Hmm, where does one start?? Being a mom is hard — at least when you’re dealing with a newborn. I’m not quite sure what to do with Grace, and then there are days like today where she does not want to sleep at all, and she cries and cries. I’ve had to resort to using a pacifier, something I said I would never do, because Grace isn’t happy unless she has something in her mouth. She doesn’t seem to be getting nipple confusion, so she’s nursing just fine. At least it seems like she’s nursing just fine. Sometimes I wonder if she’s eating enough because of how fussy she is. I wonder if she’s always hungry. We’ll see when she goes to her two-week appointment on Thursday. If she’s gained a sufficient amount of weight, then I won’t worry any longer.
I can’t believe she’s almost two weeks old already. Just two weeks ago I was freaking out because I was staring an induction of labor in the face. I was stressed because I didn’t know what labor was going to be like, and I’ve heard it’s even worse when you have to be induced. Plus I was worried about going two weeks late and whether everything would work out. It has worked out fine… but it took a while to get here.
I went in to my local community hospital around 9pm on Wednesday, October 6th. I was attended by a couple of corpsmen when I first arrived — and Kurt and I have decided that in order to be a military corpsman (which is someone who has just enough expertise in the medical field to administer shots and fill out paperwork) you have to have NO personality and be dumber than a box of rocks. No kidding! You have to score higher on the entrance exam to the Navy to be an engineer like Kurt than to be a corpsman. That’s pretty sad. Anyhow, the two corpsmen that were attending me couldn’t figure out how to get the IV into my wrist to give me fluids during my induction, and they’re sitting there discussing the best way of doing so as I’m freaking out a bit. I don’t mind needles much, but it’s no fun to be in the hands of folks that don’t really know how to place an IV.
Finally the doctor got around to placing the medicine to make my cervix open up at midnight. Kurt and I tried to get some sleep, but we couldn’t because we were just too excited that our baby was going to arrive soon. I started to feel contractions around 4am, and by 6am they were pretty painful. I was given fentenol in my IV to help with the pain, which made me pretty loopy. That was amusing. J arrived sometime that morning, but by noon I couldn’t deal with the pain anymore. By then I was being augmented with pitocin, so my contractions were probably more painful than they would have been naturally. I gave in and got the epidural, which after being fiddled with a few times took the pain away.
My labor kept on progressing, and I had the wonderfullest nurse EVER in the delivery room with me. I was the first patient she’d had to take care of all on her own (she had other patients that she was supervised with), and she stayed in the room the whole day. The only time she left was when Kurt and I practically pushed her out so she could go get some coffee and a candy bar in the late afternoon! She had a wonderful personality, and we got along famously. She LOVES Jane Austen, so we had lots to talk about. :o)
I gave my first “practice push” at 5:50pm, but I didn’t really start pushing for real until afer 6pm. Finally Grace was born at 7:09pm.
Unfortunately when the doctors broke my water, they noticed that Grace had had a bowel movement when she was still inside me, so as soon as she was born she was taken over to the warmer where the pediatricians started working on her. She never really cried like a newborn should, and she had to get a lot of oxygen to help her breathe. I didn’t get to hold her until twenty minutes after the birth, and then only for a minute or two before she was whisked off to the makeshift ICU.
A couple of hours after she was born, it was determined that she had a lot of fluid in her lung, which looked like pneumonia. The doctors decided to transport her to another hospital that had a neonatal intensive care unit, so she was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Seattle around midnight or 1am.
However, by the time she arrived at Children’s she was doing much better. Children’s was ready with respirators and ventilators and the whole nine, and when she arrived, all she really needed was a clean diaper!! She was still given a bed in the ICU for monitoring, and Kurt joined her there. Fortunately, J was with me all night, else I would have gone mad with my baby and my husband taken away from me.
I was discharged from my hospital at 9am the very next morning, and I went straight to Children’s to go see my baby. Finally around 1pm on Friday, I was able to hold my baby for as long as I wanted to for the first time since she was born. We stayed at Children’s until Saturday afternoon. It was hard to be there around all the other sick babies because my baby was so healthy, and here she was taking up a bed that may have been needed by a baby who required treatment. Plus we were surrounded by babies that had no guarantee that they would make it, and that made me sad. Grace’s roommate was a twin who was born at 29 weeks gestation — way too early. She was sedated with morphine and under phototherapy lights for jaundice, and she was in an isolette all by herself because her twin was in a completely different hospital. It was just really sad.
But after that dramatic (and EXPENSIVE! Thank God for insurance!) entrance to the world, Grace and I are doing pretty well. Kurt’s been wonderful in helping with the baby. He was on diaper duty for most of the time, so when she needed a clean diaper, all I had to do was hand her over and I’d get back a baby with a clean diaper! Plus he’d stay up with her when she didn’t want to go to bed, which let me get some much-needed sleep.
However, that’s come to an end because Kurt was deployed yesterday. Fortunately it’s only for five weeks, but it’s been a rough couple of days. He seems to be able to calm her much better than I can, so I miss his assistance. Plus I miss being able to get some sleep during the night. Some nights Grace sleeps five hours straight, but other nights, like last night, she’s up every hour or two wanting to nurse.
But we’ll make it. It’s only a short deployment, and I have my little milestones to look forward to instead of trying to grasp the whole deployment at once. Like her first doctor’s appointment on Thursday — I just have to make it to that day. Then the next milestone is watching football on Sunday (I am easily amused). From there I look towards Halloween, and it’s already November. As long as I break it into chunks, I will be just fine.
Besides, deployments never killed a spouse! :o)