Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Part Two of Emily's birth story...

I won't continue to chronicle her life every day until her birthday, but I thought I would at least finish what I started yesterday. It is still VERY difficult to remember her first 18 months of life. But for some reason I am feeling like I need to write this down.

Emily was in the NICU for seven days. The first four days because of her lungs, and the last three because of jaundice. She was literally glowing. When you see the pictures from yesterday you will notice that I am holding her with a lighted blanket. If you took her out of her warmer you had to keep the blanket on her. Her little eyes were kept closed all the times because of the lights. I had a very hard time looking at her. I remember thinking the whole time that I just wanted my baby to come home with me.

The day I went home from the hospital I cried the whole way home. Then I had to go into the bedroom where her bassinet was and I almost passed out. Of course I felt like no one understood what I was going through at all. Everyone around me seemed to have healthy babies. I had to call my mom because I couldn't drive since I was on pain meds for my gall bladder. She came up that evening and the next morning we started going up there every day until she was out.

Every day I would try to talk to the doctor about what had happened, why, and what the long term prognosis was going to be, but I never got an answer. I kept being put off. Then came the day to go home. We went through our exit class and were told that they wanted us to stay in the NICU one night with her. So we went home and got all our stuff and my mom and I stayed with her. Our very first girl's night!

I loved putting her diapers on away from the watchful eyes of the NICU staff. They had been watching my every move since she had been admitted to the unit. And if you don't know me very well then you might not know that I am all about control. Unmedicated births of my children had way more to do with control than it had to do with how the meds affected them. That entered into it, but if I am honest with myself I KNOW the real reason.

So the next afternoon we were on our way home, FINALLY. Her first ride in rush hour traffic...UGH! Then when we got home she was a perfect baby...seemed just fine. I put the hospital paperwork away and decided that I didn't need to read it. She was fine now, right?

We had three weeks of bliss...then the fourth week things began to really change for her. I noticed she wasn't sleeping at all. I mean AT ALL...I know you are all saying...that is the way newborns are, but the kid slept MAYBE three hours a day. And when I say a day, I mean a 24 hour period, not during the daytime hours. And she was ALWAYS unhappy. ALWAYS.

Of course I had done this before so I took her to the doctor, totally frazzled. Our pediatrician, a good friend, God love her, told me she thought I might be having a hard time adjusting to my second child. Please don't think I blame her for anything, because I don't. It is hard to know when everything looks fine. She also told me that Emily had colic and that when she turned 12 weeks old that things would be fine. I just had to make it through the next 8 weeks. I kept protesting, but she was sure, so I believed her.

So we somehow survive the next 8 weeks. I start getting a sitter to come and relieve me one day a week so I can get out of the house. My friend Tracye started really taking care of me. She would call every day sometimes two or three times a day. She also came and took Emily for a day away from the house and brought her back after dinner. I would NEVER have survived without her. I began to slip deeper into post-partum depression and a little psychosis. I didn't want to take my anti-depressants because I wanted to nurse her...yes I was holding onto this in the midst of everything else. JEEZ...the silly things that are important to us. I HAD TO BE SUPER MOM...right?

So the eight weeks pass with VERY little sleep for me or Chris. Things do not get better. But that is the next part of the story. It gets better I promise...tomorrow's post will probably be the worst of it...but please keep reading. I feel the need to post this and tell anyone who is reading. The Lord is leading me through this.


Vickie said...

Goodness! That was a lot to go through.

Thank goodness for your friend.

Cullum Family said...

yes she was a life saver....

Cathryne said...

Please, keep going. I'm enjoying reading about it. Especially since I'm pretty sure I have had PPD for several months now. It helps knowing that you aren't alone. Sharing now will continue to help you process it all!