How to function with a 4 year old while baby in NICU in SF
Hello parents, after an epic struggle I have been lucky enough to get pregnant a second time, and am now coping with a very scary pregnancy. It looks like the best case scenario is for my son to stay in my belly until 34 weeks before I have to have a c section. Due to all the complications and risks I am going to UCSF's maternal fetal medicine practice for my care and barring an emergency will give birth there. I am only 25 weeks now so he may end up arriving even earlier. My older son is 4.5 and in full time preschool in Oakland where we live. I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for coping with a traumatic birth and tiny baby not ready for the world, and for trying to parent my older son while my baby is in the NICU and I have to pump every two hours. My older son was also premature, but made it to 36 weeks so had no NICU time - I know the pumping nonstop drill but cannot fathom how I will balance anything with both children's needs. My husband only gets 1 week paid leave so it will also be a struggle to figure out what time is most precious for him to be with our new baby. My parents are planning to help with child care for my older son, but I cannot disappear from him even if he is being cared for. I would welcome any wisdom or advice about how others have coped with this situation. Thank you.