Wow I have really missed blogging! I am so thankful for all of the ladies that blogged their cookie recipes the past few weeks while I spent time with my newly expanded family.
For us the past two and a half weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and craziness. On November 14th we welcomed our little girl into the world and I couldn’t ask for anything else! She is absolutely perfect. She is beautiful and a true breath of fresh air. I will warn you that you might need a tissue while reading the rest of this post.
With that being said things weren’t easy at first. The delivery – a breeze. Two big pushes and she was in my arms. We went into the hospital around 6:30pm and I had her at 10:58pm. After the nurses were done cleaning her off and taking her vitals we were left to rest with each other and I was able to get skin-to-skin time for an hour before they took her to the nursery for a bath. When the nurse came to get her for her bath she noticed that Delilah was grunting which was a sign of distressed breathing. After monitoring her in the nursery for a while she was still grunting and around 2am we were moved downstairs to recover without her for the night. I was so exhausted it didn’t really hit me until I woke up a few hours later and my baby girl wasn’t next to me. With the boys they never left my sight in the hospital – they were right by my bedside the entire time. I woke up that first night and cried because my baby wasn’t there. The nurse came in during the early hours of the morning to check on me and told me that Delilah was moved to the NICU because she was having continued distressed breathing and wasn’t keeping her bottles down – she was spitting them up almost entirely. The nursery and NICU are closed from any visitors from 6:30-8:30 (am and pm) each day for the nurses to finish up and do shift change. My nurse told me to order breakfast and plan to go see her after 8:30 – which I did.
Walking into the NICU was surreal. There were so many babies that were half of Delilah’s size and there she was with a feeding tube in her mouth, IV in her arm, and wires attached to her chest and feet for vitals. Later the first day I was able to try to breastfeed her again and she seemed to be doing so much better. The doctors came and talked to us and were so great! They ordered blood tests on her which showed a heightened level of white blood cells (the ones that fight infections), so they decided to give her a dose of antibiotics just incase she DID have some sort of infection. They explained that sometimes babies go through a period of stress during birth which could be the other reason for the high blood cell count so they would run the tests again the next day. The day was rough – I tried spending most of it next to her but I was also so exhausted from giving birth and then only getting 3 hours of sleep. My phone was exploding with calls from family and my husband had to be gone for most of the day because he is trying to get onto a specialized team at his job.
The following day we went up at 8:30 in the morning. We knew I would probably be going home and since Delilah seemed to do well through the previous day we expected she would be coming home with us or a day or two after. The doctor sat down with us that morning and explained that after giving her antibiotics and redoing the blood test her white blood cell count was higher than the previous day, so they were going to be keeping her for a week. Mike and I gave each other a sideways glace. Mine was probably something similar to a deer in the headlights. We looked back at the doctor and then when he walked away of course I broke down. As a mom of two other children all I could think about was how I would be able to come see her every day? My husband didn’t have much sick or vacation time and we lived 30 minutes from the hospital. When I counted 7 days out the 7th day landed right on Thanksgiving and that made that tightening feeling in my stomach even worse. I couldn’t image spending Thanksgiving without my family together.
I was discharged from the hospital around noon that day. I packed up my bags and headed back to the NICU where I camped out next to her basinet for the remainder of the day. Our boys came up to the hospital and got to see her through the window – but they weren’t able to touch her or actually ‘see’ her. Walking out of the hospital that night without a baby was one of the hardest things I have done – again I cried, but at least I knew she was being well taken care of. Waking up that night in my own room without a baby in my belly but still needing to pump milk was hard. I cried while I looked at her empty crib while I was there pumping milk and thought of her all alone. I think that first week was filled with a lot of tears.
Since I am over here crying like a big blubbery mess I will shart Part II tomorrow.