nicu

good day

In ALL, RAISING HOPS INTO BEERS by Stephanie Klein50 Comments

When I pump a lot of milk, when I wipe you myself and affix the perfectly folded diaper.  It’s a good day when you stop crying because of my heartbeat, or my voice, or what I perceive to be your favorite song.  When a glimpse of your personality emerges, even if it means you fuss with your hands or root around only after being fed.  It’s a good day when they tell me you’re thriving, when you latch on, when they let me take you out of your isolette all by myself.  When you gain weight, when you grow longer.  When they tell us in a few days you’ll be moving out of your isolette and co-bedding with your sibling.  It’s a good day when I can see that you resemble someone, even if it’s my grandfather’s ears.  When I’m able to make you burp. When I can tell the difference between a burp and a grunt.  When I can tell you want to burp.  It’s a good day when I know what you’re trying to tell me, when I understand your communication skills.  When I know the grunt is because you’re working on a poop.  “His mother knows these things,” I say, certain of myself, but I’m not.  I try to make the uncertain days where my milk supply seems to be dwindling and my heart wants to explode and I want to throw something across the room into a good day for you, so you won’t feel it or taste it in my milk or hear the ache in my heartbeat.   

It’s not just about the status of your health that makes it a good day.  It’s also about my feeling like a good mother.  So if you spit up all your food and the doctor is worried that your tummy looks bloated, it’s not the end of the world if I at least did something right that day.  And sometimes it’s hard to feel I’m doing that, so I continue to visit and sing and read and pump.  And I nuzzle up against you and promise to be positive even when all I want to do is cry.  And then you latch on and I smile so damn big, it’s gross.  I inhale your head, the sweet musty smell mixed with Dreft.  Your thin silken hair against my lips, my finger gently pressing into your hand, against your cheek.  I can’t believe I made you.

And my hair is frizzy and none of my clothes fit, not even Phil’s clothes, but I don’t care.  Yes, I do care, but it’s just a day, and you’re a life.

I had a dream just now that you stopped breathing.  I was eating cheesecake, setting the heavy slices down on the insides of your clear isolette walls.  It was pecan cheesecake, apparently, because when I took a look at your swollen face and peeked inside your mouth, I found a pecan half lodged under your gums.  I woke up, frightened and decided I better get up and pump.  A part of me wondered if the dream came because we’re in synch somehow, and maybe there was something wrong at the NICU.  Maybe I should call, but it’s too dark out to call.  If I call, I’ll be awake.  Instead I’ll pump and type in the dark. But then I turn on the light, waking your father, insisting we call.  He juts upright and agrees.  And a cheerful nurse reassures us you’re both thriving.  You’re moving, in fact, to the continued care room, for healthier, more stable babies.  All the closer to coming home.  All the same, maybe we should get you tested for pecan allergies. 

Comments

  1. Moms just know – know when to call, know when to check, know when to pray, know when to wake up from a sound sleep just to call, check and pray.

    Always trust your mom instincts and never ever worry about bothering someone else.

    Same goes for dads!

  2. What a beautiful post! I can't wait until you bring those munchkins home with you and post pictures of them in their castle with Mommy & Daddy!!

  3. "I can't believe I made you".

    Such a beautiful line. Stephanie you will be the world's greatest mother to your children because that is what you want to be. This post makes me thankful for my own mother, and the fact that I can say she is the best mother, or at least she is the best mother for me. Just as children are gifts to their parents, it's the wonderful parents whom are also gifts to their children. I know your two bundles of joy really lucked out and they will grow up being so proud that you are their mother.

    Stay strong, not much longer and you'll have them home. Thriving, what a great way to describe them. I wish for you continued success, love, happiness and a life that just keeps thriving.

  4. Stephanie I hope you start to feel more & more positive as the days roll on. The babes will be with you at home in no time!
    I really don't know how you could be that heavy right now, as the pics of you with the babies, even right after giving birth, you look great. No huge face, no triple chins, your arms and body holding the babies-that shot from the side, you look fantastic! I guess I don't understand when I have weight problems so off-the-wall compared to yours. Having given birth to new beautiful twins is what should make you happy, not your physical appearance now. But I don't know because I've never been there, and postpartum is so common these days.
    Also- please ixnay on the allergies-ay. Too many babies (and adults) these days are inundated with allergy here and allergy there. It's much too crazy, and I think babies and kids should be exposed to all sorts of new flavors and international culinary tastes early in life, to stop the craziness that is the American chronic diagnosis of -allergey and — allergy. We must put an end to it. Let the kids taste and try all sorts of things early on. As they do in Europa. It will lead to healthier and more open-minded adults.

  5. thank's for putting yourself and your family out into the internet "world". i look forward to reading each post you write. it's a beautiful story.

  6. Don't worry about pecan allergies. Get an IQ test (alternatively an Alzheimer test) quick though!

    It is truly amazing how you can write about nothing at such length. At least that usually is simply plain dead boring. Unfortunately you and your mate decided to have intercourse without condom one night and this blog turned from bad to worse because honestly mawkish mother pride is nauseating at best.

    Come on dude, babies are born every second at a massive rate. What you achieved was a fuck without protection, that is it. Please go back to your dead boring cooking posts and deliver us from these sickening mother/babies gutturalisms.

    Deep Blue

  7. I chuckled – not because it's funny, but because I remember those dreams so vividly. I'm smiling because I hear your delightful voice in this post. I feel warm and fuzzy because the babies are getting stronger and healthier. And, truth be told, I'm freaking out because my middle daughter got asked to a dance – and my dreams aren't of pecans in her mouth but of pimply faced boys touching my sweet, precious baby girl.

    Parenting – not as easy as it looks…but you're doing an awesome job. Keep it up.

  8. For some reason this post gave me goosebumps. It put a clear picture in my head of what you are going through. Hang in there and stay positive. All of your pictures are wonderful and you look fantastic. I only hope I look that good when I have a baby. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Give those two kids a big smile for me.

  9. hmmm…"writing about nothing at such length" I remember Seinfeld was this great show which was labled pretty much the same thing and we are still watching the reruns! This is just a blog and for some reason most of us love it and it has turned into a successful book. I guess Deep Throat, I mean Deep Blue needs to just visit another website. How hard can that be?

  10. "What you achieved was a fuck without protection, that is it."

    No, sweetie, that's all YOUR mother accomplished. And I hope it was a GOOD fuck, because she sure as shit ended up with a rotten offspring.

    Go back to your hole.

  11. I refrained from leaving a post yesterday, even though I was appalled by the vicious and self absorbed comments that were left for you by a lot of your readers. But after reading your heartwarming entry today and then scrolling down to browse the comments. I see once again you have mindless losers(deep blue) once again leaving an example of the worst of human nature.
    I've read your book, I log on everyday and I enjoy every single entry that you make. I may not always agree with everything you say. But I thank you for being so honest and open and interesting. Best Wishes to your family, you have a lot of people pulling for you!

  12. Another, of many beautiful posts, Stephanie. The miracle of life and the mother/child bond; there are not enough words to describe it. Not enough words can be written to satisfy it. You're doing a fantastic job at it, though.

    Your devoted reader,

    3T

  13. One step closer, Stephanie! So excited for you.

    You'll find in the upcoming years that no matter how much you try, you'll ALWAYS question whether you're doing things right. That's what good Mothers do… because we care.

    P.s. I had reoccuring dreams after I brought my first baby home that he was in my bed and somehow we were laying on him. I'd wake up screaming at my husband, "The baby's in the bed! Get up! Get up!" and after about the fifth time of this he was about ready to buy twin beds!

    I would also dream about having to breastfeed my baby and would wake up sitting straight up in bed, with my top unbuttoned and the comforter balled up under my arm, trying to get it to… latch on?

  14. Dreft is laundry detergent especially made for baby clothes. Some babies have a sensitivity to regular laundry detergent, gives them a rash or whatnot.

  15. Okay, the appalling moments are still ahead. I imagine mother and twins in a restaurant in two years time, say. A nightmare. They scream, drool, most likely covered in custard. You'd better pray you are not sitting at the next table because no matter how revolting the scene could be the mother will be just proud of the vomiting mess those creatures are capable of. Just one prayer: feed them at home.

    Deep blue

  16. BAM, I do believe the best part of DEEP BLUE's parents 'fuck without a condom' was left to run down his/her mothers leg. What an incredible fuckwit.

    I dont usually jump on the bandwagon with the 'Stephanie is great's' because she is a big girl and can take care of herself but that was infuriating. Be sure and let us know how karma turns around and kicks you in the crotch, will you Deep Blue?

  17. Sounds like you are worrying like most Moms do about anything and everything. It will probably be a little while before they are able to get pecans in their mouths on their own though. ;)

  18. Joy and fear, fear and joy — that's motherhood. If you have a bad feeling, if you think something is wrong, if you're worried or scared — always call, always check. It will ease your mind, and before you know it, those feelings will come to you less frequently.

    You're doing great. Hang in there.

  19. This was beautiful and I rarely use that word.
    Your writing is getting even stronger if that's possible.

    And aint it great being a mom and realizing there are so so sooooo many more important things to think about than some jackass trying to get attention in your blog?
    Being a mom helps put so many things in perspective.

    Great post today.

  20. Attention all reading this blog. Next time some asshole posts attacks on this blog, let's all just ignore it. People like that only post their verbal vomit to get a rise out of everyone else. And as long as it keeps working, they just keep doing it.

    So, I'm suggesting a moratorium on responding in any fashion to mean people posting on this blog. It really isn't hard.

  21. I think motherhood is bringing out the best in you and your writing. Your words make me feel as if I am standing in the middle of the NICU, taking this all in.

  22. You are going to be an AMAZING mother! I'm sure you already are. You are incredibly self aware and competent and those are both understatements – so have faith in your strength (and Phil's). I can't wait to hear how things develop once the babies are home – you are all going to be great.

  23. again, all i can say is beautiful … the babies are bringing out a very emotional side to your writing, and it is just beautiful to read. thank you for sharing it.

  24. Hooray! It was great to learn of the twins progress! That post brought happy tears to my eye's.

    For anyone who's had a loved one in the hospital, you know first hand how much these various degrees of progress mean.

    Celebrate — Tonight, from NYC, I'll lift a glass to you/Phil and your precious babies.

    Cheers!
    S.

  25. Man, that's it. No, it's really not. It's possibly a dreadful idea, but you could so post a countdown on the side of your blog to the estimated day when you babies get to come home.

  26. When you love your babies with all of your heart, you can do no wrong. Last night I went to bed early as I wasn't feeling well. My almost five-year-old came in to my bed with his toy guitar and serenaded me to sleep with a song he made up about his mommy being a beautiful angel. In moments like those all of your thoughts about not being good enough simply disappear.You're doing great Stephanie and yor babies feel it.

  27. I just looked at the most recent pictures of the babies — they're getting so big! The nursery is adorable. Thanks for letting us take a look.

  28. Hmmmm, another mention of cheesecake? Maybe you should add a new blog category called "Cheesecake on the brain." ;)

    In addition to Dreft, stock up on Nursery Needs, the must-have product for whoever ends up doing your baby laundry. It takes baby spit-up out of everything.

    Glad to read the babies are growing stronger every day, and that things are not so touch and go.

  29. That's great news to hear that Abigail and Lucas are doing so well. It's another step closer to coming home.

    It must be hard to dream about the babies and not be able to check on them, but it's fine to call the hospital. I'm 100% positive that you're not the only parents w/ babies there who are calling at all hrs to check in. Who wouldn't?

    I used to have lots of strange dreams when my kids were newborns too. The one recurrent one was like Bethany's post above. I would dream that I'd fall asleep while breast feeding my babies, and I'd wake up frantic and throw the comforter off the bed to search for them, but they'd be in their basinettes or cribs. My husband thought I was insane. I guess it was a combination of sleep deprivation and hormones. Very weird feeling, though. Anyway, continued best wishes to all of you!

  30. I think it is so ironic! Stephanie obviously brings out strong feelings in people. When people either a. disagree with her/her choices or b. strongly and rudely criticize her, all these amazing strong supportive people (of Stephanie) turn and say such mean hurtful things to the critic. Shouldn't we either a. ignore them or b. empathize with them (clearly they have some problems if they need to be so hurtful to someone else). Saying something cruel to someone else who is cruel, brings you down to their level.

    Also… by the way… this is a blog where people can comment, and people are allowed to not be on the Stephanie Tara Klein Express Train. Its a free world! She obviously has developed a thick skin.

  31. Stephanie,

    As one who always wavers back and forth between being a fan of your writing and being annoyed quite often, I have to say I'm loving your Mommy posts. I really am. Truly.

    It makes me look forward to being a mother, even though I know what you're going through isn't fun in a lot of ways and the stress must be unbelievable.

    But it feels real, and I love that you're writing about it. Thank you…and all the love in the world to your little ones!

  32. Glad you had a good day and thank you for sharing it. Maybe you already know about these monitors, but if you don't, check them out online or at BabiesRUs:

    http://www.amazon.com/UNISAR-AngelCare-Movement-Nursery-Monitor/dp/B00005NBE5

    It's a sound and motion monitor to use with your cribs..it senses when the baby is breathing, etc. It helped lessen my anxiety with a new baby, and I recommend it to everyone I know.

    I'll meet you at the Cheesecake Factory anytime…I live about 5 miles away from the Arboretum in Austin ;)

  33. Huge Fan and Hypocrwhat? are right. Please ignore posts like Deep Blue's. Do most people here not know about trolls? It's one thing when someone posts something (thoughtfully) critical – I'm all for that, and I'd love to see some more grown-up dialogue here when that happens, as opposed to the standard, "shut up, you must be a pathetic reject who hates his/her life" responses that usually arise. But posts like Deep Blue's are obviously trollish. Please don't feed the trolls!

  34. Its so wonderful to hear that the babies are closer to coming home! You write so absolutely beautiful about them. Also, I used to nanny. I don't anymore, because I just graduated, but if you are still looking I would love to start again!

  35. Hello. New reader here. I remember those first weeks after birth so well – and anyone who has experienced it knows there is nothing greater, or more extraordinary, or more necessary to describe, discuss, ponder on, and wonder at than being responsible for the birth of another human being. Anyone who hasn't experienced it (Deep Blue, perhaps?)- or has never had any great connection to someone who has – cannot really ever understand its importance, and its place in the world. Simple as that. In the end, there is no greater, or harder work. I take my hat off to you for being able to get yourself to the computer at this time! I know that I couldn't have done – didn't, in fact, start writing my blog til almost two years later.
    Happy New Year.

  36. Never doubt a mother's intuition.
    Here's to hoping the babies come home soon.
    I can't wait to read about how the babies are nuzzled together in their crib, even though they have their own little beds. Do you think they'll have the twin connection? Will one twin feel what the other is thinking or feeling?
    Love your posts and pics. Thanks again for sharing.

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