Monday, November 22, 2021

Phoebe's first few days (in pictures!): part II

What I want most in the whole wide world is for finals to be over with. I just want to snuggle my baby and not feel completely stressed out. But, here we are...

Since I only have my digital resources class left and since we discussed memology and since our final is a group project (worth 40% of our grade), I will ask you, "What is the worst kind of assignment and why is it a group project?"

Ugh. I'll get through it, I guess. But what I really want to do is hibernate a little bit. 

I finally took pictures off my phone from the last week, so let's briefly revisit Phoebe's birthday. Here she is all fresh and new:

She wasn't too pleased about how cold and dry and bright everything was. She did lots of crying. And then she fell asleep and stayed that way for a long time.

Here she is getting weighed:

She clocked in at 2.74 kilos, which is 6 lbs and almost 1 ounce. That makes Phoebe our smallest to-term baby. When we left the hospital she weighed 2.555 kilos, which is 5 lbs 8 ounces, making her the smallest baby we've ever left the hospital with (even Benjamin was over 6 lbs. by the time we brought him home). Small babies are nice during delivery (I'm not going to lie), but they're kind of stressful once they're here because you really have to stay on top of their feedings (because they're so little).

I'm excited to see how much she weighs on Tuesday; we can already tell she's filling out in a few places!

Here we are practicing her latch:

She had some tongue-thrusting issues at the beginning and latching was a bit of a nightmare, but she's really doing great now. One nice thing about this hospital was that they didn't force me to endure any education classes since this was baby #6. They offered to make an appointment with a lactation consultant, even saying that for babies of this gestational age and weight an appointment would usually be considered mandatory. But they gave me the option and I said, "No, thank you." 

I have ten years of experience and have encountered just about everything in the book: flat/inverted nipples, mastitis, clogged ducts, tongue tied infants, milk blisters, baby with no sucking reflex, foremilk imbalance, nursing strikes, reflux, GERD...

The option was there, but I'm usually happier nursing without someone breathing down my neck (sorry, lactation consultants, but you've never seemed very helpful to me). I used a few tricks I picked up from my favourite occupational therapist in the NICU (like the finger trick) and Phoebe and I got things figured out. 

Let's see...

Oh, here are the kids "meeting" Phoebe, pandemic-style:

No one told me my mask was flipped up funny. 

Here's a good view of her hair:

It's all in the back, but it's pretty dark. Unfortunately, I have tricky babies who are born with dark hair and then go blonde (traitors). My sister Kelli pointed out that I used to prefer blonde hair, and that's true. When I was four years old, I wished for long blonde hair. Instead I had short brown hair (because my mom kept cutting it because I wasn't great at brushing it) and I felt it was so blah. I wanted hair like Rapunzel or Mary Ingalls. But I've actually grown up since I was four and I accepted my natural hair colour as beautiful and wish to curse a few children with it. Rachel got it...wouldn't it be nice if Phoebe did as well?

Not that blonde isn't wonderful. My blonde babies are very nice. And we will love Phoebe no matter her hair colour. 

Here's a look at her wonky ears:

(The lighting in the hospital room was awful, so I apologize for that.)

They seem to be...unfurling...nicely. 

Here she is either refusing to wake up for a feeding or in a milk coma after a feeding:

My milk comes in pretty quick, typically, so by the time we left the hospital I was a bit of a milky mess. 

Let's see...Phoebe:





Here's my empty room at 2 am Sunday morning whn they took my broken hospital bed away.

It's really not much of a story. There just was this one nurse who kept turning off all the lights for me so that I could get some good rest. Unfortunately for her, I have a bit of anxiety and also my baby kept choking up amniotic fluid so I needed to be able to assess her condition ASAP when she started choking, right? So there wasn't a lot of rest to be had and I preferred to keep a light on so that I could immediately see my baby.

The "cares" at this hospital were insane. I had a nurse who'd come in to press on my stomach and assess my bleeding every few hours. And I had a technician who'd come in to check my vitals every few hours (squeezing my COVID shot arm each time she took my blood pressure). But they'd never coordinate their visits so it was always two very distinct visits. Phoebe also had a nurse and a technician. So people were bustling in and out of our room all the time. And they'd make terrible promises like, "Second night! We won't come in to do vitals at midnight so you can get some nice, undisturbed rest from 8 to 4!" But then...I still ended up with a nurse hauling a scale into my room to weigh Phoebe at midnight, anyway. 

Anyway, the nurse who felt I needed darkness once again turned off all the lights and this time I was like, "Whatever. I'm not getting out of bed to turn one back on. I have a light switch on my little bedside call button thing. I'll just use that if I need to."

(That light switch only controlled the light right above my head, which I didn't want on. I had been leaving the bathroom light on.)

So I just put my bed into a reclined position and went to sleep. 

I woke up around 2:00 to Phoebe fussing in her bassinet, so I tried to turn on the light...nothing. 

I tried to raise up my bed...nothing. 

I was stuck in the dark, in a strange room, with my newborn crying somewhere beside me, and a light switch somewhere on the far side of the room and no way to call the nurse. Super fun times!

Somehow my bed...shorted out? Like, being able to raise and lower your bed isn't a necessity, I suppose, but it's kind of nice (especially when the bed is assumed to double as a nursing chair). 

Anyway, I called some nurses. They tried what they could do to fix the bed. I had a whole train of nurses filing in to see if they could figure out the bed. Eventually they just settled me on the couch, wheeled the bed out of the room, and brought in a different one.

It was kind of funny. 

And I made sure to leave a light on the rest of the night, just in case. Of course, then I have to sleep with an eye mask on because I can't sleep in the light. I'm a complicated person. It's fine.

I was so glad Andrew spent the night with my on Sunday. I was getting a little bored/lonely/tired from hanging out with only a newborn. It was so nice to have him change her diapers and hand her to me when she needed to be fed and take some turns loving on her. We talked a lot and laughed a lot and it was just nice to not be alone.

Oh, we also filled out the birth certificate form (but I think we did that Saturday night because we were supposed to do it within 24 hours of Phoebe's birth...but it may have been Sunday). I was so tired that I had Andrew looking over my shoulder making sure I didn't spell anything wrong.

I guess I didn't have to be too concerned about my spelling, however, because they weren't! I was giggling editor...when I checked the box for "previous preterm barth":

And then there were a couple of places where the English had me thinking, "I'm so tired! Just give it to me straight!" and where the Spanish would do just that. Like the question about "fetal presentation at birth." They want me to recall that "cephalic" means head-down? After being awake for like 48 hours straight? And being 100% exhausted?! Good thing the Spanish was there to tell me "de cabeza" or we would have...had to look stuff up on our phones (which isn't a huge consequence; and I do know what cephalic means...but in the moment...I was like, "Really?! And a vocabulary exam?!"):

There was at least one other place on this form where I was like, "Thank you, Spanish!" because the English directions were not self-explanatory while the Spanish...was.

Anyway, we survived the hospital and were so very glad to be able to go home:

Home. Where Phoebe has a dedicated sleeping space without any extra pillows or blankets. And which she hates and always wakes up within minutes of being placed safely on her back to sleep. 

So while we have a dedicated sleeping space for her, it's going to take a bit of practice before she'll actually use it, I think.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the endorphin/oxytocin rush this morning, very helpful! You are not alone on the birth certificate frustration, but at least you aren't making a federal case out of it, haha.