two days old
Thank you all for your wonderful wishes to our whole family. Mac and I read each comment and tweet in awe.
I’m still too exhausted to write Baby Z’s birth story, or even the aftermath. But I wanted to share a quick update.
I’m laying in my hospital bed and our tiny new baby is down the hall, one wing over in the NICU. At the moment she is asleep in a room with three other babies in need of intensive care. An at once amazingly awesome and terribly sad place, the NICU.
I’ve spent as much time as I could during my own tough recovery sitting in a wheelchair next to her little isolette by a window with a view of San Francisco Bay. In these hours, I’ve fought for as much skin time as they would allow, and held her tight while struggling to stay awake or forget my own pain. Holding her tiny body on my chest has been the best medicine for me, no doubt. But more importantly, it improves her vitals too.
Baby Z is an amazing little spirit, a fighter for sure. Her first NICU nurses described her as “feisty,” which is probably an excellent quality to find in a preemie. They took off her breathing mask (CPAP) and replaced it with oxygen tubes, which she pulled out herself on day two. So incredibly, she is breathing on her own.
They won’t let her feed through her mouth yet, as she can’t quite swallow. So she is on a feeding tube which is rather unpleasant. I was able to pump some colostrum the night she was born, which Mac salvaged in syringes. So her very first meal hopefully offered some protection to her tiny system. But my milk has not yet come in, so they are supplementing with formula and nutrients through the IV. She weighed just under 4.5 lbs at birth, so they don’t want her to lose much weight.
At just two days old, she has been poked and prodded to the point of blood and bruises. One IV bruise may in fact be serious as it is affecting the surrounding tissue and concerning the doctors. Seems like one thing after another can arise, so it’s really just day to day at this point.
Right now I am just so awed that this child exists, that she was even created, that she fought so hard to make it here, that she was born, that she is alive, that she continues to fight with her feisty spirit every moment. It is truly astounding.
As expected, my recovery has been slow. Aside from my ginormous incision and soreness from the invasive hysterectomy, the biggest issue is my blood loss. My levels were still dropping even two days post-op, when I lost more than 3 liters of blood. While I did get blood during surgery — including my own, which was recycled — it apparently wasn’t enough. The doctors have advised another transfusion, which I wanted to avoid unless necessary. Aside from fatigue, the only concerning symptom is a slightly rapid pulse which peaked this morning but seems to be going down. I agreed to reconsider in the morning, so we’ll see.
I’m trying to take care of myself, to accept my body’s limitations — i.e., slow recovery and healing, no milk, etc. I’m trying to rest and drink, but my body is working so hard to heal. While I am trying to pump, I also need to sleep. I’m doing what I can, what I need to do. Speaking of which, it is time for bed.
Mac is worried about me but has been a superstar, tending to Jaye’s needs and whims while doing what he can for me. Jaye has been a great sport but does not love the hospital for any length of time. She does seem to understand that “mama’s belly is sore.”
But we’re all exhausted, and we’re not even home yet…