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It is standard to stay in the labor and delivery room for about two hours to make sure all is well before they send you to your new room. I was getting the last of the Pitocin and iv fluids while Ryan was with baby. Once the room was cleaned up family could come back in. My mom, sister and mother-in-law along with Ryan were back in the room with me.
Although I really didn’t have an appetite I knew I needed to start getting calories back in my system. It had been about 20 hours since I had any food. During early labor I asked for chicken broth twice because my stomach was empty, but otherwise nothing except water. I immediately ordered chocolate milk (recovery drink choice after endurance events) and a yogurt (I heard getting your bowels moving was scary after labor so I thought this might help) from the hospital while we decided what to get for dinner. Ryan and his mom went to Panera to get us some food. They returned with turkey sandwiches and a huge, delicious cookie!
There was a shift change again around 6:30pm so we said bye to Julie and got a new nurse. They kept checking my vitals which were all out of whack. My heart rate was high and my blood pressure was not good either. Doctor ordered another bag of iv fluid thinking that would help. I attempted to get out of bed to use the restroom, but was way light headed. I ended up using the bed pan twice. I was not dehydrated that is for sure! Good news right after delivery my fever was gone and stayed down. But we could not get my heart rate or blood pressure to level out.
I devoured my food and anxiously awaited getting to move to the next room so I could go see my baby girl. Ryan and I talked and cried about the scary situation we had been in just a few short hours ago. We talked about what a blessing we have. How we have so much to be thankful for. To think we had such a scare if our baby was going to make it and she did. And now in a few short days we would be leaving with her in our care, with us to ensure she makes it.
Since I did not get to put baby to the breast I was told to go ahead and pump every three hours to help my milk come in. I collected the colostrum and sent it to the nursery. Baby would not receive any of it for several hours though as they were giving her antibiotics and fluid. The nurse called NICU and got a camera set up where we could see our precious baby on the tv screen. Finally around 11pm, about 6 hours after delivery, my vitals were close to stable. They allowed us to head over to the other room.
However, once we made it over to the other room my vitals were unstable again. The new nurse that was to take care of us in that room was not happy that I was there. She was snippy and rude. In her defense she probably was worried and didn’t want to deal with an unstable patient. I attempted to go to the bathroom again, but was too light headed. She told me I had to walk there that they didn’t use bed pans in this room. Ryan, as kindly as possible, told her it wasn’t happening. She ended up getting this rolling cart thing that I stood then sat on to take me to the restroom.
Again, I am anxiously awaiting to get to go see my baby girl, but was not allowed to go because of my vitals. The nurse came back and said doctor wanted me to sleep until 2am. Then, they would check my vitals again. The doctor thought my body was in shock and just needed rest. Funny thing was Ryan had been saying that for hours. So there we are finally with the lights out trying to sleep. You would think after about 40 hours of no sleep and 19 hour labor I would pass out. I had a hard time sleeping though. I wanted to see my baby. Every time I would start to dose off I would hear her first cry.
It was maybe 30 minutes later, it definitely was not 2am, the nurse came back in. She said the doctor had changed her mind and wanted to draw some blood and do an EKG on me. I fell back to sleep in between the people coming in to do those things. My vitals were then checked again at 2am and they were stable. I pumped then as well. Honestly at this point as much as I wanted to see my sweet baby I knew I had to sleep more. I felt I still hadn’t gotten enough uninterrupted sleep that things would stay stable if I got up. With Ryan’s very wise encouragement we decided to sleep some more.
We woke up later that morning and headed to NICU. At 8am on Sunday, the day after she was born, I finally got to touch our baby again! I even got to breast feed her. Seeing her attached to all the tubes and monitors was hard, but she was alive and quite healthy! The NICU nurse said she was not crying or showing any signs of pain. They did confirm that her clavicle was broken. They had it put in a sling to prevent a lot of motion, but our little one kept taking her arm out of it. We sat on the couch as the nurse brought her, along with all the tubes and wires, to us. We used some of the earlier pumped colostrum to entice her to latch on. She really did so with ease. The nurse even commented on how it didn’t look like this was our first time. Ryan helped by talking to her and touching her to keep her awake. We just kept looking at her in amazement. That we had created her. That she was alive. That she was well.
Every three hours we went down to the NICU to feed and visit her. First, I went in the wheel chair, then transitioned to pushing the empty wheel chair, to walking by myself. All that day, night and following day we went to see her every 3 hours. Each time we were done feeding her it was time to go back to the room to rest ourselves, but it was hard to leave her. With each visit you would think it would get easier, but it never did. As we would enter and leave the NICU we would walk by all these other rooms with babies in them. Some had been there a month or more. Some were in boxes. Some were so very little that you saw more wires than you did them. A wave of thankfulness came over me each time I walked through. That, yes, our baby girl was in NICU, but only for 48 hours and doing so well compared to the others around her. Such a humbling experience.
We were able to bring visitors back with us in the NICU to see her, but they were not allowed to hold her. Ryan’s grandparents, aunt and uncle, mom and my parents all got to see her. Two family friends stopped by as well. As Monday afternoon approached Ryan and I were looking forward to getting our baby and going home that evening after she received her last round of antibiotics at 5pm. We went down to feed at 2pm and was asking details about leaving. That is when the NICU doctor talked to us and said he wanted us to stay another night. Change of plans again! I really wanted to go home to my own bed and shower. But I did see his point. He was going to release her from NICU, but wanted us to take advantage of her being in the regular nursery seeing how we really had not gotten to interact with her other than feeding. We agreed and stayed another night.
Once she was released from NICU and to the regular nursery we asked that she room in with us. At this point it was evening and time to sleep. I set an alarm so I could feed every three hours. She would awake us with her little noises that we were not use to. We didn’t know if those cries were hunger cries or just other cries. At one point she was crying and we didn’t know what to do. Finally we realized she needed a diaper change which helped, but she still was not happy. We called the nursery nurse and asked if she could come give us some pointers. The nurse told us she could take her back to the nursery, but we didn’t want that. The next day we would be home trying to figure this out. We wanted to learn what to do. The nurse told us swaddling her would probably help and showed us how to do it. As soon as baby started getting swaddled she settled down. We made it through our first night!
The next day we waited for the doctor to see me, another doctor to see baby and the lactation consultant to stop by. Once they all made their rounds we would be able to leave. This seemed like the longest time ever! Finally at about 2pm we were released from the hospital. We put our baby in her car seat and headed home. This baby was in the sole care of us. No more nurses or hospital personnel. But she was ours to care for, ours to love, ours to nurture. Not just for today, but years to come!
If you missed the other parts of the labor and delivery story be sure to check them out so you know exactly what lead our baby girl to end up in the nursery.
Until Next Time- Truly Love,