Friday, March 23, 2012

Delaney: 1 week

It took me a while but I finally wrote Delaney's birth story and all about her arrival - 4 weeks early. If you missed it you can read all of the bloody details (just kidding) here.

After spending 2 days in the hospital, Delaney and I were released on Friday evening and were finally on our way home as a family of 3. We arrived home around 7:30 pm and we were excited to introduce Tanner and Stella to Delaney. We videotaped this special moment and they were both great dogs and welcomed her with open arms paws (lame joke). David and I then looked at each other and weren't sure what to do next with Delaney. We then got the bassinet ready for her to sleep in and began the routine of feeding her every 2 to 3 hours. In the middle of the night we noticed that she was very cold to the touch and tried to warm her up with skin to skin. We then got out 2 thermometers that we received as gifts and took her temperature - we began to panic because both of them were reading low and she was still very cold to the touch. It was a long night worrying about her but we knew we were going to see the pediatrician at 8:00 that morning.

At 7:30am we got her all bundled up and headed to the pediatrician. Overnight her coloring turned very yellow and looked like she had spent the night somewhere sunny. We had her bilirubin tested and it was very high. The doctor decided that because of her temperature and bilirubin levels that she needed to be readmitted into the hospital. This was heartbreaking but I knew as a mom that it was the right thing to do. Our doctor made arrangements with the hospital to have her admitted into the special care nursery (NICU) and even got a room for me so that I could stay at the hospital with her and continue nursing her. Lots of special approvals to make this happen because she was discharged but given it was only 12 hours they made an exception.

She spent Saturday and Sunday under the lights and we got lots of support from the lactation consultants because she still wasn't catching onto breastfeeding and was quite an ordeal to get her to eat. We settled into a routine after she was readmitted and fed every 3 hours on the dot. If she wouldn't breastfeed well we would then give her a bottle of pumped milk. We had to be fast because she needed to spend as much time as possible under the lights.

As a new mom, having your child back in the hospital is devastating. I was exhausted and hadn't slept since Monday night. The nurses kept urging me to eat and sleep but I couldn't do much of either. They were becoming concerned because I looked like a train wreck. They gave me as much attention as Delaney and I felt well taken care of while we were there. David even went out and got me my favorite deep dish pizza - Gino's to cheer me up. I would get a little bit of sleep but every 3 hours I had to set my alarm and be back in the NICU to feed Delaney. David went home to be with the dogs since we had already sent my parents home who watched them for our earlier hospital visit. He needed his sleep and I managed to sleep a little that night during our feedings.

Sunday came and in the afternoon the doctor discharged Delaney because her bilirubin had dropped and she was eating better and appeared to be maintaining her body temperature. So off we go, back home for a second time. I was feeling more confident about feeding her and I thought things were looking good.

Monday morning we are back at the pediatrician's office for a check up and when they took her temperature it was reading in the 96 range - not good! They used multiple thermometers to be sure and that's when I heard the dreaded words......."I can't ignore this and she will need to be readmitted back into the hospital." I maintained my tough facade and we headed home to pack our bags once again. I got home and that's when I lost it. Laying in bed holding my baby and sobbing....this was not what I expected and I felt like a failure because I couldn't understand why I just couldn't take care of her. My hormones were out of whack which didn't was one ugly cry!

Back to the hospital we go but this time we were admitted onto the pediatric floor. We got a room with a bed so we were able to stay with her but it was not the same positive, nurturing environment we had in the NICU. It was down right depressing and the doctors kept talking about potential infection and possibly needing a spinal tap in addition to many tests. The next 3 days were the worst ever. I stayed around the clock to feed Delaney while David went home to sleep - it hit him really hard too and he couldn't handle being in the hospital all of the time. I felt terrible for him because he was helpless and saw not only his daughter getting iv's and being in the hospital but he saw his wife falling apart and hanging on by a thread.

Come Wednesday we couldn't take it anymore and they had pretty much ruled out infection and knew we were just dealing with complications of her being early. She needed to build up her brown fat so that she could maintain her body temperature which would in turn help with her jaundice and feedings. I became obsessed with measuring how much she was eating, weighing her before/after feedings, and logging all of her body temps. I am pretty sure my records were a million times better than the doctors and nurses because its all I could think about.  When our favorite doctor walked into the room on Wednesday morning, David had a long conversation with her about our concerns with being on the pediatric floor versus in the NICU where the nurses were better trained on providing care to a preemie. Part of me was like David enough - let's just deal with the cards we were dealt but it ended up paying off. The doctor went to the head of nursing and we got Delaney moved back to the NICU. I finally felt like she got the care she needed and was able to get some sleep because I knew she was in good hands. The only downside to this move was that I didn't have a room to stay in anymore and had to leave at night. I was actually OK with it because I knew I was no good to her until I got some sleep. I set my alarm so that I could continue to pump and let's just say I never heard it go off. I woke up 8 hours later and almost flipped. I guess I really needed that sleep.

What a roller coaster ride her first week was but so happy she didn't have anything more serious wrong with her. At the time it felt like the world was ending but looking back I know it was only a bump in the road.

2 days old and sleeping after her food coma

Delaney going to the pediatrician office on day 3
Her winter hat was a little big but she was still adorable.
This was before we got the "back to the hospital" news.
Her newborn outfit was plenty big on her.

Daddy holding his little girl on day 5.
Another newborn outfit that was swimming on her.

Day 5 and she was in an open bassinet - not good because we lost time she could have been in the incubator fattening up. She looks so peaceful though.

Day 6 and she had to have an IV put in her arm.
I was not happy to learn she has veins like me and it took 5 sticks to get one in.
It was put in for precautionary reasons only which made me even more mad because we never needed it. She's our little trooper!

Day 7 in the incubator. Starting on day 6 we weren't allowed to take her out of the incubator at all, not even to feed. Everything had to be done in the incubator which made feedings and diaper changes very difficult. This picture honestly broke my heart but honestly she loved the incubator. She was toasty warm.


MamaBear said...

What an ordeal! I cannot imagine the roller coaster that must have been! ugh! Praise God things turned out the way they did. She is a lucky girl to have you guys for parents!!!!

Brooke said...

What a wild ride!!! Melissa, I'm sure you handled it much better than I would have I'm so glad she is happy and HEALTHY - AND SOOO ADORABLE - now.