Day in the Life of a NICU Mama

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month and this is a glimpse of what my days were like for 3 months of my life while my lil’ one was in the NICU.

6:00 a.m. Pump
6:30 a.m. Wake up my other children
7:00 a.m. School drop-off
7:15 a.m. Drive to the hospital… Thinking “Should I eat breakfast first?”
7:30 a.m. Buzz through/disinfect hands/put on gown
7:35 a.m. Drop off the liquid gold to the nurse
7:40 a.m. Sit and stare, pray, cry, hold, pray again, cry again for the next two hours

9:00 a.m. Pump before I leave

9:30 a.m. Go say bye to the baby and talk to the nurse
10:00 a.m. Walk down to the cafeteria to grab a quick bite to eat
10:15 a.m. Drive back home and pick up the 4 year old from half-day pre-k at IDEA Public Schools

12:00 p.m. Pump and store in the freezer

12:30 p.m. Homework
1:00 p.m. Make lunch/snack
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Catch up on cleaning

3:15 p.m. Pump

3:45 p.m. Pick up time
4:00 p.m. Drive to the hospital (when I have a babysitter)

5:30 p.m. Pump before I leave

6:00 p.m. Visiting hours are over
6:30 p.m. Rush back home to cook dinner
7:15 p.m. Read/finish homework
7:45 p.m. Bedtime routine
8:15 p.m. Skype dad to say good night
8:30 p.m. Kids bed time

9:00 p.m. Pump and cry

9:30 p.m. Finish cleaning up after dinner, laundry, sweep and get ready for the next day!

He is now 11 months old and we think about how lucky we are to have him with us. Hospitals like Valley Baptist and McAllen Medical always welcome volunteers or donations to just make it a little easier on parents.

It was especially hard on us because we were actually in the process of moving out of town when I went into labor. Dad went ahead and moved while we stayed behind. Six months later we were all reunited! If it weren’t for the doctors, nurses, friends and those volunteers it would have been ten times harder to cope. The CDC has so much great information about prematurity.

With the holidays upon us think about those who had or do have a premature baby. Many area hospitals accept a wide variety of donated items including baby caps and blankets. Also consider donating to the breastmilk bank and read more about it here.

And be prepared. If you are expecting or know someone who is, share this post with them about putting together your birth plan.

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