Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The First Two Weeks
Our hospital stay was fairly uneventful. Sure, we were sleep deprived and slightly overwhelmed, but I was recovering nicely and we were so thankful to have a healthy baby girl. We had lots of visitors who loved all over her.
This guy was pretty smitten with her from the start:
Things started to fall apart on the day we were discharged. We found out that her jaundice levels had increased significantly and she had lost more weight than they'd like. The pediatrician said we'd need to go home with a biliblanket to try and address the jaundice and I'd also need to start supplementing with formula (I had been solely breastfeeding but my milk still had not come in).
We were disappointed with these hurdles but just so relieved to be headed home.
Meeting Sugar for the first time:
To make a long story short, getting the biliblanket was a nightmare (it was to be delivered by a home health care company and they didn't get it to us until 9:00 that night). We went to the pediatrician the next day and when they checked her levels, it had gone up even more and to the point that she needed to be readmitted to the hospital for light therapy.
Of course, we were devastated. We hadn't even been home 24 hours (hadn't even unpacked yet) and now we had to repack and schlepp our 3 day old daughter back to the hospital (this time to WakeMed Raleigh because they have a pediatric department). She got settled in under the lights and we could only take her out to feed her.
Oh and did I mention that this was my birthday? Not exactly the way I wanted to ring in 27.
But she actually seemed to really like it. The warm lights made her so relaxed, she didn't even mind when the nurses had to prick her heel every 4 hours (although her mom and dad did). We said she looked like she was hanging out at the beach.
After about 24 hours under the lights, her levels were still really high, but had gone down enough that we could go home. Two more trips to the pediatrician with two more heel sticks (she had over ten heel sticks total) and we were finally in the clear (although it took a while for the yellow in her skin to go away and there's still a bit in the whites of her eyes that the pediatrician says should be gone around one month).
We also got to ditch the formula supplementing once we got home from the hospital because I finally had enough milk and she was gaining weight well. That was a relief because we were using this annoying "supplemental nursing system" that was basically a tube that went into her mouth while she was nursing and it was a nightmare.
Once we got over some initial rough patches, we got the hang of breastfeeding and it has been going pretty well. But then there was the day that she did.not.sleep for 24 hours straight. I think I nursed for 5 straight hours at one point and finally had a total meltdown at 5am. But we chalked it up to a growth spurt and she finally decided to sleep, usually going 3-4 hours at night between feedings.
Oh, and there was an eye infection thrown in somewhere in those first two weeks as well (likely picked up from all of our trips to the hospital and doctor's office). I think between the jaundice, eye infection and regular two week checkup we were at the pediatrician's office every other day of her first two weeks of life.
Ok, enough complaining. Even though we had our share of challenges I can't emphasize enough how incredibly thankful we are to have a perfectly healthy, beautiful baby girl. Being in the pediatric wing of a hospital and seeing all of those sick babies and kids will quickly make you grateful that all you're dealing with is a little (or a lot of) jaundice.
And now I'll leave you with some adorable pictures from weeks 1 and 2.
Out for a stroll:
Snoozing on Dad:
This pic is grainy but I love the snapshot of our exhausted napping family (Lee holding Ava, and Sugar on the floor):
Hanging out on her play mat: