Friday, February 9

the snuggler

the hearing test she passed with flying colors
trying to chew her fist since mom wasn't quick enough with the feeding
"you mean i have to leave this place? i was having so much fun!"
"well.... i might as well chew my hand a little for good measure, since i have to leave"

the eagle has landed... as you can tell by the last 2 pics, we got the snuggler released from the pen, and she's at home now. i know that anyone with kids will tell me to get used to it, but spending the first night with her was exhausting. i had no idea that she would squeak all night long, sending me to her bedside in fear of a crying jag. i got maybe 2 hours of sleep or so, since everytime she wanted to eat, (every 2 and 1/2 hours or so) it took nearly an hour and a half to get her satisfied. zoë and i are exploring our feeding options at this point, since breastfeeding is really painful right now, but i want to avoid as much formula as i can.

right now, she's been asleep for an hour, snuggled up in her squirelly blanket, snoozing in her comfy crib. i know she's not missing the lights, the noises and all the tests of being in the NICU and intermediate nursery. oh, and i guess i should post all about how she got there in the first place.

when i went in to the hospital last friday for the amniotomy (artificially breaking my water), i had no idea what the week would hold for all of us. labor began progressing, but because zoë had passed meconium already, the doctors were a little concerned. meconium is the really sticky first poop that babies have, and i can't say that i blame her for passing it before she got born. try holding it for two weeks, and i would say you'd understand. so, we got all dilated, effaced, and zoë refused to drop into my pelvis. after 8 hours of hanging out in that position, dr. little said that a c-section was probably our best option, since pushing her out was not going to happen. i had had an epidural put in around 8cm. because my contractions were piggy backing about 15-30 seconds apart, and i just couldn't do it. preparing for the c-section was fairly relaxed, since all they had to do was prep the operating room. the section went really well, and i had a great group of doctors working with me.

when zoë was finally born, they suctioned her mouth and throat immediately to try to clear any meconium from them before it went to her lungs. she still breathed a little in, and while it certainly could have been worse, any meconium is still no good. because of the suctioning, and other reasons i don't know, zoë basically went into shock. it might have been the shock of the cold room, mixed with the suctioning, but her blood pressure dropped, and her heart rate and breathing became fairly abnormal.

the first night, she was in the NICU, with tubes in her nose and mouth, trying to keep her blood pressure stable, giving her antibiotics and also keeping her stomach suctioned out because she was not going to be fed by mouth. when her blood pressure evened out, with the help of dopamine, she then was allowed to feed by mouth, and the tube came out of her stomach. she actually removed it herself on saturday during the day, and when i was off of the 12 hours of imposed bedrest for c-sections, i got to see her with it out. they put it back in, with no fussing, and it was out by sunday.

she remained on oxygen for another day, and still had an antibiotic iv. we found out saturday night, that even though she was stable and improving, the neonatalogist felt she needed a full 7 day course of antibiotics. i cried when i found out, i was so crushed. we never expected to not have zoë come home with us when i was discharged, and i had thought we would room together while i was in the hospital. it was not what we wanted, but we did want zoë healthy and ready to really enjoy her new life, so adjusting was definitely necessary. spencer was wonderful in reminding me what our priorities really were, and he also reminded me that i had the opportunity to get a few more uninterrupted nights sleep. something i will treasure, i'm sure.

i was discharged tuesday night, and the next few days went very quickly. zoë and i were working on breastfeeding, and i was up at the hospital as much as i could be, and could find a ride for... (i'm not allowed to drive for a few weeks) spencer's mom and sister were wonderful in picking me up, and making sure i was able to see zoë as much as possible.

and then there was last night. my first night at being a mom, as in, i get to change all the diapers, feed her, rock her and help her sleep. wow. it was everything i expected and a whole lot more. you know going into it that you're not going to sleep, but you don't realize how little you'll actually sleep. and how much it affects you. spencer stayed until about 11 or so, and its a good thing he went home to sleep. i don't know how well he would have done, since he worked today. i, at least had the option of not going to work, and driving heavy equipment all day.

so, that's the story. zoë is in her room squeaking right now, and i'm going to go pump, in preparation for 9, when she wakes up. at least she's fairly predicatable, and is on a semi-regular 3 hour schedule for feeding and changing. what i love the most are the alert moments before she falls asleep. she stares at spencer and i, and every once in a while, gives us a gassy smile. no, i know it's not a real smile yet, but i'm learning. you take what you can get.

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