Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The story of Elizabeth

It's pretty interesting that I wrote Sunday's post just hours before Elizabeth was born. My brain was aware of what was going on, even if "I" wasn't.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling off and having sporadic contractions. I didn't think much of it at the time, given that I'd had a similar day when I was pregnant with Campbell. I had called in on that day, and the nurse had said to lie down and see what happened. The contractions went away over night, so I figured that the same thing would probably happen this time.
I figured wrong. By about 7:00 pm I was having contractions pretty regularly, and it didn't matter whether I was lying down, sitting up or walking around. So I called in and was told to get the hospital asap. When we arrived, they put me on monitors and observed me for an hour. By the end of the hour, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart, and the doctor ordered an operating room.
They popped Elizabeth out at 10:38 pm, and showed her to me quickly before whisking her off to NICU. B was able to go with her to NICU. He re-joined me in the recovery room. Once I finished in recovery, the nurse wheeled me in to NICU so I could see and touch Elizabeth.
Basically, she's able to breathe on her own, but she has to work really, really hard to keep her lungs inflated. They have her on a cpap - a little mask that goes over her nose - that puffs air into her lungs to keep them inflated so that she can breathe without having to work so hard. She spent a while on pure oxygen, but now she's just on regular room air (I think it's funny that the medical term is "room air").
Last night they started giving her milk that I've been pumping. They feed her through a tube down her throat into her tummy. I went to visit her in time to watch a feeding last night, and when she was finished I was able to hold her for the first time. It did me a world of good to hold her. It has been incredibly difficult to not have her with me. I've spent a lot of time crying about it over the past two days.
The hospital allows siblings into NICU, provided they have their shot records with them and they are fever free. B brought the girls up yesterday afternoon and took them into NICU one at a time. Neither said much after her visit, but I think it was overwhelming for them. I know it is for me.
We still don't when Elizabeth will be able to go home. There's a list of things she has to be able to do first, and she's not quite there yet.
As for the name - Elizabeth is the only girl name that B and I could both agree on. Anne is my middle name, and it was my grandmother's middle name, except she didn't have an e. Nona passed away in March, the same week I found out I was pregnant, which was incredibly hard. So B and I picked Anne to honor Elizabeth's great-grandmother.
Thanks for all of your well wishes and words of support. I'll post updates as I have them.


Anonymous said...

I haven't checked my blogs in days, and look how busy you've been!

First of all, she is just beautiful, and nicely pink; I promise she'll be home and healthy and perfect soon. And I rarely make promises.

Secondly, both my kids were preemies; Emily was born at 35 weeks, Jacob at 36. Both are 100% healthy and perfect now... Jacob just got bumped up to kindergarten and Emily started speaking at 6 months and has not yet stopped while awake. Elizabeth will be perfect and healthy soon.

Thirdly, Emily had to be syringe-fed (by a medicine syringe, through her mouth) for a week or so after birth. Jacob reluctantly took two bottles of formula in the hospital before my milk came in, 3 1/2 days after the birth. Once they learned to latch on, they were both breastfeeding champions. Emily was down to 5 lbs 14 oz by the time we left the hospital, Jacob was somewhere in the high 6s (each lost a pound after birth) but both weighed 10 pounds on their due dates. Elizabeth will catch up so fast it will take your breath away.

(Are you sensing a trend here?)

You take good care of you, and the rest will follow. B's job, as a father, is to love the mother of his children; I'm sure he'll do just fine.

And when you have a moment, can you send me your address? Just 'cause...

Heidi said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl! Warm wishes on her speedy return home and your recovery. I came across your blog through other mommies a few months ago. I too gave birth to our surprise number 4 recently, only my youngest is 10!! Many Blessings,

Barb said...

Oh my gosh. She's so, so beautiful. Congratulations, H. Every baby is such a miracle.

Becca said...

She is so, so beautiful.

Becca said...

(well you have two Becca commentators today, aren't you lucky?)
My son was in the NICU for his first week and I know the feeling of not being with him. I felt like he must feel abandoned and worried it would warp him. Big sympathetic hug and wishes for quick development. Just remember she is in the beat place she can be right now.

Memarie Lane said...

She doesn't look like a shrivelly newborn at all! I hadn't realize you'd had some complications. I hope you get to take her home soon!

Carly said...

She is such a cutie! I just love her name, and the meaning behind it. Lots of thoughts coming your way!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on your lovely wee girlie!

bernthis said...

Hey there. I'm soooooo happy for you. She's beautiful. I'm sorry for what you're going through but just know that all us mom bloggers all over the country are right behind you and you can lean on us anytime.

bernthis said...

I'm not sure if my comment got through so I'm going to send you an abridged version.

Congrats. I'm so proud of you. I'm here if you need me. Remember all the moms out there are here for you, that would include me of course :)

Shelly said...

She looks just perfect. She'll be home driving you crazy in no time!