What a difference a week makes. This time last week, Ed and Brian dropped me off at the hospital... fully expecting to come pick me up in a few hours. Instead, I found out I was in labor and had blood pressures that refused to come down despite multiple medications through my IV. Next thing I know, my OB looked me in the eye and said, "You might want to call Ed. Looks like you're having a baby today!"
I had such strong feelings about where I wanted to deliver. I wanted Hope to be born at Paoli Hospital. It was where Gavin and Brian were born... where Gavin spent a month in the NICU... where we bonded with nurses who knew us... and where Gavin had his febrile seizure, which ultimately led to his death. I really did not want to deliver at Lankenau - it was where I spent 5 1/2 days delivering Darcy. I made my wishes known just about every time I saw my OB. Last week I ended up at Lankenau because my OB happened to be there when I called. By last week I had decided to look at the entire hospital issue differently... just in case it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I decided that maybe it was in the plan to deliver both of my daughters at Lankenau... and my sons at Paoli. Maybe in delivering Hope at Lankenau, it would help heal the part of my heart that was left broken after leaving Darcy there.
As it turns out - I was right. As I was wheeled down the hall for my C-Section, I gasped when I saw the room we were about to enter. It was the same room where I had a surgical procedure that would hopefully help Darcy deliver. Before the door even opened, I had a flashback to that day... laying on the table. I really believe there are no coincidences. I was meant to deliver in that hospital... in that room. And the nursing care I received along the way - from my frequent visits to my four day stay after Hope arrived - was exceptional. Everyone was compassionate... encouraging... and laughed at my drugged up jokes. And the NICU nurses and doctor that cared for Hope were reassuring and supportive. I'll never forget the four days I spent at Lankenau. Everything happened the way it was supposed to... someone guided the entire experience, including me needing to deliver there.
The last couple days have been great and challenging and wonderful. Hope spent a total of one full day on the bili-blanket before we were told it was okay to take it off! As of this morning, her numbers came down considerably. She won't need the blanket anymore at all! Her weight came down one ounce, but it's not a concern. She's now 5lbs, 10oz. We'll be taking her to the pediatrician on Monday morning for another weight check.
The challenging parts have been waking her sleepy self for feedings... and a plugged duct in one of my breasts that has been pretty painful. She will take a bottle when she's this sleepy - so I've decided to pump a bottle for her feedings for the time being. After she finishes, I nurse her until she is "done." It seems to be working out well. My goal is to be sure she maintains her weight and doesn't miss feedings. The rest will fall into place later.
Brian has continued to be the best big brother - helper - and all around angel child. He wants to help with everything, which is so adorable. He will sing to Hope and talk to her and he loves to ask me all kinds of questions about her and her care. My favorite from today - as I was breastfeeding her - "Mama? When I was a baby, did I drink milk out of those same breasts?" as he pointed to mine.
He also seems to know that it's a busy, exhausting time right now. He'll play independently or just snuggle up in bed with me to pass the time. Today the three of us watched "Happy Feet" from my bed. (A very odd movie, if you ask me!) And Ed took him out to Love Bomb him with a trip to Arnold's! He really seems to be handling this transition well. We're so proud of him!
This first week just flew by. I can't find the words to express my gratitude for this unexpected miracle.