They're too little to show any really signs of hunger, and the amount that they eat has been mathematically calculated to each of their sizes to help them gain weight, and expand their bellies quickly so that they can subsist on breast milk alone.
Right now they're being weaned off the IV, and every little bit more of my milk that they get is a little less IV Fluid they need.
In fact, hopefully by tomorrow they'll be off their IVs. Whoo-hoo!
But back to the schedule:
The babies eat at 1:00am 4:00am, 7:00am, 10:00am, 1:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, and 10:00pm.
I go to every daytime feeding (7:00am-10:00pm), and usually take at least two naps in that time for about an hour and a half each.
Then I stay home and pump for the 1:00am and 4:00am feedings.
Today I was napping before the 1:00pm feeding, and woke a little late. I rushed in at 15after, and apologized to Travis (who was meeting me there straight from work).
"I fell asleep and woke up a bit late," I apologized.
And then a nurse lectured me extensively about how I need my sleep or I won't have any more breast milk, and the babies don't even know whether or not I'm there.
And apparently the nurses then held a secret conference about how I am running on empty (which I'm not. Remember how I was late because I was sleeping? I get sleep. And I miss two feedings every night, which is so hard for me.)
Because then two separate nurses tried to get the charge nurse to restrict how often I can come in, based, I assume, on the assumption that if I'm not at the hospital then I will be home in bed.
And not on the assumption that if I'm not in the hospital then I will be prowling the hospital grounds listening for my babies' cries.
And we were at the 1:00 feeding today late, because the lactation consultant was finally there (she's been sick) and she came for an hour to teach me tricks of the trade. So it was 3:00 when we left, and I said "Well, maybe I'll just stay until 4:00, so no one has to drive me back in forty minutes."
And the nurse said, "Maybe you should just stay home and get some rest and come back at 7:00."
And so I did.
Because I don't want the nurses to go behind my back and get me kicked out of the NICU.
But I'd already taken two naps.
And I slept really well last night.
So I wasn't tired. So I just sat at home feeling anxious. And wishing I was there.
And the babies know whether or not I'm there.
They can smell me, or hear me or something. And they know when I'm there, but I'm not holding them.
They'll start fussing and crying and turning towards me.
Today Grey started fussing, and I reached in and laid my hand on his chest, but he started crying harder, arching his back and ripping at his cords.
"Can I take him?" I asked. The nurse nodded (they rarely let me hold them lately, since they've been under the lights for jaundice.)
I had barely lifted Grey from the bassinet before he was quiet. I held him against my chest and he snuggled in and immediately fell back to sleep.
And I've seen the nurses try to snuggle them when I'm there.
They're not interested in being snuggled by women who aren't their mama. Especially if I'm there.
So today I missed a feeding. But never again.
Unless I need to.
And can I just say, every other new mom in the world gets to spend all day and all night feeding her baby and not sleeping.
With two babies, I should have twice the right to not sleep if I so choose.
So leave me alone, you bossy nurses.