Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NICU: Now I Can Use-my-outside-voice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am thoroughly amused by people who are loud in the NICU.  And by thoroughly amused I mean that I hate them.

I'm not sure if you knew this but in the NICU?  The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?  The IC stands for Intensive Care.  As in, these babies are sick and shit so, ya know, be quiet you giant freaking idiot.

We get new neighbors all.the.time.  We've been NICU residents for 160 (!!!!) days which probably makes me the old crotchety librarian-type mom who gives you the evil eye over the frame of her horn rimmed glasses - or maybe I just wear a monocle, I don't know I haven't really thought it through.  It is also possible that I smell like mothballs.  AND, I used a new Essie nail polish that turned my nails yellow.  I'm not really sure if it helps this whole old/crotchety image but it can't hurt, right?

So anyway, as per usual, I am annoyed by the general public.

I sat and listened to the dad of a 1 pound preemie for a solid half an hour a few weeks ago.  "Open your eyes for daddy!  Come on, now, be a good girl and open your eyes!  You want to open your eyes for daddy, don't you?  Don't you?  Open em!  Come on!  Open your eyes pretty girl!  Hey!  Hey!  Open em!  Open those eyes for daddy!"  Etcetera for a million years until the baby is old enough to pierce her tongue and make out with a bad boy in rebellion and to properly tell her daddy to go fuck himself.

So anyway, I have my back to this guy and I'm just plotting his demise the entire time I'm holding my trying to sleep three month old (adjusted!) and then I finally turn around because I have got to see this guy.  I mean, I need a place to focus my aggression.  And all I see is four inches of boxer shorts bending down to talk to his one pound baby WHO IS WEARING GOGGLES.   Like this:



Ainsley, the day after she was born.
2lb 3oz.
You think she's opening her eyes under there?
You think she's rolling them in complete annoyance?


And for good measure...
Ainsley, 151 days after she was born.
8 pounds, 2 ounces.
Do you think she's plotting that guy's demise?  I bet she is.
 
I took pity on that guy, because I think that the NICU is very confusing.  As you're walking in the door, it just says NICU really big on the ceiling and so I guess you could get confused about what NICU means in relation to your sick ass baby who couldn't stay at a normal hospital and had to be transferred somewhere else...more...fun?  Yes.  Fun.  Everyone knows that tiny premature babies grow so much better when surrounded by noise and fun!  Plus also I'm just a really nice person which is why you all should aspire to be just like me. 

So we're still in the NICU which is so!much!fun! and we're going to be there...for a while.  There's lots of talk of home lately because Ainsley is doing pretty well on her vent.  The problem is that she is way too small for a home vent.  Like, 12 pounds is the minimum and "they are usually much bigger."  The guesstimate is another 2-3 months until she is big enough to switch over to a home vent.

Or.  Or. Or.  Maybe, in the time she is taking to get big enough for a home vent, her lungs will be strong enough to be supported by something other than a vent.  Or maybe not? We tried a trach collar the other day, which just blew moisturized air into her trach, and it was a big failure.  It's hard to see her struggle on a lower setting, because it's a reminder of just how very sick she is...that a ventilator is keeping her alive.
Oh, but this baby.  She smiles all the time, and grabs at toys, and loves to be held and talked to.   She gets down on the floor and does itty bitty baby pinup modeling physical therapy:

8 pounds, 6 ounces of NOMable NOMNOMNOMness.
Ainsley finally has a primary nurse, Marianne, and she is so sweet and loves Ainsley to pieces.  Please see the following as proof of the spoiling received from Marianne:

A crown for the throne of Miss Diva Lungs Knepper, Duchess of Tracheotomy
Bow in respect, but also: Purell Thoroughly.
I'm exhausted.  We're exhausted.  This is all very exhausting.  Looking down the way at another 3+ months of this feels impossible but I also can't believe that it's been 5 months already and here we are - we're doing it.   It's all going to be fiiiiiine.

You think you've got it rough?
At least you can breathe!
It's not all about you, mom.
Mostly, I just need to get Ainsley home so that we can turn her into a total weirdo.
Like her daddy.
--
One Year Ago:  Feeling the FET Funk
Two Years Ago: This Post Is Brought To You By Obligation
Three Years Ago:  I'm Embryoated


37 comments:

HereWeGoAJen said...

That pinup model picture is awesome. As is your baby.

It sucks that you all have to NICU for so long. It's incredibly stressful and it sucks. I am looking forward (for you) to the time when this is just a memory and I hope that comes soon. And in the meantime, I am sending hugs.

Another Julia said...

Some people just do not get it! Hello, QUIET!
On the plus side, Miss Diva Lungs is ab-so-freaking-adorable! She looks wonderful. Sorry that you have to deal with an extended NICU stay, though. Keep those cutie-pie pics coming! :)
--Another Julia

JoyAndSorrow said...

So sorry you've got three months ahead of you. I think of your family often.

Kristin said...

That dad will never see his demise coming from a cutie like yours! You're a rockstar, Jen - and so is Ainsley. Praying that she gets to come home and be turned weirdo ASAP :)

Leila said...

Well, she is beautiful. I hope she is a champ feeder/grower and goes home sooner than you are projecting. I'm glad you have a primary now, it makes all the difference - someone is advocating for her when you are not there! I remember a neighbor dad getting pissed because he was not allowed to "play" with his baby or bathe her like I could do mine. The nurses tried to be diplomatic about it, but I finally said, when you're here 1O5 days, then you can do what you want. He was mortified. I think he may also have been frightened, like "God, please not us, not our baby." You are doing so well and I think the biggest suckiest stuff is behind you. Good luck!

Anon said...

You are rocking some inestimable talent with this blog! How else can you explain why I chortle when I read about a 160-day-old babe on a vent (granted, with positively edible cheeks) in the NICU? If it all it took were grace, fortitude and a sense of humor to get A home, she would have left ages ago. Hang tough and keep writing!

Amy said...

You are amazing and wonderful and a rockstar and a supermommy and your beautiful girls are SO lucky that you are their mom. I love this post so much! Please know that a random girl in bloggyland is pulling for you and your family!

Pyjammy Pam said...

What a beautiful girl! Love seeing her chubby cheeks and fetching smile. :) hope she gets bigger fast so she can go home.

AmbyLand said...

That is the most beautiful itty bitty pinup girl I have ever seen! It's so nice to hear from you. I was worried. You are doing fabulous. I would have gained 100 lbs by now and would be bald. You are a good mommy.

clearness said...

Good to hear Diva is going better and still fighting a really good fight! Keep fighting and I'll keep praying!

Steph said...

Look at those cheeks, how cute is she!! God, I know you can't wait for the day you get to bring her home. I've been trying to patiently wait for an update (I know you're uber busy). Praying her lungs get strong enough so she can come home SOON!

Kelli said...

love your pinup girl!! thinking good thoughts~!

areyoukiddingme said...

That Ainsley is one happy girl. Looks like she'll overcome anything thrown her way, with that kind of attitude.

I suppose, since you are in a room full of tiny children, saying "Shut the fuck up, dumbass" is probably not acceptable? Surely none of them are worried about their language skills just yet, so you could probably get away with it...

She's totally going to be the NICU bully if she has to stay in there until she's 12 pounds. :)

Inara Jones said...

I am so sorry you are still there. I cannot even imagine how you must be feeling. You are an amazing mom, and little Ainsley is an amazing babe - not to mention adorably chubby. Love that about her. I am thinking of you and your itty-bitty.

C said...

Awesome. Awesome. (Awesome. Sensing a common theme in the comments?) That's all I can say. You, your baby, your little girl, your husband. You all ROCK and inspire great thoughts of good things (really, no - I'm not kidding or smoking crack) in this mother-to-be at 29 weeks.

Lots of love to you and yours from Northern British Columbia.

noswimmers said...

Sending positive juju your way...I can't imagine how hard this is for all of you. I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but...hang in there.
xoxo

Carolyn said...

I'm just a follower in blog-land.
I'm glad you updated and I'm happy to read your humor.
I've worked in a NICU and am a respiratory therapist...I totally feel for Ainsley. It is so stinking hard and shouldn't be. I've also dealt with infertility (IVF), multiple miscarriages and I'm extremely lucky to have 17 month old living twin girls. My heart goes out to you.
You aren't alone that is for sure, you have a great wealth of support from many people you've never even met...cheering you and your family on from the sidelines.

nyanarose said...

You can do this. One foot in front of the other will always bring you home eventually.

And a great big YAY for primaries!

lena said...

Love those cheeks!

hairyfarmerfamily said...

Glad to have some news of you, Jen, and your Young Adorable there.

Mrs. Higrens said...

You totally need to teach Little Miss Diva Lungs to give the center finger salute in response to the idiots. (Would that make it a NIC-U? Groan.)

krlr said...

Sucks that you're still there but sounds like she's stable and growing - LOVE those baby cheeks!

[And aren't the nicu nurse supposed to school 'those' parents? I was told the nicu rules on day one - let's assume he was getting his lovely wife some comfy slippers during the speech & he'll be brought up to speed asap]

jessica56 said...

I think of you and your family often! Your strength and humor amaze me and I am addicted to your blog. Take care of yourself as you seem to be doing an amazing job taking care of your family!

Michele said...

What a ridiculously awesome post! I love the update on Ainsley - she is just beautiful! You are the best!

Deanna said...

She's so cute. Hoping that she strengthens and is able to breathe on her own soon!

Tarah said...

Aw that picture of her smiling just melts the heart doesn't it? She's such a beauty and you have a little angel in your arms. T&P that she beats the odds and comes home without a vent.

Haley said...

That is one incredibly beautiful smiling girl.

lifefamilysanity said...

You know what will totally get little miss diva rockin' a 12 pound fat girl belly ASAP? Taco Bell... just sayin :)

But seriously, you are amazing and your girls are amazing and OF COURSE Mark is who taught Olivia to be a weirdo.

Steph said...

Omg she is soooooooo cute!!! Absolutely adorable!!!

Andrea said...

Thinking of you and rooting for you all often. Ainsley is BEAUTIFUL! Thanks for the update and thanks for the pictures. I LOVE the pin-up poses too...the things a girl will do to get some bloggy attention. Sending all the positive vibes possible. You are truly a rockstar.

Carli said...

Have I told you how much I admire your courage? Or how much I love the dry humor in your posting?

I am rooting for Ainsley daily and I hope that she will soon reach that 12 pound mark so that you can finally leave the NICU. Have you thought about substituting milkshakes in place of milk? Just saying...They go straight to my ass, perhaps they would fatten her up too!

As someone who is about to deliver a premature baby who will be headed for some sort of stay in the NICU, I appreciate this post. It will help me to remember to respect the other families around us in the NICU.

babycakesandwafflefries.org said...

This post had it all: cute baybees, laughs, tears, action, drama, intrigue, demise-plotting and a cute mommy/big girl picture at the end. Loved it.

I cannot wait for Ainsley to be home. Ellery would like a friend to play with. Get strong little angel-face with your gorgeous smiles and diva lungs!! We all love you (and your mommy, daddy and big sister) very, very much!!

Tasha said...

love, love, love her pin-up pictures! I know you have all this time on your hands, but read Half Baked: The Story of My Nerves, My Newborn, and How We Both Learned to Breathe; you will enjoy it! I can't wait for the pictures of Olivia with Ainsley! You rock momma, you are holding your shit together in all of this drama and racking up the frequent flyer miles!

Helen said...

I've been reading for a while but not commenting, because a) I thought maybe I wasn't in the good demographic to comment and b) I suck at commenting. But I wanted to say that she's absolutely beautiful, and if there's any justice in the world then she'll come home (right on time)and kicks some baby ass.

Suz said...

You're amazing. She's so precious & amazing too. Will keep thinking & praying for y'all!

Liz said...

Sweet girl! Grow baby grow!

Lela said...

Dude, your baby is CUTE. Sending lots of internet love to your family! (From a complete stranger, but that's normal, right?)