Wow, it's been a long week. Finally, Brighton is home with us. She sure went through a lot the first few days of her life, but she's a strong little girl. She was born on Sunday 11/8/09 at 2:01 am. (Just two hours after her actual due date.) She weighed 5 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches long. The cord was wrapped around her neck and she had some maconium that they had to suction out of her lungs, but when that was taken car of, she was alert and healthy looking and had the cutest little cry. As soon as she heard Daddy's voice, she stopped and looked right at him. She just couldn't take her eyes off of him even when I was holding her. Our doctor was just about to go home before she thought to check her blood sugar. If she was even one ounce bigger, they never would have checked, but since she was on the smaller size, they did, and her blood sugar was really low. It dropped down to 14. (It's supposed to be higher than 50.) So they took immediate action trying to get it up. They had to get an IV in her for a glucose drip and they had to get some blood work so she was poked so many times. It was really hard to watch. The heels of her feet are so sore. Her blood sugar still wasn't up enough, so they had to gavash her...meaning stick a tube down her throat. All three of us are so traumatized. Not quite what I was hoping the first few hours of Brighton's life would be like. Sean and I hardly got to hold her before they decided to transfer her to another hospital 2 hours away. The one we were at was a smaller hospital and did not have the clearance to keep her there with the IV.
Everything was such a blur to me, I hadn't gotten any sleep for the last 3 nights because I had such bad contractions and then all of this happened right after her birth. So I was just out of it. And then they came and took my baby away. They wouldn't allow us to go with them in the ambulance. They wanted us to stay and get some rest, but Sean couldn't take it. Shortly after they left, he went to the other hospital to be with her. They couldn't discharge me yet, so I had to stay there until that evening. Sean got a lot of bonding time with her at the other hospital in the NICU. He was able to just sit in there and hold her whenever he wanted. Even though she was in the NICU, it wasn't a serious thing, just very stressful and emotionally waring. All they were doing was trying to ween her off of the IV and get her blood sugar stablized. We feel so blessed that it wasn't anything more serious. I don't think we could have handled it.
I was finally discharge that evening and my mom took me to the other hospital. We got there around midnight, but they don't allow anyone except the parents in the NICU because of the swine flu. So my mom couldn't go see her. (She saw her right after she was born though. And my dad saw her right as they were taking her to the ambulance to transfer her to this hospital.) When I got there, I was so excited!! I finally got to hold her again and was able to nurse her a little bit. I was so happy, but I really hated the nurse that was taking care of her that night. She was not good at her job and she made me feel really bad like she had this attitude of "I can't believe you don't know what you're doing". OK, I've been a mom for exactly 1 day now, of course I have no idea what I'm doing. And she was doing things wrong like when I nursed Brighton, they had to weigh her before and after to see how much she was getting from me since they had her on such a particular feeding schedule. But when she weighed her the first time, she did it without the recieving blanket and then afterwards, she weighed her with it. And she said..."oh wow, she got about 8 oz from you." Sean and I were like are you freaking kidding me? First of all, she nursed for like 2 minutes, and second of all, my milk isn't even in yet, and third, we noticed the blanket thing. But she said, "well, you can see for yourself what the scale says." Shortly after that she pretty much shooed us off. By that time, I was so frustrated and worn out, everything just hit me at once and I finally just broke down and cried for about an hour. There was another nurse that walked by where we were at, and we talked to her about our experience with the nurse and how we were worried Brighton wouldn't get fed since the nurse thought she got enough from me. And this nurse was so nice and caring and she reassured us that everything was fine and that she would address these issues. Ever since then, we had amazing nurses. They still had to poke her foot every 2 hours to check her blood sugar, but everything was looking fine.
They were slowly weening her off the IV, and on Monday at 9 pm, she was completely off of it. Now, the only thing holding us back from bringing her home, was she wasn't eating well enough on her own. They wouldn't let me nurse her until the IV was out, and she wasn't taking to the bottle, so they were just feeding her through the tube in her nose. Once the IV was out, they let me nurse her, and she did really well. They tested out a few different nipples for her bottle and found one that she liked, and so she was slowly learning to eat on her own.
On Tuesday, they sent her up the the Intermediate Nursery Unit, where it was a lot quiter. Sean and I were able to be with her all day and it was a lot more intimate because they had curtains that we could close and it finally felt like we had her all to ourselves. They took the tube out of her nose that night and she was eating well enough on her own.
Wednesday night, they set us up to "room in" with her. So that meant that we we able to sleep in a hospital room with her just around the corner of the nursery. They left us alone except for a couple of routine checks in the night (no more poking though!) And that's when Sean and I got a full dose of what parenting was going to be like. (All the other nights, we were staying in a place called the "Tree House". This was a place that people could stay at for free while a family member was in the hospital. It was just one block from the hospital. So we were able to go and sleep through the night while the nurses took care of Brighton) Anyway...this night, I think we got about an hour of sleep total. This little girl did not want to be put down. Everytime she fell asleep and we put her in the crib, she would just wake back up and cry. It was a rough night. We were exhausted, but we didn't mind. We were just so happy to be with her. They still wanted to make sure she was eating enough, so we had to weigh her before and after I nursed her. But she did so well, I never even had to give her a bottle.
Thursday afternoon, we were discharged!!! They showed us how to bathe her and went over everything. And then we were free to go!
Now we're home and she is doing SO well. She slept through the night almost too well. I think she just knows that she's home now and not getting poked and prodded at every couple hours. She's finally relaxed and comfortable. We cannot be any happier. She is just so perfect and beautiful and healthy and so much more than we could even imagine.
Sean is so cute with her. A natural daddy. Almost every time he held her in the hospital, he would get so emotional and if you know Sean, you know that he doesn't cry very often at all. In fact, I've seen him get teary eyed more in this last week than I have the whole 4 years I've known him. I couldn't ask for a better husband. We went through so much together with all of this, it really strengthed out relationship. Like I said before, we are so so blessed that it wasn't anything more serious. And it's been such a blessing because the nurses were so amazing. They gave us so much advice and help and we got answers to all of our questions and we feel way more prepared to be parents because of all the information we got while we were there. I think if we were to just bring Brighton home straight from the hospital, we would be so lost.
But here we are, a little family. We are so excited to be parents and we can't wait for everyone to see her. We are planning to do the baby blessing in Utah sometime in January.
We are so in love with our daughter.