Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mother of THREE

It's been 13 days this very minute (3:27) since I became a mother of THREE.  
Let me tell you something...

I am exhausted.

My body and skin and hormones are on strike...but I feel about 50 pounds lighter and so nothing can make me upset these days:) Never take for granted the ability to fully inflate your lungs, deal???

I have a new respect for people with multiples.
That goes for people with MULTIPLE children as well:)

Just the BRAIN POWER that it takes to worry and love and care for three children is making me dizzy....and kind of giving me a perma-headache.


1- How many CC's did London eat at her 8:00 a.m. feeding?? Call the NICU nurse and find out....

2- Did I give Jaxson enough money to get popcorn and a Dr. Pepper (yes he drinks caffeine if he wants) at the movie this morning??

3- Did I remember to sign the consent form to get Mason Circumcised tomorrow morning (KIND OF IMPORTANT...do NOT forget this one Kristin!)

4- Did I spend the same amount of time holding and loving on each of my babies today?
(I am kind of crazy about this one...)

5- Did I wash Jaxson's Tball socks for his game later tonight?? I know that his jersey is still in the hamper from last wednesday! Oh crap:)

6- Have I eaten in t he last 24 hours???
oh yes...I ate a package of Nutter Butters while I had a nervous breakdown in the Target parking lot yesterday around noon. That counts I guess.

7- Oh crap....I forgot to bring the gallon jug of milk I pumped during the night to the NICU this morning! I guess that means another trip here and back today. aaggghhh.


My brain physically hurts.
My cut is throbbing and I would take a percocet...but I will barf it in 5 minutes unless I eat something...and what mother of THREE has time to eat??? The only reason I am even holding a computer is I just sat my butt on my bed and it happened to be laying here from last night.


.....But I have a perma-grin.....
How is this possible???


Did you know how special the NICU is?
I have met some wonderful people.

You will never see such unconditional love pouring out of people as when you step foot inside a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Parents standing by their babies bedsides...just bawling and stroking their teeny heads.

As the curtain closed around my babies isolette today (so I could nurse each of them) I heard a conversation between the neonatologist and a mother whose baby is neighbors with
Mason and London.

He started to tell her that SHE is the only one who can get her to eat.
All the nurses try...and fail. BUT...when her mother arrives...she eats.
This baby just celebrated her 4 month birthday and has never stepped foot outside the NICU.
Her patient and loving mother comes every single day and feeds her, bathes her and watches her stats on the computer monitor that hangs above her crib. She knows everything about her...from the sound she makes when she's choking or can't catch her breathe....to how to get her to eat.

It is precious. 
I was in awe once again how close the bond between mother and child can be.
This baby is VERY SICK....but when her mother arrives...SHE KNOWS.


I sat there behind the curtain and nursed little London today...listening to her dicuss the life long decisions she will make for this baby girl of hers who will struggle forever.

Then she got out a darling dress she just bought at Target and began to dress her amidst the tubes and oxygen and many beeping machines that is keeping her the baby alive.

Because she is a mom.
And she has a daughter.
and she buys clothes for her at Target like we all do.

Only her baby doesn't ever get to come home.

....and she is sweet and patient and loves so unconditionally she doesn't see all THAT....
She sees her sweet little girl. Dressed in a skirt.


Then there is the most darling Mexican Girl whose baby takes the isolette on the end.
We hug and talk a bit...her in broken english...about our babies.
Her baby boy Isaiah was born at 24 weeks and is teeny tiny...I think just reaching 1 pound recently.
He is on a ventilator and she is unable to even touch him.
She has never held her baby.

She walks into the NICU every single afternoon and stands by his isolette.
She looks at him and watches the machines help him breathe.

It breaks my heart into a thousand pieces.

The other day I hugged her and she asked to see my babies (it is kind of against the rules to wander around and look at all of the babies without the parents.....and the nurses WILL NOT share information about the babies with you).

I led her around the corner next to the big bay window that is my babies HOME in the NICU.
She gasped! She kept hugging me and saying...
"BEAUTIFUL! JUST Beautiful!"

She reached out and touched MASON...
Then she looked me in the eyes and said....
"Oh I can't wait until Isaiah can breathe and I can touch him like that!"

I could see her heart breaking....yet I could also see her genuine happiness for ME.

There are so many good people in the world...did you know that???

I pray for Isaiah and HER daily.


Then there was LEXI.
She went home last week and it felt like a piece of "family" was missing when her isolette was empty one afternoon. I cried tears of joy for her mom.

Her mom was a pre-termer like me! Her water broke at 24 weeks and she was able to stay hospitalized and bed-ridden at Ogden Regional until 34 weeks before having her darling little girl!
We were friends. We were the only TWO people who lived at the hospital for the entire month of MAY. Her 6 year old daughter and my Jaxson would raid the cupboards for Candy at the Ronald McDonald house inside the hospital during visiting times. It is a time I will always remember.


Then there is the mom.....the BEAUTIFUL girl with long black hair....that had Boy/Girl Twins the day after I did. I am still in shock and emotional turmoil over what I saw that day.

It felt like I was intruding on her very personal pain.
She had a C-section in the same room as I did.

I was leaning over London's Crib when I saw her husband sobbing.
I realized what was happening only moments later when they wheeled her in (still numb and in her hospital bed) and handed her only one baby. One was healthy and strong while her little boy had died because his cord was wrapped around his neck.

I was devastated.
That is the night I got a cold sore from stress.

I was on emotional overload.
I wanted to scream and fix it for her.
I wanted to erase seeing her hold his little body from my mind forever.

I couldn't function.


It is such a special place inside the NICU.

Today when I tucked my babies in for their nap and was on my way out I saw a baby being carried in...FRESHLY BORN! She was screaming and still covered in goo:) I watched as they cleaned her off and weighed her.....7 lbs. 3 oz. and healthy as can be!!

Miracles happen in there.
....and horrible loss and pain happen in there too.... 


Lately, I can't help but feel such a peaceful feeling and slightly overwhelmed when I walk inside the doors.

I am so grateful for the wonderful nurses that take care of my babies and love them when I can't be there with them. I am grateful for the example of patience that some of these parent's show me...while I am pushing Mason and London to EAT EAT EAT and hurry up so they can come home:)  I am grateful for this opporunity to watch such unconditional love every single day as mom's of all ages and ethnicities stand by their babies cribs and pray for the same thing:
Their children.


I'm tired.
I'm even MORE filled with gratitude.
....because I am a mother of THREE....

and it feels awesome.

(remember when I bought these darling lions from the hospital gift shop??? They are sitting on the desk in my office...and I stare at them daily...just waiting for the day I bring my other TWO cubs home and all three of my babies are together:) 




Dan & Ashley said...

While you are at amazed at every parent in the NICU, I read your blog and am amazed at all you have been through to get these babies here and how lucky they are to have you.

Tai and Joe said...

I love reading your blog. I am crying now just with all the different stories you wrote. Your babies are so adorable. I am so happy for you. I love their names too. You are an amazing person!

The Johnsons said...

I love your description of the NICU. It is such a terrible and wonderful place all at the same time. One of my boys was there for a little while and it was an experience that I would never wish on anyone else, but that I wouldn't trade. Don't worry, your babies will surprise you. My Aidan was in the exact situation as your babies...just waiting to eat. I thought it would never happen, and then one day he just did it. I'm glad they are doing so well with everything else. Congratulations!

Carrie Malmberg said...

You truly have a gift with words. I have followed your journey and recommended a couple of my friends struggling with infertility your blog. Thank you for sharing and keeping it open to inspire all of us! I have also had one of my babies in the NICU for 9 days, he is home with me now and a healthy 9 month old. You describe it so perfectly. My first son was stillborn at 38 weeks. It is a miracle getting them here and the love and connection that truly begins with their little heartbeats! I have thought of you often and have prayed for you and your babies. You are such an amazing mommy. Here's to hoping they eat and come home when they are ready, until then. . .they are in wonderful care and are where they need to be for now(; Take care of yourself.

Julie Tomoser said...

Kristen I just saw your FB pictures and hadn't checked your blog for a little while. This post was written so well. I had tears in my eyes as I read your experience and that of others in the NICU. What a special place. I love looking at your babies! Try not to be so hard on yourself! You are going to be a great mom to London and Mason and you will have Jaxson's help too! Remember---Take care of you so you can take care of them!