Kaia is over a week old! She's already lost weight and then regained it and has surpassed her birth weight. The report I got at 2 in the morning last night said she was 1610 grams. As a nurse, I remember parents always wanted to know this information whenever they would call after bath & weigh time. I never understood how exciting it was to hear that your teeny tiny kid had gained weight.
I also got to do her bath all by myself the other night. I told the nurse I was comfortable with taking her off the CPAP and washing her myself and she said "okay...call me if you need anything!". YES! So here are pictures of my first time bathing Kaia. The tape on her nose is protection against the CPAP prongs. I left the tape on as it's a pain (and expensive) to replace.
You can really see her 'dolicocephaly' in these photos. It makes me a little sad that she doesn't have a round head. I don't want other people to see it and think she's funny looking or wonder 'why is her head shaped like that?' We understand that it's a badge of honour...she wouldn't have a head shaped like that if she hadn't had such a fight in the womb, but still it's not 'normal'. I don't know how long it will last, but I'm betting throughout her first year. We will just have to become a fan of hats.
I am also understanding what people mean about 'postpartum hormones'. We decided to go to Babies R Us the other morning to buy Kaia a few cheap blankets that she can use while she's in the hospital. As a nurse, I would feel so bad when parents would bring in these beautiful and obviously expensive blankets to wrap their hospitalized babies in...because we would inevitably spill stuff on them, or drop them on the floor...or (whoops) lose them in the bowels of the hospital laundry system. So I wanted to get some of those cheap receiving blankets that while soft and nice, could be replaced if lost.
Well, I cried almost the whole way to Babies R Us. We have driven past that store SO many times, wistfully wondering if we'd ever get to shop there for OUR baby. We went in only once during Aidan's pregnancy 'just to look', before we knew things were already going wrong. We hadn't been back since. It was truly lovely to do something 'normal'.
Of course, I find my babylostness affects so much how I am viewing Kaia and our experiences with her. Not in a bad way, but in a much more 'aware' way. For example. On Monday, when I was still in the hospital and after they had switched Kaia to BiPhasic, the nurse was happy to let me hold her. A big production is made of 'holding'. It's a lot of effort to get those preemies in and out of their isolettes. A chair needs to be found for me to sit in, a blanket needs to be brought for Kaia to lay on, tubes and wires and need to be gathered and placed 'just so'. It takes a few minutes.
So while all this was going on, I looked over to Kaia's neighbour baby. He is obviously a lot smaller and therefore a lot sicker than Kaia. He's on the 'jet' ventilator and 'swings' in terms of his oxygen sats. His monitors are always ringing off. His mother was sitting beside his bed. She was looking over at us and watching the kerfuffle going on around me and Kaia. It was her face that did me in. She looked SO sad. Exactly the way I remember my face felt last year after Aidan died as I watched other mommies. Sad, disappointed, jealous, wistful. It was like looking into my past. I wanted to say to that woman "I TOTALLY get it...I really do! I'm sorry seeing me hold my baby makes you sad. I hope yours gets bigger and better and healthier and you too can have this experience one day." But there are no guarantees that she will. I mentioned it to Brian afterwards and just the way he said "I know", I knew that he had seen her the same way I did.
What was really upsetting was that two days later the baby was gone from that spot. As soon as I noticed the lack of binging and bonging from the monitors, and looked over and saw him missing, I started to cry. "Oh No!" cried my poor babylost heart. So even while I was stroking my living, breathing baby's hand I was crying, thinking of how sad that other mother might be right that instant.
Then a miracle (okay, well it was more of a coincidence) happened. One nurse walked over and asked another "where did the baby go that was in this spot?" pointing to the spot where Kaia's neighbour had been. Another nurse answered "oh, he went to (other hospital where I work)...he'll be back tomorrow".
You mean he's not dead??!!! That mommy's baby is still binging and bonging, only in another NICU? HURRAH!
While it wasn't great news that he had gone to the hospital where I work as it likely means he needs surgery, it was such a relief. My suspicion is that he went for a PDA ligation, in which case, hopefully he will be able to get off 'the jet' and start to improve in terms of his oxygen needs and O2 sats.
Maybe soon that mommy will be holding her little "binger" with a lot less "binging" and a lot more happiness.
I hope so.
If you've had a baby 'after', did you find yourself a lot more aware of your good fortune than you might have been otherwise? How so? Did any situation occur to make you feel especially 'lucky'?