Being in such close quarters with up to 7 other babies and many more in other bays (or rooms) you see a lot. All of the babies born the same week as Olive in her bay went home. Same month- home. Some went home close to their due date, some weeks before. I saw all of them go to nasal cannula while Olive was still intubated.
When Olive was got to the age where she could bottle feed, she still had the cpap on and couldn't do it yet. When she finally was ready, another set back- and then another.
The baby next to her, also born at 26 weeks, a month later, is now bottle feeding and Olive is aspirating into her lungs and isn't even getting regular feeds.
9 days from her due date, the date they hoped she's be home by. A follow up swallow study ordered for 13 days after her due date. I'm almost positive she's the oldest in the NICU now.
Is she gaining enough weight? Is she growing enough? Shouldn't she be getting more milliliters of breast milk? Am I getting enough for all of her feeds?
It's all too much sometimes when I think about it.
Then I remembered something. God never compares me, or Olive, to anyone else. The story of the prodigal son was a story of an amazing father that just wanted to love his children, no matter what. I believe that was the point Jesus was trying to get across.
When she doesn't hit milestones right on time, or her teachers say she's not doing this or that like other children, I will smile and say "she's trying, and she's doing a great job" just as I tell all of the doctors and various medical staff :)
I would encourage you to do the same for your children and yourself.