Thursday, July 8, 2010

100 Days


We have now spent 100 long days in the NICU.

In 100 days, we have together driven 8,000 miles back and forth to the NICU. That's around 440 gallons of gas which means we have spent about $1,100 in gas.

We have together scrubbed in approximately 800 minutes in 100 days. We have used approximately 300 scrub brushes between the two of us. Add our 4 visitors, and all together we have used a combined 400 scrub brushes. I sometimes have to scrub in twice if I go downstairs for lunch or come back at night. Between Jimmy and I that is 13 hours of scrub time. I have probably scrubbed in 8 of those hours alone. Can you imagine? That is equivalent to an entire work day of doing nothing but scrubbing in.

100 days means 12,000 minutes of pumping. That's 200 hours or an equivalent of 8 entire days of doing nothing but pumping. Again, can you imagine? All of you nursing/pumping moms know what I am talking about. It really does take up all your time.

In 100 days, we have probably made 400 calls to the NICU. We called very frequently in the beginning. Now, I just call in the morning to let them know when I am coming in and at night to see if the babies gained weight. I actually considered adding the NICU to my "A-list" phone plan (the 5 numbers you call the most).

We have spent 4 holidays in the hospital in the last 100 days. I spent Easter in the hospital on bed rest. The babies were born the day after. Then came Mother's Day, Father's Day, and July 4th - all in the NICU. We sure hope that we will not be spending any more holidays there.

In the past 100 days, I have put in probably 1,000 prayers to the man upstairs.

I am pretty sure that I must have shed a million tears of worry, pain, hope, and joy, maybe more, in the last 100 days.

In 100 days, the babies together have been through 2 oscillating ventilators, 2 conventional ventilators, 2 CPAP machines, and 2 nasal cannulas. They have undergone 2 heart surgeries, over 100 chest or abdomen x-rays, several blood draws, and countless breathing treatments. They have been seen by 5 neo-natologists, 4 therapists (speech, physical, occupational, and respiratory), 2 eye doctors, and numerous nurses. They have rested and grown in isolettes which cost the NICU $40,000 each. Camdyn and Cade have accomplished so much in their first 100 days. They have had to fight for their lives.

We have had so many firsts in 100 days which were magnified to us and celebrated even more. We rejoice with each ounce gained. We were overjoyed when they finally were able to come off the ventilators and amazed when they were only on cannulas. We felt a great sense of relief when we saw them breathing on their own with no machines. We felt pure joy holding them for the first time. We were excited seeing them able to wear clothes and be swaddled after being on skin control for their temperature for so long. I felt a sense of peace breastfeeding them for the first time. When we saw them together in the same crib after 13 1/2 long weeks, we felt elated. Every step has been so special since it took them so much effort to get there. We are so proud of them!

Every mile driven, second scrubbed, minute pumped, holiday spent, prayer spoken, and tear shed, has been every bit worth it to hold our tiny, precious babies in our arms. Every step we have taken on this long journey is one more step closer to bringing our babies home to be with their sister, Mommy, and Daddy.


agcat01 said...

You and your little ones are such a beautiful picture of motherhood. Congratulations on all those "100 days" milestones. I know each one was covered in tears and prayer. Heather T.

Bridget Brandt said...
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Bridget Brandt said...

Happy 100 days! I am so proud to be your sister and their Aunt BB! Love y'all!

Ellen said...

Michelle, this helps put it all in perspective, doesn't it? I am so proud of not only the babies and their accomplishments, but what you and Jimmy have done to help them along, and of course, of Brenna, for being such a great big sister!

We thank you for taking the time to write this blog. I relish getting the updates to see how much the babies have grown. I've also come to appreciate your wit and to hear about your latest experiences in the NICU. While this obviously isn't the path you would have chosen, you have done a great job in sharing your thoughts and feelings. What a baby book you'll have for your little ones!

We love you and can't wait to finally meet your cute little babies!

Aunt Ellen and family