Nate and I have been joking that it feels like we’re living in a box. Not quite as much as the literal box the boys are living in, but still. It is no fun living within the beige walls of a hospital for this long! I feel like I have no idea what is going on with the world- I haven’t watched or read the news in a week, and there have been days at a time where I never even looked out a window. So Jackson might have been swept away by a tornado and I wouldn’t even know.
It has now been 8 days that we’ve been at the hospital, and it has made me really appreciate the fact that we haven’t spent much time in hospitals before, and that our boys are well enough that they won’t be here for weeks and weeks on end, like alot of those teensy tiny NICU babies will be. In case you didn’t know, I was discharged last Monday from the hospital, and we have been boarding here since then. The hospital allows us to use an extra room in the same-day surgery unit, and as long as they don’t need it for anything, we don’t have to leave. We just go sign up and pay for it on a day-by-day basis. Thankfully, we haven’t had to leave or move rooms yet, and I hope we make it through our entire stay without having to pack up and go anywhere.
We were originally going to try to go home and just come back and forth to the hospital, but once we started adding up the time it was going to take to go back and forth, we realized we would never sleep. Plus, if we stayed here during the day between feedings, we wouldn’t have anywhere to rest or anything other than the lobby. So, we just figured that we might as well get a room and stay here.
We have a pretty good schedule worked out where we do 6 out of the 8 feedings each day. They eat every 3 hours on the dot, and we’re usually in the NICU with them for about an hour or so, sometimes more. Usually we’re in the NICU for about 6-8 hours each day, with little breaks in between. Of course this isn’t required – we can come and go as we want and the NICU staff will do as much or as little of the feedings as we need them to. But since we have the ability and opportunity to be here all the time, we would rather have the babies start bonding with us now instead of waiting until they get home. We also have the benefit of having the super-experienced NICU nurses teach us some tricks that we might not have known otherwise. Plus we just can’t get enough of them, so it’s no problem at all for us to spend so much time in there.
Most of the time, we just come back to the room in between and rest, check email, and update family with phone calls. Nate is working on some online classes for school, so he tries to get in a couple hours of work each day in between feedings. We also try to get out of the hospital once each day, even if its just for an hour between feedings. Before we started doing that, we were going a little crazy! Now, we go out for a meal or run an errand, and it brings a little bit of normalcy to our lives for a few minutes.
Our room is pretty small, but it works out fine for us because we don’t really need it for much. We have a twin-sized, bed-height air mattress in here that takes up alot of floor space, but we make it work. Our biggest issue is that there is no fridge which means we can’t really keep food here….and we don’t have access to laundry facilities, so we are trying to coordinate our laundry with family when they visit.
The best part about this whole thing is the fact that I am so close to my boys. And by that, I don’t only mean the two new ones. Nate and I have so enjoyed being able to spend the past 8 days completely together. We are with each other 24 hours a day right now, and I’m not sure what I would do without him. Even in the midst of a serious and somewhat stressful situation, he still manages to make it fun. As weird as it sounds, I have enjoyed the majority of this past week. We are so blessed that he has a schedule and a job where he can work from here and spend as much time as necessary focusing on his family. God has indeed been good!
Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t really REALLY looking forward to the day when life in the box is over… both our box and theirs!