Last night was Hope's first night at home! She was so excited that she stayed up most of the night to celebrate. Actually, I woke her up every two hours (or less) to nurse - hoping that by today we would find out her Bilirubin levels had come down. It was an exhausting night... and today I am pretty confident that my clothes didn't match and my hair looked wonky... but I don't care. I'm feeling that grateful. I realized today that I forgot to mention something about Hope's delivery. The obstetrician told us afterward that she had had a true knot in her umbilical cord. I couldn't believe it. Perhaps it would have meant nothing if she had been born full term. But I can't help but think of what could have happened if she had continued to grow bigger - and that knot grew tighter. That information made me feel a lot more grateful for her early arrival.
This morning, Ed took over with getting Brian ready for school. He must have swallowed his breakfast whole because it seemed he was walking into our bedroom within minutes!
"I'm just going to hang out with you and Hope before school, Mama."
He promptly climbed up on the bed and started talking to Hope and singing songs to her and saying things like, "It's okay. Shhhh. I love you! Sleep tight." He even made up an original Star Wars tune. Check it out...
After Ed brought Brian to school, the two of us (with our mismatched outfits and wonky hairdos) schlepped over to see our wonderful (and well dressed) pediatrician, Dr. Forman.
He thought Hope looked great! We love our pediatricians... and we have a special bond with Dr. Forman, who was there for us on the day of Gavin's seizure in the emergency room. It was nice to see him for such a happy occasion.
Breastfeeding is going well, but because I can't "measure" how much she's getting... I was worried going into today that she might have lost some weight. I was psyched when she was holding steady at 5lbs 9oz!
After the appointment, we had to bring her over to the hospital for a heel stick to check her Bilirubin levels. Fortunately, we could go to the local hospital. Unfortunately, we also had to get back to the hospital where I delivered - which is much further. We forgot to bring home my pumped breast milk that the nurses stored for me! Ed took the trip for me and I stayed home with Brian and Hope.
Brian is just so enamored with his sister - I love it. It reminds me of how happy and in love Gavin was with his little brother! Picture Brian's face at the end of the changing table asking a million questions about baby care. Or picture him showing Hope his favorite toys and explaining what Star Wars or Angry Bird characters were his favorites. While Ed was gone, Brian decided we should have a picnic on our bed - the three of us. So we did - we watched a Scooby Doo movie and ate popcorn until he said, "Okay - now let's just talk, Mommy."
(p.s. - Yes, this is the Nap Nanny. Please see the very bottom of this post for a note about this!)
No surprise, he wanted to talk about Gavin. And he specifically asked me to tell him what it was like when he was a baby - and how much Gavin loved him when he came home from the hospital. That was an easy story for me to tell - those days seem like yesterday.
Ed and I are so in love with our little girl. It still feels like a dream. We are so sure that Gavin had a hand in getting his sister here safely.
Later in the day, we got word that Hope's bilirubin levels increased. It's not so bad that it requires her to be re-hospitalized... but it's high enough that it requires phototherapy. I had NO idea until now that they offer phototherapy at home! It's called a "Bili-blanket." A home care company delivered it to our house this evening and showed us how Hope should wear it. She'll keep it on all night long and then, tomorrow, a nurse will come by the house to do another heel stick and examine her. If the levels come back normal, she'll be able to lose the bili-blanket.
She actually seems to like it! The machine that makes it run vibrates slightly and lets out a peaceful white noise. Maybe both of us will get a good night's sleep tonight!
And I have a bonus night light if I have to get up to pee!
**The green reclining seat you see in the photos is the "Nap Nanny." I have the best readers in the world - and I got a ton of mail last night informing me that there was a recall on this seat. I do know that. I never had a Nap Nanny for the boys - and a friend gave this to me for a different use than you might think! When Gavin was an infant and had such low tone, I used to prop him on a therapy ramp we had. It made for great photos because he was supported. I don't have that ramp anymore - but thought this Nap Nanny would be the next best thing for the 24,000 photos I expect to take of Hope over the next month or so. I was getting ready for a little photo session when I put her in it on my bed with Brian. Thank you, as always, for your concern!!**