Jan 31, 2013

A Big Day in the NICU

When I got to the NICU this morning, both boys were sleeping so peacefully.
It didn't last.
The boys were little models for the annual Baylor nursing report and so their room had a marketing person, a photographer, a director, the nurse who was modeling for photos, a lighting person, and, of course, their nurse all bustling about. They took a number of pictures of the nurse fussing over Pop, although oddly none with both boys, to use in the NICU section of the report. Before the nurse arrived they took a few with me standing in to test the lighting and said they will email them to me. All the excitement put their 11:00 feed about 30 minutes behind schedule, but they were both so patient and cooperative!
They ate, laid back down, and right about the time they fell asleep the hearing screen team arrived. Both boys passed their newborn hearing screens and can check off one more box on the list of things that need done before they can go home.
At the (slightly late) 11:00 feed we started a 24 hour breast feeding marathon to see what sort of weight they are gaining just from me. I was under the impression this 24 hours would be solely breast feeding, but they changed their minds this morning and the boys are still getting fortified bottles (breast milk mixed with formula for extra calories) after breast feeding if they want them. Realistically, I can't breast feed and then give 1/2 a breast milk bottle afterwards once we are home. I will either be able to pump or feed, but with them eating every 3 hours and the feeds taking 45-60 minutes for the two of them, I can't then pump or I'd never sleep! Sadly, this means I am gaining NO confidence in my ability to feed the boys from this experience. It's just making me nervous about how I will do this alone.
The nurses are really pushing the boys now and trying to get them home. Yesterday they started "sink or swim" and lost their gavage tubes so the boys have to work for all their feeds now. So far, they are really doing great and could be home as early as Sunday (two days earlier than we were told at our check in on Tuesday!).
Continued progress on feeds, vaccinations, circumcisions, and car seat tests left to go!


  1. You can TOTALLY feed them on your own! Don't be discouraged! And if you can't, then whatever you can give them will be awesome. Just to give you an idea of my two different experiences: I solely breastfed both girls, although I exclusively pumped for Sophie. She preferred bottles. The NICU nurses had me pumping every 2-3 hours for the first month or so and then backed off to every 3 hours (every 4 at night) for the rest of the time. Let me tell you, I had TONS of milk. This may just be a genetic blessing, but I do know I produced SIGNIFICANTLY less milk with Sally. She was mainly breastfed, and I also pumped once a day to have some extra in the freezer. She still had plenty, but with Sophie, I had enough milk for triplets and some to spare. We kept storing it in friends' freezers because ours got too full and nurses kept saying not to throw it away in case my supply got low. Well, 6 months or so later, We had milk filling 7 different freezers all over Dallas. Whatever your body demands is the supply it will get (obviously this is not true for all women, and I totally understand that). While I loved loved loved the bonding of breastfeeding, if I had twins, I think I'd probably pump just to make sure I had enough for them. Totally your judgment and call (obviously! they are your babies!) but I thought I would share my experience just to give you another perspective. You are such a great mom to those boys!

    1. I should also add, when I was pumping, all my pregnancy weight gain literally fell right off in no time. I was below my pre-pregnancy weight and was eating like a HORSE! It was just that I was using up so many calories making all that milk! So that is just a nice bonus of producing tons of milk. I also lost weight from breastfeeding Sally but it was more gradual (especially given that I carried her to term).

  2. I do not have twins, nor have I had any babies with NICU time, but I have successfully exclusively breastfed two babies, and I just wanted to offer some support and say, please don't feel discouraged!! Every new mom feels clueless about BFing at first! It's hard! And, there is no oz marker on the breast so you're always wondering what they're getting. But, you can totally do this!!

    My advice is to find some time to exclusively BF before you leave the hospital so you can build your confidence up. Push it with the nurses if you have to. Hang in there and good luck!

  3. I'm already BELOW pregnancy weight (and almost to my IVF weight) and they aren't even three weeks yet! Their is an advantage to pumping 50-60oz a day! I'm so fortunate that I have plenty of supply (already almost 200oz frozen) but its a question of how much they are actually taking. For Pip they are also concerned because he is a SLOW eater and they would rather he not use so much energy up eating.

    I thought this was going to be a big confidence boost of 24hrs of BF only, and it is making me very nervous that they decided to supplement. If they are saying the boys might come home on Sunday, then it seems like this should be time to work on things that are reproducible at home. Doing breast and bottle at every feed for both boys every three hours just isn't possible.