Apr 3, 2013

I Bought All the Things: NICU Edition

Throughout my pregnancy, I did a decent job of posting my thought process and research on the baby things we purchased. Now we can analyze what we have.
Medela Symphony Breastpump: I didn't buy a breastpump before the boys arrival and instead opted to use the hospital pump. If I had a spare $1500 lying around I would buy this thing. So great! So wonderful! So useful! Right now I am actually still renting it from the hospital. At some point I will need to return it and buy a pump for permanent use, but I'm just not ready to give up my Symphony. We are really fortunate and our insurance is covering the cost of the rental (well, theoretically, they havent actually paid yet) and will also buy me a double electric pump when the time comes. I am currently exclusively pumping for the boys (although we have had a smattering of success with nursing so their is still some hope!) and I am so glad I am able to pump enough for them to receive exclusively breast milk. I will write a full post on the joys of exclusive pumping at some point. Get ready.
Boon Grass: While the boys were in the NICU, I was pumping. And pumping. And pumping again. Every two hours at the beginning. This means I spent a good deal of time in front of the sink washing pump parts and storage bottles. We were so glad we had this drying rack! Once we got home with the boys and were washing bottles and nipples as well, we wished we had registered for the larger sized Lawn instead. Our solution: we have two sets of grass sitting side by side at the house now.
Adorable breast pads made by my MIL
Breast Pads: I was given some of the Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads. They itched. I hated them. I bought the Medela Disposable Breast Pads. They itched worse. I hated them. (If anyone wants them, I have an almost full box - they are individually wrapped so no eww factor in passing them along). So, I bought cloth breast pads. My favorite ones I purchased were the Bamboobies. Since I bought them, my mother in law has made me numerous pairs using flannel, microfleece, and PUL and they are even more comfortable than the Bamboobies are. Sorry, can't link to that favorite thing!
Motherlove Herbal Nipple Cream: Thank you, Casi, for cluing me into this stuff! Lanolin is the traditional choice for nipple cream and I started out using it at the hospital, but Motherlove is superior in every possible way. It is gentle. It is all natural. It doesn't stain my clothes. I don't feel oily and gross. And most importantly, it works better. I also have Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter and it is very similar to the Motherlove. I'm really not sure which I like best. I do know I'm not going back to Lanolin.
Our NICU room. The poof is sitting between the two gliders.
Poof: We have an outdoor fabric ottoman (actually we have two) that we took up to the NICU with us to use as a footrest while we sat holding the boys. It made the hospital chair SO much more comfortable! I highly recommend making the space in the NICU your own because you will be spending a lot of time there. Added bonus to the poof: it isn't a baby item it is an item that lives in our sunroom. After we left the NICU it went back to living in the sunroom.
In the hospital wearing my PJs. Not wearing makeup. Haven't brushed my hair.
Soma Button Down Pajamas: Buy yourself good pajamas for the hospital stay. I was there for four days and spent a lot of time walking around the L&D floor as I went from my room to the NICU throughout the day. These PJs were perfect because I could quickly unbutton to pump or do skin to skin time with the guys.
Medela Pumping Bustier: While I was in the NICU, I thought this pumping bustier was amazing. It allows you to have the use of your hands so you can get a drink, use a TV remote, or hand express to increase output. The only downside to the bustier is that it has to be put on and taken off before every pump. After I got home, I found a hands free pumping tank which is day and night better than the bustier because you wear it all day long, but this is NICU edition so I'll save the tank for another post!
If it seems like all of our favorite things during the NICU days are related to breast feeding you would be correct. As a NICU Mom, the most important thing I could do for the guys was feed them. They were too young to use carriers, toys, or anything stimulating. During the NICU time, the boys spent the majority of their time sleeping with a feed every three hours (on schedule at 2, 5, 8, and 11). During the feedings we were able to hold them, snuggle them, get good skin to skin time, change diapers, and generally love on them. Basically premature aren't born yet and so they do the same things a baby in the womb does: NOT MUCH. Even less than a newborn! They eat and sleep.
Stay tuned for I Bought All the Things: Newborn Edition with more products that are relevant to more people (since I hope none of y'all have to experience the NICU!)

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