Saturday, November 26, 2016

I am not pregnant anymore! {7QT}

1. After almost two weeks on modified bed rest and then full bed rest at home, I delivered Mary Rose Elizabeth at 34 weeks and six days on October 11th by c-section at 8:09 in the morning. She weighed 6 pounds and 7.5 ounces. It was my fourth c-section, and it was by far my hardest to get through. My blood pressure kept fluctuating, which made me feel nauseated, and I ended up vomiting four times.

October 11, 2016, 5:15 am
Mary Rose Elizabeth arrived at 8:09 am

She weighed 6 lbs 7.5 oz and was 19" long

2. After Mary Rose was born, she had trouble breathing, so she had to go to the NICU. She was my first baby to go to the NICU, and it was very hard for me emotionally. Physically, I was out of bed within 9 hours after surgery and visiting Mary Rose in the NICU. According to the nurse grapevine, I was a show-off, insisting on walking to the NICU instead of being pushed in a wheelchair.

3. For two days Mary Rose was on a CPAP machine. On October 13th she came off of the CPAP machine, and she was put on forced air to help her breathing. Mary Rose was off of all air support on October 15th.

4. On October 14th, I was able to start nursing her. It did not go well at first, so I was encouraged to use shields to help her latch. I am a nurse on demand mama, but the NICU put us on a nurse every three-hour schedule because they wanted to monitor Mary Rose's blood glucose levels. I was told that once she passed twelve blood sugar checks in a row, they would start the discharge process. Well, most of the three-hour feedings would get pushed to three and a half or four-hour spacing because the nurse was not available right away to check Mary Rose's blood sugar. There were many times that Mary Rose and I sat together, both of us frustrated, watching the clock tick away the minutes. Despite the delayed feedings, Mary Rose did eventually pass twelve blood glucose checks in a row. About those shields I mentioned, they did help her to latch on correctly, but my certified lactation consultant mother-in-law made sure I knew it would be difficult to break Mary Rose of her need for the shields. It was difficult to get her to latch on without the shields, but every day I continued to try to nurse her without them. I am happy to say that two days before Mary Rose reached four weeks old, we were finally done with the shields!

5. Also on October 14th I was discharged from the hospital late in the afternoon. I didn't go home. I spent two nights in one of the Ronald McDonald rooms at the hospital. I am very thankful for the Ronald rooms. It was important to me to stay close to Mary Rose and be available for every feeding. Then our last night in the hospital Mary Rose and I spent the night together in what the hospital called a transition room.

6. We were finally home by 7:30 pm on October 17th. It took me advocating for myself with the NICU doctor to let us go home that Monday. She wanted Mary Rose to stay for another 48 hours because Mary Rose had one low blood sugar reading after passing the required twelve. I insisted it was because the nurses were not letting me feed her on demand. I explained to the doctor how the feedings were getting pushed well past the three-hour mark. I looked her in the eye and said, "Mary Rose has passed every hurdle you have asked her to pass. I have done everything you have asked me to do. I put my trust in you, and now you need to trust me. We need to be home so that we both can continue to heal and bond." I watched the look on her face change, and then she said she agreed with me. Then nine extra hours and several tests more, we were on the road home. I am very thankful for the all of the doctors and nurses that work in the NICU. It was apparent to me that they care for their patients a lot. Despite my gratitude, I can't help but look back on our time in the NICU as a sort of short-term prison sentence.

Waiting in the transition room.

Finally home!

7. Mary Rose is six weeks old now, and she weighs 7 pounds and 12 ounces. She is still little, but I think she is starting to look like a little butterball. Speaking of turkey, here is a picture of her in her Thanksgiving dress. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we have so much to be thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your family had an excellent Thanksgiving!

Joining the 7 Quick Takes Crew over at Kelly's.
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