Monday, March 19, 2012

The Funnest Hospital Stay

Minutes after Reagan was born, I was able to hold her on my chest and kiss her and love on her.  My mind was spinning and my body was in shock, and I was somewhere in between laughing and crying with Hubby floating on cloud nine.  It's the best feeling in the world, I'm convinced.  That is the feeling I will miss most when we are done having babies...the last minutes of labor, and the first minutes of baby's life.  That's where you come so close to heaven, I think.  Intense pain, followed by a miraculous joy that your mind can barely comprehend.  It's amazing.

I was able to breastfeed baby right away, I was so proud of her.  I almost cried when she latched on, she was such a little champ!  I actually ended up calling her "champ" the whole time we were in the hospital, because of how well she learned the breastfeed despite her gestational age.   But soon after that, they brought her to the nursery and her temperature and glucose levels were low.  They needed to bring both of these things up, or she would be brought to NICU.  We were very scared, but thankful that those were the only issues that she had, being almost 4 full weeks early.  She was a good size, and so healthy in every other aspect.  I was trying to concentrate on these things, but hated waiting to see how she was doing - it took a few hours that morning.

A few hours later, her glucose levels came way up, and her temperture was up too!  The glucose would most likely stay where it was (they said it rarely dips back down), but we had to constantly keep her warm.  Early the next morning, we started to try feeding again, and were having a lot of trouble.  The lactation consultant spent hours with us the next morning - she was amazing.  I started pumping to stimulate the milk to come in, because she was having a lot fo trouble waking up to feed and staying latched (we tried for about an hour).  Then I pumped, and we fed her through a syringe, which she took well.  The lactatian consultant told me that until she started feeding consistently, I would be doing the work of feeding twins.  Feeding her what she would take every 2 hours, then pumping immediately after.  While I was pumping, someone would be giving her milk via syringe from the previous feeding, to make sure she was getting enough.  We had to keep her on contant skin-to-skin to help her temperature, so that she wouldn't be using calories to stay warm and could conserve those calories to gain weight.

The amount of time that I spent breastfeeding and pumping in her first 24 hours made me very nervous to be home - I didn't know how I would be able to devote so much time to feeding with Reilly there to care for too.  But I just kept going, and tried my best to get my milk in, keep her warm, and keep her fed.

After her first 24 hours, she had a complete turn around.  Our prayers were answered, and she started latching like a little champ.  I was so happy when she started waking right up, eating a full feeding, like she had been doing it for months!  Thank God, by the end of her second day, she was feeding full and perfectly.  We were beyond ecstatic, and my sister may or may not have taken a video on her iphone to show the LC her latch.  We were really pumped, and knew that the LC would be too.  They totally saved us and helped start her feeding and gaining. 

Anyway, about our hospital stay.  It was beyond hilarious.  I happen to be obsessed with the time I get to spend in the hospital after delivering babies.  Life stops, time stops, and you live in this little sleepless, dreamlike, floating on air, baby cocoon for 3 days.  Hubby agreed with me, we had the best time in the hospital with Reilly.  This time, Hubby stayed with Reilly to give her some sense of normalcy since Mommy wasn't there, and my sister stayed with me.  Sissy ended up agreeing with us, too.  Here are some reasons why this hospital stay was so bizarrely fun and hysterical:

1.  We functioned on about 2 hours of sleep per night, maximum, and somehow still were able to walk and talk and be (semi) normal each day.
2.  We found out that on the unit there was unlimited juice, milk, cereal, ice cream, ices, graham crackers, and regular crackers any time we wanted it.  So weirdly exciting when you are in this state.  Nothing made us happier than boxes of cereal at 3am.
3.  Combine the free ice cream, with the brownies from the cafe, and we had ourselves a pretty awesome Bachelor watching night!

4.  We made friends with all the nurses, except for the one on my first night who was definitely close to be senile.  We'll call her "Edith".  She was quite old, and walked into the room about 4 times, then walked out, forgetting why she had come in.  She wrote that Reagan was a boy on my breastfeeding chart.  We felt like we were in the Twilight Zone.  But all the other nurses were fab.
5.  We had daily Dunkin deliveries!  What's better than that?
6.  We stayed in our PJs all day.  It was like a sleepover when we were kids, except with a teeny baby to love on.
7.  We had an obsession with Reagan being in our line of vision at all times.  If they took her to the nursery for anything, even for 30 minutes, we would go for "walks" and keep passing by the nursery and watch her and make sure she was being taken care of.  The nurses started glaring at us.  Especially one, who clearly thought we were Psycho Sisters.  On her last day, we strolled by the nursery casually for the second time in 30 minutes while she was being checked by the doctor, and we saw a sign on her crib that said "Return to Mom IMMEDIATELY".  HA.  I guess I might have said, "Okay, you'll bring her RIGHT back after she's checked, right?" a few too many times.  :)

8.  Our TV was broken for much of the time, and the sound was either really low, or really loud.  The maintenance guys kept coming in while I was breastfeeding and then never came back all day because we scared them away.  We watched Khloe and Lamar at 2am when the sound was loud, and had to shut it off because we felt like the losers who watch reality TV at all hours, and blast it.

9.  Plain and simple: Sister Time for 3 straight days.  We couldn't believe, as we sat there in our half-asleep twilights, that Reilly now had a sister, and that she might be doing this with Reagan one day.  I pray that they have what we have.  I will work every day to show them how to have a wonderful sisterhood, because it is one of the greatest blessings of my life.

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