Sunday, November 20, 2011

Preemie Life - Day 23 Non Nutritive Nursing

My cheeks are getting fatter!
But I still drowned in NB clothes, look at those rolled up sleeves!
Today was an exciting day.  I originally was planning on writing a post on how we are far from perfect.  I decided to save that post for another day.  When I went in to see Cheetah today the nurse said, "Oh are you here for her non nutritive feed?"  What????  Just the night before Dr. J's chief resident had come by and asked us if they'd let Cheetah nurse yet.  I told her no and that they had no intention of letting me try until 34 weeks.  She said, "Maybe you should ask them if they'd let you do non-nutritive nursing.  First you pump, then you put the babe on to suckle while they feed her through the ng tube.  That way she can get use to suckling the breast and breathing before she has to get use to suckling the breast, breathing, and swallowing."  Dr. J and I thought it sounded like an awesome idea and so I decided on Monday I'd ask the attending about it, but Emily, the chief resident, must have gotten to her first because today they said, "Go for it."  And so after pumping a full four ounces in just over five minutes, the nurses handed me Cheetah, and I got to let my sweet baby suckle for the very first time.  I was a mess, I mean a literal mess.  You know those racking sobs that lead to snot everywhere and then you don't have any Kleenex so then you are wiping your nose on the back of your hand or your black cotton sweater...a mess!  Since my very own birth I've been a pro nursing fan, and with the birth of each of my children I have rededicated myself to the practice.  I am happy to do it for my children but I've never felt that sort of spiritual connection that some of my friends feel for nursing.  Today though, holding my breast in my hand, my daughters miniature two hands clutching my thumb and pinkie, her little tiny head being dwarfed by my already milked breast, her petite mouth reaching out for me, making contact and then instantly falling into the rhythm of eating I felt overwhelmed by the emotion of finally being able to care for my child in this way.  She suckled strong for five minutes and then peacefully feel asleep.  One of the hardest things about being a preemie mom is just trying to bond with your child, to find some sense of normal, to be able to care for them in the way that your heart tells you you must.  The heart tells a mom to pick up her child.  It tells her to hold it to her breast to keep it warm.  It tells her to put it to her breast to feed it.  To answer it's cries the first time.  A mother's heart tells her to keep her baby close.  Not being able to care for all of my baby's needs is my gut wrenching reality. I guess that is why each little bit of my baby I get back is a victory.  Via non-nutritive nursing!  And may next weeks attempts of nutritive nursing be nearly as successful.

On a family note.  My mother came into town this week.  We went to sacrament meeting today and then headed home.  The car ride out was torture.  I felt guilty about not going out to see Cheetah in the morning and miss both her morning feeds.  I was grouchy with my Captain E because he was whining and when called on it put the blame on me.  I did not like that GG refused to the warm clothes I'd tried to have her dress in.  We were running late and my mom had stayed up all night trying to do grades.  I really thought the day was going to be shot.  But after sacrament meeting we came home.  My mom made lunch for us and then I headed to the hospital.  When I got back the kids were happy and my mom was slightly rested.  We spent the afternoon playing Dance Dance Revolution and Wii sports.  It was hilarious.  My two year old was singing "Right about now, the funk soul brother, check it out now, the funk soul brother..."  There are not words to describe how funny it is to hear those words leave the mouth of a two year old.  Captain E was being a total gentlemen.  So polite and sweet and a great big brother, pulling the girls into games, telling them good job, and good try, being really supportive and kind.  The kind of big brother I always imagined I wanted, the kind all my friends with older brothers told me didn't exist.  Then after putting the kids to be I spent a little extra time in the girls room singing some songs.  I'd sing a song, and then Gigi would sing a song back to me that she'd made up.  Her first was called Veterinarian and was sung loosely to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  It went....

There was a horse who broke his leg.  He came to me and I put it in a sling.  Then I told him to take a nap and gave him some medicine.  Then a panda came in the door, it had a cold and I gave him some soup.  I'm the best animal doctor ever.  I listen to their hearts and I make them feel all better.

I then sung her Away in a Manger (FYI so excited I can start listening to Christmas music soon) and she sung the song Extinction to me.  It went....

I see a T-rex eating meat.  The meat is another dinosaur, oh wait it is another t-rex.  A triceratops sees him and he runs away.  He doesn't want to be the meat of the day.  The volcano starts to explode, my mom says it is called uption.  All the ash is in the air and the lava on the ground.  He's going to be extinct he won't be around.

There are times like this morning when I would argue that being a mom is seriously one of the worst jobs in the world.  I mean you want to talk about stuff that can just wear you down mentally and emotionally, sometimes I swear the kids are in cahoots with the ice cream manufactures.  Driving me to chocolate with their ridiculousness and then there are lots of moments, even in the same day where being a mom tops any job on the planet.  Today started out like an "I need an ice cream pronto day" and ended with me being able to look at every one of my children and thank heavenly father for bringing them into my life because they fill me with so much joy.


  1. Hooray! I'm so glad your mom is there to be with you for a little while. And I'm so glad you're already at non-nutritive nursing. And I'm so glad that your day turned better! :)

  2. Yay! That completely brought tears to my eyes. I'm so happy for you.

    And - you hit the nail on the head! Somedays motherhood drives me bonkers and I definitely felt DRIVEN to there is no way to not give into the craving! Then, their sweet little spirits make it all better by filling me with joy and love. What a complete roller coaster!

  3. I am so glad your mom is there! and fabulous about the "recreational nursing"! Cheetah sounds like she is a pro at it! Hugs!

  4. I'm so glad you got to nurse. That must have been amazing.



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