99% of the staff we’ve worked with at the hospital has been fantastic. However, our first day with the babies in the NICU, we had a run in with one nurse. She seemed not to realize that we hadn’t slept in approximately 4 days, had twins at 32 weeks and were a bit overwhelmed at life. She began to rapid fire information at us about the monitors and what everything meant and what we needed to see to get the babies home and by the way, we’re going to start feeding Maria tomorrow…how much milk have you produced? Ummmm…not much. Pumping every two to three hours in the last 12 hours had yielded about 20 ml of colostrum, which was pretty impressive if you ask me. She said that wasn’t enough and we would need to start formula. Huh? Babies don’t eat much in the beginning and had I been able to nurse them from the start, they wouldn’t know how much they were getting, plus milk doesn’t usually come in for several days so why the rush? I don’t think they’ll starve right off the bat. Knowing that human milk was best, I started to state my case and concern for formula. The conversation didn’t go great and I ended it by saying we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Right now, they are okay and I’ll keep pumping. I mentioned this to my doctor and he encouraged me to stay strong and to fight for what we wanted.
The next day, I was approached by the nurse practitioner working that day who confronted me again about my lack of desire to use formula… “what is your problem with it?” she said with a bit of a tone. It was enough to send me into tears while I tried to state that I wanted what was absolutely best for our babies and that I didn’t think formula would do that because of the unnecessary ingredients. I’m concerned for both their long and short term health. I suggested that my sister-in-law had offered to let us use her milk while we were waiting on mine. That idea was shot down, but that opened the door to discuss the alternative of “approved” donor milk. FINALLY, some options…that’s all I wanted. We weren’t going to let our babies starve, but I knew there had to be some alternatives. She soon apologized for making me cry and realized she probably wasn’t being sensitive enough to a hormonal new mom with babies in the NICU. Within two hours she came to my room to sign consent forms for donor milk. The information that came with it made me laugh because it talked about why human milk is best and all the benefits for babies, especially premature ones. Why did I have to fight for this?? We’re all on the same team here and want what is best for the babies.
The babies were started on donor milk later that day and I was able to relax, which would surely help my milk supply. I continued my two hour pumping schedule and by Wednesday was starting to make progress. Thursday was even better. Not only was my milk really starting to come in, I was approached about using my sister-in-law’s milk. They wanted to “free up” their donor milk and our lactation nurse was helping to advocate for us and said she would work with legal on the necessary consent forms. I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come on this. With premature infants the game changes, but one thing I didn’t want to change was having our babies receive the best possible nutrition.
I’m happy to report that they are both doing well. We’re told that Maria will hopefully get off her IV on Friday. Grant might have to keep his a little longer because they were giving him extra fluids to help him poop more. Their skin tone looks better and hopefully will come off the lights soon. They are maintaining their temperatures better and both have been nursing some. Jeremy says they’re going to be little overachievers like their mother and break out of there soon. I pray he’s right!
Grant and Maria with their shades on. Ready for the beach!