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Farcaster's Musings


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So, "Baby Chris" has finally come home after being in the hospital for an entire month in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Nothing was wrong with him; he didn't have any problems that any baby born seven weeks early doesn't have. He just needed a little more time to "cook," as we like to say. But -- ding! -- the timer went off and now he's back with us here at home. (Not so secretly, by the way, I am waiting with anticipation to find out what the bill is going to be for five weeks in the NICU. It has gotta be a wowza!)

He's been back with us since Friday night, and as you might imagine, Thursday was the last night I got a full night's sleep. I'm working half days at work this week, and the wife and I have worked out a system where we take shifts at night with him. He's a noisy, noisy sleeper that constantly makes squeaks and groans throughout the night, so keeping him in our room while we sleep ended up being out of the question. So, I take the first shift from around 9:30pm until 4:00am. I get five to six hours of sleep and then wake up and get ready for work. I've been promising myself to use some of the down time between feedings to get some work done on this site, but I've just been so exhausted mentally and physically that I just can't seem to get up the motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch and ready a book or watch TV.

Alas, only a few more months of this -- we can hope -- before he starts going a little longer between feedings and the wife and I can get some sleep. Until then, just consider me to be one of the Walking Dead.

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  1. nijineko's Avatar
    one trick that sometimes works, and did work for us, is that once they are a bit along, feeding them right when they wake up, instead of right before they go to sleep. less digestive troubles during the sleep cycle, i'm given to understand. it certainly helped our little one move towards sleeping through the night.
  2. cplmac's Avatar
    Hey Farcaster, from a seasoned NICU Dad, let me first say glad to hear that the little guy is finally home. Our youngest spent 1 week in the NICU after being born (yeah, we were kind of fortunate that even while being moved from the Latrobe Hospital (in Latrobe, PA) to the West Penn Hospital (in Pittsburgh, PA), there was a NICU nurse on the ambulance that was able to do stuff that helped her condition before she even arrived at the NICU).

    If they did there like at Pittsburgh, they wake the baby every 2 to 3 hours to feed them. With both of our girls, we didn't do that (even though the doctors say that you are supposed to) and followed the advice of both mine and my wife's mothers and never woke them up if they were sleeping, no matter how long. We found that the length of sleep times grew longer alot faster than what we were told (by those same people that say to wake the sleeping baby).

    As for the bill, I hear ya! I know what we still had to cover after the insurance paid the largest part of it. WOW! and we were only there for 1 week.

    Oh yeah, the oldest is almost 3 and a half, and she still wakes once or twice over night. It is easier to get het to go back to sleep right away though. I know this isn't you first child, if I remember the posts right, but if you have any questions about post NICU, please don't hesitate to ask the wife and I.
  3. Farcaster's Avatar
    Believe it or not, Jason, our first son, was sleeping through the night by the time he was three months old. The turning point for him was when he figured out how to suck his own thumb. After learning to soothe himself like that, he pretty much stayed down solid.

    As to Christopher, we certainly don't have to wake him up at this point. He wakes up screaming bloody murder to get fed every 2-3 hours.
  4. kirksmithicus's Avatar
    Sorry to hear that your son had to spend so long in the NICU, but I'm glad to hear that he is doing better. My son was born 3 weeks premature but they let him go home the next day. Unfortunately though, he screamed and cried for nearly 2 months straight and would throw up every time he ate. I remember being so tired and trying to make dinner that I would put the food in the microwave and fall asleep while it was cooking. I would wake up after 10-15 minutes and open the microwave and the food would be gone, and then I would realize that I had put the food in the freezer and not the microwave.

    My son eventually got admitted to the hospital for severe dehydration and they discovered that he had a rare genetic kidney disease that caused masses of cysts to grow in/on both kidney's. At the time of his diagnoses his kidneys were twice the size of mine. The massive size had compressed his stomach to the point were he couldn't hold down any food and he had to get an NG tube (nasal gastric) and then eventually a mickey button that went straight into his GI tract. Since his diagnosis he has spent nearly half of his 18 month life in the hospital, so I know such a long hospitalization can really wear you down. Currently we are doing pretty good, nearly 3 weeks since his last hospitatlization, which is really good.

    The hospital bills are crazy. Every time I look at one my blood pressure goes up to about 300. My sons feeding bags are 45.00 each and uses one every day. Honestly, I just had to stop looking at the bills after a while. I try not to think about the fact that I'll be paying on them until I die. One great side effect *sarcasm* of having so many hospital bills is that it totally ruins your credit, which in turn means that everyone charges you more money for everything, great system. So today I get to call the American Family insurance guy and tell him that they can raise our rates, due to our poor credit rating, if they want to, I can't do anything to stop them, but I'm going to explain why my credit sucks and why they should be ashamed to call themselves American Family insurance.

    okay, I'll stop venting now.

    I'm just glad to hear that your son is doing good, because really that is all that matters.