Going home without baby

My daughter was born at 32+1 weeks on Thursday 8/13/15. She didn't need oxygen (simply flow to keep her lungs open) and weighed 4.4 lbs. Tomorrow makes a week in the NICU. I've been rooming in at the hospital to be close to her. She was taken off the oxygen flow this morning and hasn't had issues, she's being tube fed 24 ML of breast milk every 3 hrs and is being weaned off IV fluids ( down to 2.5 ml an hour ) because she is doing so well tolerating the feedings. She sucks a paci very well, throws fits and eats her hands when it gets close to time to feed, and she sucks a paci and swollen as her tummy fills from the tube. I asked about trying a bottle and they said they will think about it starting next week. Not sure why when she seems to be doing so well in everything else. Not to mention I haven't even gotten to take her temp or change her diaper.

I know I can't stay in the hospital with her forever, but they had another couple that was here for 2 weeks, I was released on Monday and given a courtesy room and it's only been 2 nights. The night NICU nurse said that I'll probably be told to go home today, unless by some miracle they decide to let me stay. I don't know how I'm going to handle being away from her if I'm forced to go home ( I live an hour away and am pumping every 3-4 hours around the clock ). I've been staying positive and I can see her improvement daily, but I have a history of PP depression. I've been doing so well, and I'm terrified to spiral downward when I have to go home and she can't.

Any advice or kind words would be greatly appreciated, I could definitely use a friend who understands the pain.

Ohh and if I get one more "well atleast you have time to go home and prepare" or " it shouldn't be that hard, she's in good hands " or " take the time for yourself and rest up, be glad someone else has taken the reigns while you're healing ". I may very well yell at someone.

Re: Going home without baby

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    Hi mama! Congrats on your LO! Sounds like she is doing great despite being so early. I completely understand how you are feeling - it is incredibly hard to separate from your LO, especially this early on. It is very lonely and bittersweet to leave the hospital without baby. But you can do this! Sometimes I had to be pushy with the NICU nurses to advocate for myself and my LOs. I know they are the experts but it your baby! Listen to what they say and respect that they are likely doing things for an important reason but just keep asking to do diaper changes, temperature, etc. until they let you (or give you a really good reason why not that you are comfortable with). So they think your annoying - who cares in the grand scheme of things?

    I do hope they are able to get you a room. Does her NICU room have a pull out bed? I stayed there a few nights. And I know you really want to be near her but don't discount the impact of a really good shower and night's sleep in your own home. A well-rested, happy mama makes the best
    mama. Even if it means a little time away from her. Which is hard, I know.

    And finally, there is no "at least...." when it comes to a baby in the NICU. Your baby is not home with you where she should be. Period. There is no "at least" in this scenario and I wouldn't blame you for snapping at someone who said so. They likely don't know what else to say. But that doesn't make it any easier to hear and you can let people know that if it makes you feel better.

    Hang in there mama! You got this!
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    I understand the pain. Our baby was born at 35 weeks on July 21 and I was released after three days and hadn't even gotten to hold him. I was only allowed in the room about 20 min a day for the first week because he was so sick. We also have a toddler at home and no one around to help so I didn't get to spend a lot of time at the hospital at all. We were there 4 weeks. All I can say is thank goodness he made a quick turnaround and started getting better because it was terrible leaving. It will get better and it sounds like she is pretty strong!! The first week is the worst emotionally then it gets gradually 'better'. Also talk to someone! Don't hold it in! And I mean a therapist too if needed they should have people there to help you talk through emotions and asked us if we needed anyone while we were there. I bet she will get to come home with you soon!!

    BabyFruit Ticker

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    I completely understand! I live an hour away and my lo spent 17 days in the nicu. I was a disaster coming home without him. I had horrible anxiety attacks and cried constantly. It does get easier, I promise. And I heard all of the same things from people, they just don't understand. I didn't even want to be around people because I hated answering questions and hearing the same things over and over. He's been home for 5 weeks now and believe it or not, that's all a distant memory! Good luck to you and your little angel!
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    Hang in there, momma! It does gets easier, I promise. We live about 40 minutes from the NICU and our son (33w5d due to preeclamsia) was there for 15 days learning to feed. The first night after I was discharged was the worst.. I cried the entire way home and sobbed before bed. It will never feel right to leave your baby there whether they are in the NICU for 1 or 100 days however each day became just a little bit easier. Just remember that they are in good hands and are that much closer to coming home with each passing day. Keep talking.. Whether it be to your spouse, family, friends, the nurses, or other preemie moms - it helps tremendously! Good luck! ❤️
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    It's awful. That's all there is to it. We have the option to stay overnight on the pullout couch in his room and the NICU is open 24/7. I can def see myself doing that once or twice. Our son has 3-ish weeks to go in NICU.

    And be pushy. Ask what you can do. Be clear that you want to try to do diaper duty, check temps, kangaroo care, etc. It will suck if they say no, but keep trying. Find a nurse that you like and visit during her shifts. Or request her. We had two faves that we asked for, so when they're on, they have our kiddo as their charge.

    I'd also see if there's a NICU parents group. The one at our hospital hosts dinners and breakfasts once a week and they work in the Ronald McDonald House and parent lounge. Does your hospital have a Ronald McDonald House? We live too close to use it (less than 50 miles is the cutoff) but they asked on our first night. It may ease your nerves to stay close.

    Good luck, momma.
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    Our daughter was born at 26W5D on July 5th. This Sunday marks 7 weeks in the NICU and counting.... It is extremely hard being away from her. We don't get the option to stay until maybe another couple weeks if ever. I hate leaving her, but call whenever you feel like it and always know they want the best for her but you're your child's best advocate... You are mom!!
    This is an extremely hard road to endure but we can all make it through! Sounds like you're doing well and they are making their way home and hopefully soon!
    I know I can't wait to bring her home with us! Seems like forever some days...

    Good luck!!
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    Oh and if I hear one more person say "at least"!! That is not even fair, they have no idea! Plain and simple.... If they did they wouldn't say that. It's something people say to try and make us feel better when it does the opposite.
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    Congrats on your baby boy. My daughter was also born early on july 13th. We were discharged on the 16th. My wife and I spoke to the social worker she told us about the ronald mcdonald house ...we had a room the same day. You should definitely look into the ronald mcdonald house if there is one by you. It is truly a blessing. Good luck
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