If you're like most mommies, you do everything...even if you have another full/part time job and also contribute to the household income. And if you're lucky, like I am, you have an amazing husband who helps out a lot.
I don't think Brian was planning to do this much work when I got pregnant and we started planning to have a baby. I'm not sure I was either. But things don't always go the way you expected, and in the NICU, Brian really stepped up. I was a wreck that week; I was physically tired from having a baby, I was emotionally tired from being told my baby is going to die, I was tired of crying, I was tired of imagining my future, I was discouraged, I was disappointed, and I was scared. But when I couldn't be out with Sadie because my body hurt and I had to lie down, Brian was with her. And when I wanted to give up, he held me strong and suggested I try this or just go one more day of that. And it's because of him that I have been strong enough these last 2 years to deal with this kind of lifestyle.
For the first 8 months of Sadie's life, I don't think I put her down. I held her all day, she nursed in my arms to nap, she slept with me at night, we were connected, and if I put her down (or in the car seat) there was screaming. She wanted to be held all.the.time. But I desperately needed a break. And that's when Daddy stepped in. Brian recognized that I needed a break, so every Saturday he started kicking me out of the house. I would run errands, go grocery shopping, sometimes just sit on the floor in the library (where it's quiet) and look at books, it didn't matter, it was a break. (I think one time I sat in the parking lot at the post office and just talked on the phone!)
In those days I couldn't be gone long because Sadie was nursing, and she would never take a bottle, so I could only leave for a couple of hours. But these days, I have more freedom to be gone longer. And even though Sadie is probably more work these days when I'm gone, Brian can handle it.
Everyday I write out a feeding schedule for Sadie according to what we're doing that day. Then I add up all the ounces and make sure she's getting enough liquid. I'm pretty obsessive about it. Then we have our specific routines, like in the mornings I get her up at 7:00 whether she's awake or not. You might think I'm crazy, but when she gets up early, she goes to sleep early. And I really need her to be up and "eating" for 12 hours in order to get enough liquid in her to keep her hydrated! She gets medicine @ 7:00 and her tube feed @ 7:30, then she watches Sesame Street and when it's over she eats food by mouth. Feeding Sadie by mouth is not easy. She doesn't swallow really well, she spits a lot of it out, she gags, and sometimes she sneezes and food goes EVERYWHERE. It can be very frustrating and Brian doesn't like to do it. Plus she doesn't know how to tell you when she's full, so if you try to get more in there than she can take, she'll throw it all up.
But today, I wanted to sleep in. And Brian recognized that I needed to, so he got up at 7:00 on his Saturday (mind you, on week days, he goes to bed at 10:00 and gets up at 7:30, he really likes to sleep) and got Sadie started. He gave her her medicines, gave her her morning tube feed, got Sesame Street started, and even made me some tea. When I got up, there was no stress, because Brian had it handled and stepped right in! It was a great way to start the day!
I am so thankful for Brian because when I need to be in two places at once (ie. making dinner for us and feeding Sadie by mouth) Brian is willing and able to step in and help me out. He is selfless. He understands that I am only one person. And he gets how exhausting it can be to take care of Sadie all day (because he's done it!) I am thankful that he loves Sadie and me enough to try to feed her and bathe her and put her to bed. He wants to give me breaks, and he wants to help out with Sadie (even if he hates changing diapers) and he wants us to be a parenting team. I'm still Mommy, and I still do most of it...but it's so nice to have a Daddy that I can rely on if/when I need to.