If you haven't read Sophie's birth story, you can read about it here.
We left off with Sophie being born past midnight and me feeling on top of the world! Who wouldn't after giving birth to the most amazing little baby! After getting back to my room, we walked over to NICU since that's where Sophie would be staying for a little bit being early and all. We got to see her settled in and talk to her through the incubator. I was told and encouraged to get some sleep by the nurses and to be there for 6am for her feeding. In NICU, they feed the babies every 3hrs. So at 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm, etc. They knew I wanted to breastfeed so they were very accommodating in that way.
I went to bed and my hubby went home to get some sleep and take care of Penny, our fur child. He said he would be back the next morning, allowing me to sleep once I get back from the 6am feeding. The night nurse was also waiting for me to give my the pumping equipment and showed me how to use it and label it for NICU. That night I had the biggest chills and woke up so sweaty, I had to wipe myself down.
Note: I found out after that this is due to your body in the process of letting your milk come in. It felt like I was starting the flu! I did not read about this anywhere and I was glad my nurse the next morning told me about this.
On Saturday (Feb 15), the day was such a blur. I had to be in NICU every 3hrs to try breastfeeding and cuddle my little munchkin. In between, I went back to my room to rest, shower and eat. My hubby came back with some McDonalds breakfast and it was sooooo good! They have the best coffee!
That day was also one of mixed emotions since Miss Sophie was not doing as well as she should be. Her sugars were low and even after the antibiotics it was not regulating. So they had to do a blood transfusion where they remove blood and replace it with saline to get her red & white blood cells to get along and live peacefully! They did this through her belly button... add this to all the other wires that were on her for monitoring and the IV in her foot, it was hard to see her like this since she was so tiny :( That day, we had an older nurse and she made us feel like our baby was a burden. I was running on little to no sleep and this felt like a punch in the face after thinking our little one was ok.
That night, the shift changed and our new nurse was so much better and explained to us everything that was done that day and how it had worked to regulate Sophie's sugars and such. She even let us change her diaper and spend more time with her.
|Plugs and probes everywhere :(|
Note: Sophie was able to breastfeed from the start but I didn't have much to give her so we had to tube feed her some formula to make sure she was eating enough. The tube was through her nose. Poor little one..
Since I was still in the hospital, I was going to see her every 3 hrs and sleeping through the night to get some strength. I still had to wake up to pump since I needed my milk to come in.
On Sunday (Feb 16), our new day nurse was so positive and was very optimistic about being able to bring Sophie home soon. The day before, the older nurse told us, "probably not before her due date, which was March 18!!" Today was better although the nurse didn't want us to have many visitors since she needed to get her strength up! We did get to give her a sponge bath in her incubator and it felt so good to bond with her. She also had the light on her that day since her bilirubin was off, meaning she had a bit of jaundice. By that night, all was back to normal.
|Miss Sophie getting her tan on!|
On Monday (Feb 17), we got word that she would be transferring hospital to the one in our town. We technically live in between the 2 hospitals but she didn't need as much care so she was able to be transferred. She left around 1:30pm and I had to wait to be discharge since the Doctor was doing a C-section. This was the longest time of our lives since we just wanted to be with our little one.
Note: By this point, my hormones were going cookoo and I was crying for no reason even though all was well. I was running on minimal sleep so this was not helping either. It's a good thing I had my husband as he was running around, trying to be with us, taking care of Penny, updating our families and dealing with this emotional/hormonal mess :)
Being at the new hospital was the breath of fresh air that we needed since she was no longer in an incubator and we had our own little space to feed & cuddle her. We could unplug her and basically be with her like we wanted. She had been bottle fed once we got there and she continued to thrive from there on.
|Getting fed some boobie milk by Daddy!|
|Mommy getting some cuddle time!|
She stayed here until Thursday and we were finally able to bring her home on this day! Although not before we passed our "test"! We spent Wednesday night at the hospital with her in our room just like we would be at home. I guess we passed cause we went home the next day :)
Note: At this hospital (and many others) they do a car seat test for 3 hours to see if your little one is ok in the car seat we bought! They put her in with her monitors and see if she is alright! She passed this too!
We had to promise to be back the next day for a weight in since she was only weighting in at 4lbs, 13oz therefore still lower than her birth weight. We were so happy to leave the hospitals and be in our house, our things and start living like a little family!
|Going home as a family of three!|
This is where reality set in and we got to know our little munchkin :) It might look like all was well and we were on top of the world but the reality was a lot harder than that. I was exhausted and running on adrenaline trying to be at the hospital, pumping milk to provide to her and my husband running back and forth as we were in the middle of a kitchen renovation when Miss Sophie decided to join us! By Friday night, my husband had to tell me to go to bed and sleep. By 8pm, I was in bed and slept for a good stretch. It felt so good! The best part was that Sophie was home at last and from there, things could only get better :)
As I finish typing this, she is now almost 6 weeks old and doing really well. I will do another post soon on how she is doing :) Stay tuned!
If you had a preemie, how long was your baby in the hospital?