Preemie Babies – My Journey – Part 2
At 5 days old, my twins were transferred from a Level 3 NICU (for the most needy children) to a Level 2 NICU at North York General. Once we moved to the new hospital, I realized how lucky we were to be there. Being in the NICU can really change ones priorities in life. I basically moved in as I was trying so desperately to nurse. My first child had taken to nursing so easily and we never gave her a bottle. I weaned her at a year and she went right to a sippy cup.
Once we moved to the new hospital, I realized how lucky we were to be there
Enter preemie babies with their own agenda. I was adamant about nursing the twins. I tried for weeks but my little monkeys and their premature suck just couldn’t get the hang of it. Producing milk for two wasn’t so easy for me. I tried everything. Against everything I ever stood for, I finally relented and gave them formula so that I could bring them home. It was a very difficult decision for me and I finally realized that a happy mommy has happy babies. A relaxed mommy has relaxed babies and that I still loved my little twins as much as my first child but each baby is different.
Against everything I ever stood for, I finally relented and gave them formula so that I could bring them home.
The NICU was a blessing in disguise for my family and me. Twin A stayed in hospital for 7 weeks and Twin B for 8 weeks. I slept at the hospital every night, fed the babies in the morning, raced home to see my older daughter and take her school and then back to the hospital to feed the twins. Then I was home to have dinner with my older daughter and put her to bed. Then I was back to the hospital for another feed and to sleep. The amazing nurses bathed my babies and held them when I wasn’t there. They fed them my pumped milk and then sat and talked to me while helping me nurse. It was so loving; as excited as I was to bring my babies home, there was a part of me that was sad to leave the wonderful NICU family that we had gained.
There are so many available resources in the NICU from the nurses and doctors to the OT’s, dieticians, lactation consultants and social workers. If you are in the same situation, please use them all, they are there to help and they are great at it. I am happy to provide support for moms who are going through this, as I know well how exhausting it can be. When people ask “how do you do it?”, you just do it, moms rise to the challenge, singleton, twin or high order multiple moms, because our babies need us to.
Stay tuned for the next journey – The First Year
Jennifer is a wife and mother of three – a beautiful singleton daughter and delicious boy/girl twins. She spent eight years teaching high school history, geography and working as a guidance counselor.