Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preemie Life - Day 2

 So it turns out there are some perks to a for one the fact that I'm almost done with bleeding...hello it is day two!  Also some drugs are pretty darn nice.  I promise I'm not going to go all druggie here and that's all I'm going to say on the matter!  This morning my nurse got me up to help me to the bathroom so I could wash my face and brush my teeth.  She asked me from the room where she was making my bed, "are you feeling dizzy," and at that very moment I did.  So much so that I had to sit down and lean my head against the counter. Power of suggestion?  Who knows.  They helped me back to bed and changed my pad and I couldn't help but think of my own baby daughter having a similar thing done in the NICU.  Oh childbirth :)  Baby girl Slade is doing great.  She moved from being intubated, to CPAP, to just having a little oxygen through a tube that just goes in her nostrils.  I've been down to see her twice today.  This afternoon they let me touch my daughter for the first time.  After washing my hands and then using alcohol hand sanitizer they opened up one of the portholes and let me reach in.  Oh to feel baby skin.  I touched her little feet.  She hated it.  I touched her little arms and she didn't seem to like that either.  I put my finger by her hand and she wrapped her whole hand around it and her fingers didn't even touch her palm.  She held my finger for a couple minutes before she moved.  It is all very emotional for me.  I walk in there and I start to cry.  I wonder how often the NICU nurses see that.  I'm sure I can't be the only one.  They are so positive though, they take all my crying in strides.  And yet I still tear up.  I look at my daughter and I want to pick her up.  I want to hold her, to sooth her, to wrap her in my arms, to put her to my breast and comfort her with my milk, my smell, my warmth.  People come in and congratulate me on her birth and I know this will sound totally unreasonable but it actually hurts.  I'm thankful for her life, I'm grateful for how well she is doing, I'm overwhelmed at how lucky we are to live in a time when a little baby like mine is surrounded by the medical technology that allows her to live, and yet there is a part of me that feels the loss of normal so desperately that it almost takes my breath away to not be able to pick my own child up, to bring her home with me, to show her love in the same way I showed her siblings.  It is an instinctual drive, from thousand and thousand of years of human evolution, and the inability to fill that need puts a little cloud over my happiness.  Bless their hearts, I talked with three other mom's of preemies today.  Two were my favorite nurses, Kim and Lisa, the third was a girl from my ward, Ann, who also happens to be married to a doctor.  All three have had multiple preemies who were all smaller then my little one, born earlier, and spent a lot of time in the NICU who have grown up to be awesome kids.  Lisa's has two teenagers, Kim has a preteen daughter and ten year old twins, and Ann has triplets who are eight and a little boy Gigi's age, and all these kids came through with flying colors.  But as I talked to them about my experience and they told me about theirs, ones that all have happy endings, we all ended up crying together.  I laughingly teased Ann we couldn't talk to each other anymore if she was just going to make me cry.  There is a piece of this experience that is so raw, it apparently stays with you for years, even far after your children are fine, after they come home, after they grow and move out of the baby stage.  I know Dr. J is feeling it as well.  He left it up to me to call family yesterday.  I asked him if he wanted to do it, I told him it was expected and he said, "I just can't do it right now.  I just can't face all the questions everyone has.  I want to be happy but it is so hard."  And I knew exactly what he was talking about.  Sometimes I'm grateful to be a girl.  I can cry my eyes out in front of strangers and friends and while maybe it is awkward or uncomfortable at least it is social acceptable.  I hope I can come to grips with it, but I can't promise I won't mention it again.  And while I'm totally embarrassed I cried in front of so many people today, it was nice to have people to share my burden with.  I only hope I didn't add to theirs.  On a more positive note here is Baby Girl Slade....this child really needs a name.  Feel free to make some suggestions as long as you aren't offend if we do pick it or don't :)

Little Miss is a feisty little thing.  She knows what she likes and what she doesn't and when she is upset  she throws all her limbs around.  I had a suspicion that's what she was doing in the womb.  Now I have the living proof.
A little bit of peace.

Some anger.  This is when I really just ache to hold her, but right now it is just not an option.  

We never did binkies with any of the other kids, but Little Miss is definitely going to keep it.  Mainly because it is a great way to build up those suck muscles so that hopefully she will be able to nurse when she gets bigger.  But also because this little lady is all by herself for so long, if she can have some comfort who am I to deny her that.  This binkie shot cracks me up.  These binkies are apparently special made for NICU, the smallest size they make and yet they are huge.  When she sucks on this it takes up almost her whole face. 
Oh sweet baby, how I long to give you a kiss.

The nurse asked me today if I wanted hand and foot prints.  She was so not happy about this little adventure that mom said, "One hand print is enough, you don't have to get both."  Even with all the crying and fussing though, I will cherish these little prints forever.  I wish I could scan them in to really capture how small they were.
Can you get an idea by looking at my thumb in comparison?

The kids had their first opportunity today to see their sister.  Dr. J took each one in, one at a time to look at her.  I asked them what they though and they all said, "She has the smallest hands and feet we've ever seen!"  I'm with them!  This is going to be my first newborn that actually fits in newborn shoes!  Gigi also asked to see my incision.  Grandma had told her she had to watch out for my belly because I had an ouchie and she said she wanted to see it.  When I showed it to her she threw both her hands on her checks and said, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, ouch!"  It was so funny.


  1. Oh, Crystal...I feel your pain. Every feeling you expressed I remember feeling and I cried as I read. I felt so rejected when we tried skin to skin time with Lydia and she couldn't handle it. I didn't have her with me 30 seconds before the nurse said; she wasn't handling it well and scooped her away from me. I wanted my baby to hear my heart, to just lie on my chest and feel my warmth. I knew she couldn't nurse but at least I could keep her warm. It was awful! Blake was better but still could not handle it until the end of day 6 I think. But the hospital pumps work great and so I pumped as often as I could bringing as much milk as I could for my little ones. It was all I could do for them and I found great joy in knowing that it was helping them get stronger :) I am amazed that she only needs O2 at the nose! That is amazingly wonderful! Lydia struggled so much with that it really scared me. Your little one reminds me so much of my Lydi. She had, (and still has) a saucy side to her that would come out whenever she was touched or bothered in any way. I know how hard it is, but I am guessing there are numerous babies in that NICU who are worse off than your little one...not that that's something to celebrate or anything, but if you haven’t already noticed this it will help you realize just how blessed, you, Jason, and your baby girl Slade really are. C sections are no joke! I decided I wanted to try vaginal delivery of the twins so I had a double whammy when Blake was able to be delivered and then Lydia decided she wanted to come out C section after spending 25 minutes using manipulation, (ask Dr. J about that...Yikes!) to get her to come out vaginally they had to do a C section, I saw women all around me up and walking and I felt like a wimp. When I expressed my frustration a sweet nurse said to me Rachelle, you did not just have a baby like those other women, you were hit by a train! lol that made me feel better. My goal was to be able to walk to the NICU (just around the corner from my room but a mile away would have been just as difficult) it took me almost 3 days before I could actually do it and even then they decided to wheel me back to my room after my visit. You and your family are in my prayers Crystal; I'm hoping the word congratulations less painful today (if it still is I am sorry...but know that soon it won’t be) because it really does apply. You have been sweetly blessed to have been able to wait as long as you did to deliver, giving your little one some extra time to grow and strengthen. I am so happy for you.

  2. Every day I have you and Baby Sladie on my mind. I can't stop thinking of her and how I wish I were there to share these first few days with you. I'm excitedly anticipating a trip to visit you all!
    While in Relief Society, a closet door to my immediate right creakily opened up for no reason at all and someone behind me said, "A ghost!" and then I remembered that we do have a ghost (Nana) that is quite definitely there with you and baby Sladie helping you both along. It was comforting to know that Nana has that power and that she wanted me to know that she can be of assistance.
    I love you daughter of mine! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful life and beautiful children with me...

  3. I'm so sorry that this has been such an unexpected, frustrating experience. I'm glad you're able to express it well instead of holding it inside.

  4. Thanks for posting! Way to go baby girl in going to oxygen!!! That is amazing and very similar to what Preston did! I cried so many times in the Nicu. Cry it out. You need to. I still cry about Preston's birth every once in a while. I remember crying because I wanted to be pregnant still, I wanted things to be normal, I wanted to fill him kicking inside me and not seeing him outside of me. All of these feelings you are having are normal for a preemie mom. Now, as I look back at Preston's birth, I see so many miracles and blessings that happened. I think you are doing an awesome job at recording them. Love you Crys! Wish I was closer to come and sit you & your sweet babe-- and so we could cry together. Welcome to the Preemie mom club-- there is nothing like it! You will cheer when your sweet babe can keep her own temperature, eat on her own, breath on her own,and so many other little things! I pray for all of you! Hugs!

  5. Oh, Crystal! I'm so sorry. :(

    But what a sweet little baby—her hands are teeny! :)

    I like the name Liesel but Andrew's always been against it.

  6. What a journey. Thank you for sharing it with us/me...the raw and refined reality of it all. She looks strong. We're still praying for you.

    Alice would like you to consider the names Aina, Lena, Chanoh, Keena, Leen-chair-ohn, and Leen-chair-ola.

    And yes, she'll be crushed if you don't use one of them ;)

  7. I've been thinking about name ideas, even before you commented asking. Here are some thoughts:

    Petra - c'mon, you lived in Jordan! And it means rock! That's a sturdy name for you.
    Pearl (I think you could get away with it!)

    If you hate all of these, that's fine. I won't be offended. But I seem to recall we share similar taste in names, so...

    Also, unless you tell me otherwise, I'm going to link to your blog on Friday. I love how many details you're giving and how thoughtful all your entries are. Sometimes people clam up when hard experiences come but I've seen the opposite happen on your blog and I love it.



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