My baby seemed fine when he was first born, but that soon changed.
When I was admitted, my temperature was on the high side, so they tested my white blood cell count – which was also a little high. For safety’s sake, I was given antibiotics. The fever was passed on to the baby, so he was given antibiotics.
From what I was told, he was also breathing rapidly and the fever wasn’t going down as quickly as they had hoped. I believe the discharge papers also say he was possibly septic. Yikes! They had him in the regular nursery for a while, but soon took him into the NICU. I was still pretty out of it when I heard this, so I didn’t worry. I knew he was OK and if anything was to happen, at least he would be in safe hands.
I was in a recovery room (still without any water or ice) for another few hours. I’m not sure if they were waiting for me to pass the painkillers and stop shaking, or if they needed a room to clear out for me. Either way, my husband and my mother in law kept me updated on how things were going while I tried to get sleep where and when I could. The husband spent most of the time in the NICU keeping an eye on our son, taking pictures and making phone calls. I tried talking to my dad, but the fogginess was pretty fierce. It didn’t help that I didn’t get a very strong signal in a room full of computer equipment with concrete, hurricane safe walls!
Finally, I was placed in a room with another woman who had given birth to a daughter earlier that day, as well. The difference was that she had a healthy baby girl and was allowed to keep her in the room with her to begin the bonding process. I had to wait a bit to see my son. It must have been nice to be able to have the little girl nearby, but when she cried at crazy times during the night, I admit I was a little annoyed. However, it wasn’t her first baby, so she seemed to know exactly what to do and was able to handle most situations. If she couldn’t she called the baby’s nurse to come get her. Through the week we talked a bunch – she was a very nice woman! She named her baby Scarlet, a name her husband chose (though she wasn’t very happy with it). I got some tips and tricks from her – which have come in handy.
I finally had the energy to stand up and immediately sit down in a wheelchair (a Cesarean Section is no joke!). I did try to walk, but it wasn’t happening! My husband wheeled me down to the NICU and showed me the ropes on the entry procedure. When finally in the room, I got to see my son. I have to say, it was a little strange to know that he was mine. Nobody else’s. Well, mine and my husband’s, of course!
He was beautiful. He was red and bundled up and hooked to a bunch of wires, but he was amazing. I was afraid to touch him, for fear of knocking out an IV or pulling off one of those sensor sticker things. So this time, I just watched him and let him sleep.
The rest of the week was a learning process. I got to feed him and learn to burp him and give him medicine for his acid reflux and gas – all while learning to take care of myself and recover from what I realized was actually major surgery! I began walking small distances as soon as I was allowed, which seemed to impress the nurses on the floor. I’m not completely sure why, but it felt good. Comforting.
It seemed to take forever, but eventually our son was cleared to go home. He was still a bit yellow, but I was reassured that he could only get better. He would have to take his medications for a while, which my husband and I were not thrilled with. He seems to be too young to be on Zantac, if you ask me. I am not going to lie, we gave it to him for the first few days, and then slowly took him off. He doesn’t seem to exhibit any changes. He spits up a little, but that’s been it. From what I have known – that’s what babies do. They sleep, poop, eat and spit up. I’m not a doctor, though…
Anyway, it’s been three weeks since we were able to bring the baby home, and it’s been an absolute crazy mess ever since. It has been fun, exciting, stressful, scary and just about any and ever other emotion you would ever want experience. I cannot believe just how things have changed in less than a month. He has grown and begun to show little signs of personality, life with my husband has been strained, my mother in law has been amazing, though it has taken me a while to realize that… Life is just completely different. I’m still getting used to it, and continuing to hope it gets better…