who doesn’t know them doesn’t know if they have competent parents. And a nurse who doesn’t know them charts EVERYTHING. As we get closer to bringing them home, the slightest look of concern by an unfamiliar nurse prods exclamations of “Don’t chart that!” out of fear that it will ultimately delay homecoming.
It’s a vicious little circle since the reason our boys are doing so well is due to the conscientious team of nurses and doctors who don’t take any abnormality lackadaisically. Jon and I appreciate everything that the NICU staff have done for the muppets. And to Search and Destroy’s regular team of NICU family – we can’t thank you enough. You are amazing, informative and entertaining. And we can’t wait to be rid of you.
The muppets are scheduled to have a multitude of vaccines today. (What a way to celebrate two months on Earth…) So we’re happy to have all that additional help taking care of potentially tired, cranky, sore, sick boys.