I had another piece of good news today… we now have two primary nurses for our girls.
The nurses work 12 hour shifts and care for two babies at a time. Unfortunately, B & C are not next to each other, although they are close, so we meet two new nurses every shift and there are 200 or so who rotate through the NICU. At first, I was extremely deferential to them, but I’m starting to learn more about my girls, and the ins and outs of NICU life, and I’m getting more assertive about their care.
You just click with certain people, and certain people disseminate information a little better than others. I had a disconcerting experience today where the nurse unloaded a bunch of information on me, and it sounded negative. I’d just walked in the door, sleep-deprived and already a bundle of raw nerve endings and I wanted to burst into tears. I asked for clarification from the doctor and realised I’d completely misunderstood and all was well. Still, that experience left me a bit shaken. It’s especially important to have people you trust at nights, because I’ve decided for my own sanity and fatigue levels, I cannot go over every night. My other kids need me too. But if I can pick up the phone and hear a familiar voice tell me what I need to know, that’s great. The solution is that you can ask nurses to primary for you, which means they will take your baby every shift they work. If we can line up a couple more than our babies will almost always be with someone we’ve picked.
As well, once the nurse knows your baby, she’ll knows what’s typical or unusual for her that day… which is important for any baby, but especially for C who needs close monitoring as a result of her bleed. I want the nurse to know that she does better on the breathing machine with a soother, or that her tummy might be puffy, but it could be due to the bili lights she was under two days ago. So I now have recruited two nurses (three actually, as two are going to split duties), which will at least cut down on the strangers handling my babies.
As for me, it clicked for me yesterday that I’m grieving. Anger, bargaining, denial. I’m rotating through those stages right now as I process all of this.