March for Babies

Friday, March 24, 2006

Things that make you go Hmm:

I am supposed to avoid caffeine while TTC, during pregnancy and now that I am pumping milk for my baby.  Then, they turn right around and shoot her up with the stuff to remind her to breathe.  Couldn't they just let that come through me? They can inject it in me if they want to... PLEASE!?!?!?!?
One of the good things about having a baby in the NICU is that you get to sleep through the night while other parents of newborns are up with their babies.  Unfortunately, our dog Maggie does not understand this theory.  She has taken to waking me up at 3:30am and wanting to go outside.  She doesn't need to go out, she has been out before we go to bed and will go out when we get up at 5:30am.  She gets up out of her bed, stretches loudly then shakes which clangs her tags.  She then proceeds to walk laps around the bed stopping by my head at each pass to bonk me with her nose or whine or paw at the covers trying to get my attention.  This morning she was nicer to me, instead of 3:30 she waited until 4:15. We think she is just feeling the stress we have been under and maybe wants some extra attention?  I am tired.  Again, with the caffeine question!
Babies are supposed to be calmed by touch.  Germs reside on the human skin, especially on the hands so they require frequent washing especially at the hospital with their SOAP FROM HELL.  My hands are a mess.  The skin is peeling back from the tips of all my fingers.  I have cracks in the skin that bleed.  I have bags of frozen milk in my freezer with blood streaks on them from my fingers touching them. Gross!  My fingers are now sticking to the Velcro holders which fasten down Azure's CPAP tubes.  My fingers stick to the lovely flannel blankets, her clothes, the gauze used to wipe her mouth.  I want to caress her cheek but I am sure it would feel like sand paper.  Oddly enough, during her three day stay at the other hospital my hands heeled nicely.  I used LOADS of their moisturizing hand cleaner as well as normal lotion.  Now that we are back at our own fabulous hospital with the SOAP FROM HELL my hands are a mess again.  If only I could just stuff them in a big vat of Vaseline to soak for a while.  I may have to try Miss W's advice of swapping back and forth: one week washing, one week Purell.  I'll ask about that tonight.
Finally, today is T's birthday.  He marveled at me the other day the way I just fell right into the mothering role.  Changing diapers, suctioning the spit from her mouth, soothing her with the "womb hands" and pumping non-stop. I was thinking, "Of course! This is what we were working for!".  I have always been good with babies, they have just always belonged to other people before. 
He asked me if he was my "rock",  meaning, was he the one I am depending on so as not to completely lose my mind in all of this.  I told him no, and I am not sure he understood.  He is there for me, it is not that I could not depend on him to get me through this.  My point is, he is going through this too.  When two people go through something together they need to rely on each other as well as others.  It cannot be completely one sided. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings when I said that, I just want him to know that it is Ok for him to need support too.  He has been tentative in the holding but fabulous so far overall.  He is getting more confident in the NICU and asking questions instead of having me ask for him.  I have a WONDERFUL picture of the first time he held Azure with her looking up at him.  This is going to be a most amazing year. I am taking him out for dinner to celebrate.


Well-heeled mom said...

Go to a nail salon and have a paraffin wax treatment on your hands. It will feel wonderful, soften them up, and heal those cracks.


Vacant Uterus said...

My hands used to get the same way your are now when I worked in a hospital. I had to scrub after every patient and my hands were just so rough that I hated even touching myself. I started using vaseline on them at night, really slathering it on thick (put on cotton gloves if you can stand it) and that helped. Using Vaseline after a wash helps, too, because it sticks around through another washing. And it's pretty neutral and a bad growing place for germs, so it should be safe for Azure.

ks said...

I second the above comment about vaseline. If you don't have cotton gloves, slip them into a pair of socks when you sleep. It works wonders. Vaseline is cheaper, but there's another product too that's clear if it matters to you, called Aquaphor. It's very heavy and greasy for frequent use throughout the day though.

I'm so happy that Azure is doing so well. Keep it up little one!

ThreeBees said...

I hope T has a great birthday and you two enjoy a nice evening. This is going to be a great year for you both! As always, thinking of you and the wee bebe. :)

Kate said...

Eucerin or CVS Extra Dry Skin Moisturizing Cream (they come in large-ish tubs) will work, too. I have ridiculously dry skin, and that is what my derm recommends rather than Vaseline--they are both non-scented. Also, if your hands are that dry, cotton gloves or socks might not do it--you can get disposable non-latex gloves (I use purple nitrile ones that I get at the drugstore) and put them on right after putting on the cream. It will make the cream really soak in--I sometimes sleep in them, but 15 minutes during the day helps, too.

Anonymous said...

I like Aquaphor, myself. Aquaphor plus a nighttime sock might just do it.
It sounds like little Azure is doing great!! Keep up the good work, Azure. Would love to see a picture some time.
Rachel in NYC
(the blogless one)

Bridget said...

Neutrogena Hand Cream can't be beat. I use it and my hands feel great, and protected.

Miss W said...

D'oh...I can't remember the name of it, but our NICU had a lotion for the nurses to use. Very thin and watery, but it worked. Whey they saw how bad my hands got, they always left a bottle of it out so I could use it. Ask your nurses if they have a lotion that's safe to use in the NICU post-hand wash.

Also, on the caffeine front...the LCs in our NICU told me it was safe to have some caffeine as they routinely give it to the babies. They reccomend limiting it to just one or two caffeinated beverages a day and that you try to do so when you are eating something (not sure why that is though)

Jen P said...

I'm not sure how it applies to NICU babies, but my Paed reassured me that caffeine doesn't travel through the breastmilk as easily as it does through the placenta.

He reccomended no more than 2 cups of coffee or 6 cups of tea with milk.

I'll admit I've had 3 or 4 cups of coffee on days when Sophie wasn't sleeping, but then, if she wasn't sleeping, it didn't matter.

Much love to you guys.