Last night we had a tour of Sutter Memorial Hospital and a tour of the NICU lined up, but when we got there the tour director told us that they were not giving any actual tours that night because all of the maternity rooms were taken up. We were so disappointed! I could tell that it was time to pull the triplet card that usually works like a charm. When I told her that I am having triplets she immediately called for a wheelchair so I could get wheeled up to the 2nd floor for a personal tour of the NICU with a NICU nurse.
I was forewarned by someone in my multiples group that visiting the NICU can be very difficult because you see babies that are so tiny and frail looking. I had always kept this in the forefront of my mind so I wouldn’t be too shocked, and yesterday I gave Chris the same warning. He said he hadn’t thought of that before. I have also been told by EVERYONE I know who has delivered at Sutter that the NICU and the NICU nurses are the most fantastic and talented group of people.
There are two levels of care in the NICU – the intensive rooms of which there are two, and service the sickest and smallest of babies with a 2 to 1 nurse/infant ratio – and the step-down level rooms where the babies go when they’ve graduated from the more serious section of the NICU with a nurse/infant ratio around 3 or 4 to 1.
We met Emma in one of the step down rooms of the NICU. It was a shock at first to see how tiny she was. She was born at 28 weeks and was now 30 weeks. She was just a perfect little miniature person. Her little feet were smaller than my pinkie finger and her head was about the size of a fist. The NICU nurse went inside the room and got Emma out of her incubator and held her up for us to see. When she came out she said “you have three of those in your belly right now”. I found that hard to believe. Yes, Emma was small but didn’t seem small enough for me to have three of her in my belly. Amazing!
The whole experience was very inspirational. I have to keep these babies growing inside of me for as long as possible, despite my discomfort. Although 35 weeks is my goal, I would love to make it even longer, which is why I spend 95 percent of my days lying in bed resting. I don’t really have a choice but to lie in bed anyway because my body is starting to really feel the burden of all these babies. But when I feel frustrated that I have so many aches and pains and can’t sleep and have horrible heartburn, I am reminded of what my doctor told me at my last visit — that a lot of people are in the hospital full time at and before my stage taking terrible drugs to stop labor. And now I’m reminded of Emma and she inspires me to hang in there and focus on the big picture . . . healthy babies.