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what is/was your schedule like when visiting your LO in the NICU? what is/was your day like?
It's only been a little more than three weeks for me, but so far...
I go in the mid to late morning, usually stay for an hour to three or more hours. It really depends on the day for me. I usually pump at least once at the hospital, sometimes 2 times during the day visit. Sometimes I'll stay with him until lunch, then head home; other days I'll visit, grab lunch (and pump) at the hospital, then visit again.
I've been going back in the evenings with DH. We're usually there for about 2 hours, after the evening shift change (we can't be there from 6:30 - 7:30). I really like the evenings...it's much quieter, and I just love his night nurses!
I would go in the morning from 8-1 or 2 and then back in the evening from 8-11/12.
Mornings either 8-11 or 11-2, evenings 8-11 or so with DH. My pumping schedule changed few times, so sometimes I'd pump cribside, sometimes at home after. Sleep from 11ish or 12 until boobs wake me up. I always tried to get a nap in there somewhere.
I also liked the night nurses better. DD had some great nurses in general, but I felt more bonded to the night ladies.
I had a really hard time being at the NICU and I couldn't really handle more than 1-2 hours at a time. Here is what our visitation schedule looked like:
7AM: I would call to see if anything had happened during the night and to let the nurses know that I was coming in for her 8-9am feeding.
8-10AM: I would hang out, feed, change and cuddle her up.
12pm-8PM: I worked
6:30-10pm: DH would go and feed her and giver her her nightly bath. I would usually show up around 9 to hold her.
11:30PM: I would call to see how she was doing.
*Please note: This was our schedule once she was off the vent. This was about week 8-16, before that she was too delicate to hold or really touch for too long.
meldoo2002:Our boys were our first children so I did not have any other LOs at home needing me. I went to the NICU everyday around 8/9am and stayed until around 2pm. Then I went home, napped, cooked dinner, did laundry.. that kind of thing, and went back to the NICU with DH from around 7pm-9pm. I really really got alot of comfort from being with the boys. I pumped, ate, worked on their baby books, and read ALOT while I sat by their isolettes. As they got older and stronger I did more of their care and started breast feeding. I packed a lunch and ate that in the parent lounge. I think you need to do whatever is right for you and your family. There is no right or wrong here.
Yeah I'm there a lot. I don't have any other LOs, he's my first and I got laid off in March so I have the time and really it's the only place I feel calm. I can only do a few hours at a time and when he looks like he's sleeping comfortably I step out for a walk outside or a cup of coffee. We're going on week 3 at the NICU, he's a 26 weeker so we have a way to go and DH is going back to work full time on Monday. Just trying to get a sense of how to build my routine.
We were there from 8/9am until 9pm. Sometimes we'd leave for lunch, sometimes we'd eat in the hospital cafeteria. I wanted to stay over, but since I was recovering from a section, I knew it was better to be home and get good sleep on a comfy bed.
My mom flew in to visit, so we'd hang out with DD (when she wasn't under the bili lights) and just chat. I napped a bit, DH read and played some Nintendo occasionally.
We went from 1030/11 am -1p everyday. Then when we could kangaroo twice a day we went from 1100-1p and then 8-930pm. Thats all we could do with having to get things accomplished before he was home and not get overly exausted through the NICU roller coaster.
I think you do what you can, how you can do it. There is no right or wrong way to visit your LO.
Every morning I called when we got up to check in and let them know we would be in mid morning.
We went in at 10-11ish for the 2nd feeding care time of the day.
After hanging out for a while we went for lunch. We liked to get out of the hospital for a little while and liked to give E some time to rest.
After lunch we stayed until 6-8pm depending on our day and how we felt. We spent alot of time in the hospital with E.
for the first few weeks after they were born, i had a lot of things to take care of immediately - like filing my FMLA paperwork, finishing law school exams, etc., that were not done due to their early arrival.
here was my schedule when i was out on leave:
7 am - call and check on them
9 am - be there for morning cares and stayed until 2 or 3 (didn't eat a whole lot then, so may or may not have taken a lunch break)
3 pm - go home and check on dogs, make dinner, etc.
8 pm - go back to the hospital - much calmer at night and i love their night nurses
11 pm - go home and go to bed
back to work schedule:
7 am - wake up; call to check on them
8 am - 5 pm - work
6 pm - to the hospital for feeding and cares, plus to start kangarooing before shift change at 7
9 or 10 pm - go home, maybe pick up something to eat
it's hard. very hard. but once you find a routine that works for you and you settle into it, the days will fly by. i can't believe that we were there for 3 months.
but remember to take some time for yourself, too, buena. i know it's hard, but sometimes i just needed to step away, and if you feel like that, try not to beat yourself up over it.
((hugs)) - i'm praying for you all every day.
This. My DS has started to Breastfeed now, so I will pump thru the night, drive the 45 min to go see him for his 8AM feeding, stay all day and eat lunch in the parent lounge, work on his baby book, read, pump, etc. all day and go home after his 5 PM feeding. My DH will come down a lot after work. This has been our schedule for the past two weeks. :)