I've started and quit this post about four times in the last three days. It isn't just that I'm recovering from a hard pregnancy and a painful c-section, or that I was so scared and shocked episodically over the last week, or that I'm just so happy I have a new bun of sweetness to cuddle, or that I'm still really worried something will derail her stay in the NICU, or that I've missed my Kurt so much, or that I'm hormonal, or that it's scary seeing all the really sick babies in the NICU every day, or that I'm exhausted from the sheer number of communication tasks involved in speaking to a myriad of doctors, nurses and social workers as well as trying to reassure and inform concerned family and friends, or that Jeff had to go back to work today or that my son is wearing his grandmother out or that I'm more or less tethered a breast pump at this point.
It is all of these things. And many, many other little things, like what if that bitchy model won Amazing Race? (Don't tell me.)
So, in the end, I just don't have the resources to write a truly detailed story post about What The Hell Happened This Week. It was bad is all I'm saying. Trust me. But the outcome is potentially rosy and I'm pretty sure we're getting through it and we are very happy to have our baby girl.
IF you are truly motivated, here are a couple of decent links about pre-eclamsia and intrauterine growth restriction. Here's an especially science-y link about IUGR, not for the faint of heart. (By the way, no I have never used meth or have syphilis.)
If you just came to check up on us and see some cute pictures, read on!
So, once the decision to deliver was made late Thursday night, it was done in haste. I had a short time in my room with Jeff before they walked me into the operating room. See? I don't look scared at all!
Maria had a surprisingly lusty cry for a two and a half pound person!
Afterward they performed the sacred rite of passage of wheeling the drugged up mom out of the OR on a stretcher into the nursery to see her baby. I was so out of it, I heard a baby crying across the room and thought it was Maria crying so loud I could hear her through the isolette, and I tried to soothe her. Jeff was like, "Ummm….Honey?" Anyway, Jeff looked significantly better than me at that point, so here's a picture of him instead:
Oh, but the next day, I got to hold her first! (Sorry, no flash photos in the NICU.) Jeff got to hold Kurt first as I recall, so we're even now.
Maria the Bun currently resides in a temperature/humidity/ultraviolet light controlled oven until she's fully baked. They let her out once or twice a day, depending on how well she's doing, and we pounce and love her up. This is a timing challenge sometimes, with many variables: Maria dependent (is she in the mood, is her blood sugar/heart rate/temperature okay?), nurse dependent (does the nurse have time/inclination to help us make this happen?), and parent dependent (are we physically present, cognitively functioning and feeling brave/needy/physically comfortable?). It's happened quite a bit in the last few days, but now that I'm home and the NICU isn't a walk down the hall but a drive across town, and Jeff has started back to work for three weeks, it's a bit more complicated. Here's Jeff holding his baby girl for first time:
Watching her get fed. She has a little tube down her nose that they drip breast milk into every three hours or so until she figures out how to swallow:
She did actually try to suck on me last night, though, and when she got a little milk, she looked really surprised.
Marlo, grandmother par excellence, is with us until Jeff is off for the summer, pulling double grandma shifts, and she shall have my gratitude until the day I die.
Most of the time, when we're with Maria, we're looking at this:
Or this (That's her pacifier. It's not especially big. She's just small.)
So that's Maria! The first three days have gone well. There's so far nothing going on that the medical people didn't expect to be going on. She has trouble regulating her body temperature and blood sugar, and she's a smidge jaundiced. We worry about the possibility of infection. But her lungs are tip-top, and, like her brother, she's freaky alert for such a little person. Jeff and I privately expressed our relief to each other at her cuteness. Now, I can't tell if she's actually cute or if that's just appropriate mechanisms kicking in, but who cares. Dude, I have a baby!
A baby named Maria, because it's my favorite name, and suddenly Jeff decided that was more than enough reason. And Phoebe, because, um, yes. We named her after the cat. A really, really good cat.