First Pediatric Appointment

Have I mentioned this blog will be mostly photos, and keeping the words minimal? ūüôā

The initial appointment with our pediatrician went great (other than the hospital not sending over E’s paperwork)…she was down to 7 lb. 12 oz. after gaining PAST her birthweight in the NICU. ¬†I wont lie, this put me in a little bit of a panic about her feeding…so we stuck with our 3-hour-schedule round the clock to get her back up. ¬†The Dr. thought she might have heard a little murmur, but wanted to wait until the next appt. to really take action. ¬†We did a real outing together as a family!
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Newborn Photos

March 3, 2014 | Despite the fact that I’m a photographer, it was really important to me to have someone ELSE capture E’s newborn photos. ¬†After all, I would like to be IN some of these, right? We hired a lovely photographer who came in and goes through the tedious task of posing a newborn. ¬†WAY more detailed than I do…with a posing beanbag, space heater, and heating pad. ¬†The patience to do this sort of thing is beyond me, but we love the images (and may already have most of them hanging in our home)…despite the session taking 3.5 hours! ¬†All three of us crashed for a long nap in the living room as soon as it was over!


First Tradition!

Our NICU discharge was March 1, 2014 — and even though we hadn’t enjoyed a Shamrock shake in YEARS, we thought it was appropriate to grab one on our way home. Thus began a new family tradition, that we will always get one of these “limited time” treats to celebrate our release from the hospital. ¬†CHEERS!

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the NICU Stay

Although it wasn’t in our “vision” for how the birth would go, baby girl ended up needing a stay at the NICU. ¬†As mentioned before, a certain nurse was a key part of helping us through it, and that was Mary Anne. ¬†That first day post-discharge, we had no idea what needed to happen. ¬†We were extremely tired, worried about E, and very lost. ¬†Mary Anne took the “parent” approach and encouraged us to go home that first night. ¬†Once E started breast feeding, going home would not be an option at all, so she encouraged us to take advantage and get a little rest (while pumping every three hours continued for me). ¬†It was a rough night for sure, but I’m so glad we took her advice.

The next day we returned to find E had an IV going into her head…not exactly what I was prepared for, but if it meant things were progressing to get home then we could do it! They also wanted to perform a spinal tap on her, checking that the infection had not traveled to her brain. ¬†So we hunkered down in her little NICU room and took turns napping on the futon vs. the reclining chair (which was NOT comfy). ¬†The beeps/bops from the monitors and sensors were constant, as were the nurses coming into the room every three hours. ¬†They were checking vitals, administering her antibiotics for the Strep B, and doing blood draws all of the time! ¬†Courtney was a nurse we had three days in a row who was really awesome, and Steph was this adorable night nurse who gave E her first bath so we could watch/learn.

IMG_0130aIMG_0004aI brought in a blanket or two to make it feel a little more “cozy”, and Dave brought in a lake-floaty to sleep on the floor. ¬†It’s hard being so tall on the little futon! ¬†I’m amazed how fast you can create a routine in a small space, including the parent-lounge where all of the meals had to be stored/eaten. ¬†No food or drinks allowed in the NICU rooms!

Of course my camera was close by, and about halfway through our stay I asked if we could unhook her sensors for a few minutes. ¬†I wanted to capture a few photographs (of course)… ūüôā
IMG_0144a IMG_0158aWhile this all seems like a blur now…in the moment it was difficult to say the least. ¬†We spent 22 out of every 24-hours in this little room, and thanks to family/friends we had some food that wasn’t just found in our fridge at home. ¬†The Westside Local brought by the Price’s literally made me tear-up it tasted so amazing! ¬†Our schedule was strict, so we would leave by 10 AM (after her 9 AM feeding) and return in time for her Noon lunch. ¬†The feeling as you pull up to the hospital again is like a gut-punch. ¬†You want to see your baby girl, but you do NOT want to be back here!

The day finally arrived to be sent home — March 1, 2014. ¬†There was a Winter storm coming in and they were predicting a lot of Snow and Sleet…yuck! ¬†We were going to make it out just in time before it came through, and E was just as happy as we were (I promise)…
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Our baby’s birth story

The inspiration behind starting this blog — our sweet baby girl! ¬†She’s been here for almost a month, and I decided that I need to get on the ball and document her birth story while I still remember it!

February 18, 2014
We had about a week until the due date of Feb. 26th, 2014 and the calendar was completely clear. ¬†I had just put my Maternity Leave notice up on social media, and I was ready to pull together all the last-minute things before baby! ¬†My family came over that night for Italian Beef since we knew our hosting days were limited, and it was a nice casual night. ¬†Dave suggested a photo with my sister since we didn’t have one together with both of us Expecting…and I’m so glad he did. ¬†They leave, I clean up, and we head to sleep.

February 19, 2014
It’s around 3:00 AM when I wake up to some cramping…but I just wonder if it’s pregnancy pain? ¬†I don’t even wake the husband and head downstairs to roll on the exercise ball a bit and try to go back to sleep. ¬†I’m pretty sure I quickly napped on the couch, but soon couldn’t do that because I was realizing this might be IT! ¬†I finally grab Dave around 6:00 AM and tell him I think things are progressing, and he wants to dash right out the door. ¬†But in my usual manner I want to shower, get a few things done, etc before we leave…this is our last time alone in the house!

We get to the hospital where I’m admitted to triage, and they attempt to tell me my water hasn’t broken and I’m not too far along. ¬†I’m convinced they are wrong, as the contractions are getting stronger and closer. ¬†After about 90-min of sitting around and waiting, they admit us! ¬†The labor & delivery room is gorgeous, the sun is shining bright in the windows, and I begin bracing for those lovely contractions. ¬†In the beginning I had the peaks and valleys, but by Noon I was asking for the epidural since the valleys were no longer happening. ¬†I finally got a little rest, and progressed well over the next few hours. ¬†We listened to the Spotify playlist that Dave had created (twice) and before I knew it the nurse was telling me she could see dark hair! ¬†Is it a boy or girl???? ¬†I was convinced boy the whole time, but we would soon find out…!

Dr. Sheridan came in and we started the true pushing…and before I knew it a baby GIRL was placed on my chest. ¬†But only for a few moments because she wasn’t breathing. ¬†The transition didn’t go well for her, and there were about 4-5 nurses working on her in the corner. ¬†I could only catch a small fraction of what they were saying, and when I looked at Dave he was sweating and a little green (the Dr. asked him to sit down)! ¬†After a good 15-minutes they brought her to me again for a moment and had to take her to NICU. ¬†There are no words to describe all of the anticipation to meet your baby, and then to have her taken away so quickly. ¬†Dave went out to the lobby to get my family so we could share the gender, and their puzzled faces when they came in to the labor room (since there was no baby) threw me into some tears.
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Dave went upstairs to visit her while I waited for my epidural to wear off. ¬†They would not let me go until I could use the bathroom! ¬†It was a long three hours or so…but finally Dave wheeled me up to the 4th floor so I could really see/meet our daughter. ¬†She was in a room all by herself, with a very bruised chest and a space-helmet on to help her with oxygen. ¬†It was surreal…we were both in complete shock, exhausted, and overwhelmed. ¬†Of course our recovery room was on the 2nd floor, and they asked me to go back down there and start pumping every three hours since we were apart. ¬†HARDEST…THING…EVER.

The next 48-hours are somewhat of a blur…we are sharing time between the recovery room and the NICU room where she is getting treated, and we find out she has a bacterial infection of Group B Strep (even though I tested negative at 34-35 weeks). ¬†This means 7-10 days of antibiotics through an IV, and an extended stay in the NICU. ¬†We know we are going to be discharged, but what do we do after that? ¬†This is where Mary Anne comes in…my favorite nurse, and the person I will be forever grateful to for her advice and guidance! ¬†More on that later… ūüôā