First, Mitchell is doing really well! He is finally off the feeding tube and nursing and taking bottles which is huge for a baby his age. He may get to come home this weekend which would be the best Mother's Day gift ever! Sorry for no picture on this post--I'll add one later when I'm not using the NICU computer.
Being in the NICU, life has slowed down a lot for me. There is a lot of sitting and cuddling and holding my baby, which has given me a lot of time to think. In some ways it has been a blessing, because I know when he goes home, I will have three loud, crazy kids all around us all the time and I have enjoyed the quiet time in the hospital with just the two of us. Here are some of my random thoughts about birth and everything that has happened since:
1. When you enter the hospital to give birth, you might as well check your dignity at the door. The sooner you give in to it, the better. You will have no privacy and at some point, you will not care anymore at all.
2. I think at least 50 people have seen my boobs in the NICU. Half that many have actually handled them. And I am fine with it.
3. After you have a baby, your emotions will be completely crazy for at least two weeks. Some days I am fine. The day I got discharged, I cried for 24 hours straight. I cried at Kneaders when I ordered our food. I cried at Harmon's when I saw a girl load my same carrier into her car, I cried (and screamed at Sam) for not brushing the kids teeth. Sam was very afraid.
4. Sometimes bad things turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I was so mad that I could no longer stay at the hospital to nurse Mitchell around the clock. The minute I sunk into my own bed, I knew it was the right decision. I needed to come home. The last two nights in my own bed have been glorious.
5. It's true that your other kids immediately look huge. Ryan looks obese to me and I've already talked to my mom about limiting his cookies and treats. Even his head was gigantic when I shampooed his hair. Poor kid is the same and yet he looks mongo to me.
6. It's a pretty safe bet that Mitchell is going to be my Buster (have you all watched Arrested Development?) Buster spent 11 months in the womb and even though he is an adult, his mother completely babies him. After this experience, I am going to be so overly protective of this baby--he's certain to be a Buster.
7. I'm pretty certain that Mitchell is the most beautiful baby in the whole hospital--maybe ever born. I'm assuming every mother feels the same way.
8. I have the best friends and neighbors on the planet. You really see how much people care about you when you go through something like this. I am blown away with the text messages, emails, phone calls, dinners, gift baskets, offers for babysitting, etc. I feel very loved. I've decided that the best gift ever when someone has a baby is to bring dinner. I am going to start doing this more for other people.
9. Talking to other mothers in the NICU makes me realize how minimal my situation is and how dire the circumstances could have been and how bad it is for other people. (Awesome run-on sentence.) Another mom in here had her baby girl at 24 weeks and has been coming for 7 weeks so far. She has months and months ahead of her. I have no problems.
10. I know that prayers are answered and I can honestly feel the power of everyone praying for us. It means so much to me. I also believe in Priesthood blessings. Sam showed up with a friend unexpectedly one evening when I was at the end of my rope. They gave him a Priesthood blessing. I know it is the reason that Mitchell has started eating. His progress really has been miraculous.
Hopefully, my next post will be that he is coming home!