I have to say that having our little one in Boulder was one of the best experiences. I don’t think I could imagine anything better.
When we were going through our birthing classes, in addition to the physical preparation, we learned a lot about making choices for ourselves and standing by those choices. As I’ve learned through not only our instructor, who is a labor and delivery nurse, but through friends and family who have delivered else where, it’s really important to decide what you want and make it known – because not every place is as pro-parent choice as here.
One of the amazing things about the hospital is that the babies are placed directly on mom’s chest after they’re born (that was the photo in my previous post). This isn’t the norm in many places, and when we sent the texts to family that she had arrived (sorry to my friends who found out on Facebook instead of through texts like we originally planned – things went so fast we didn’t get a chance to get out the list), the questions of what she weighed came back just as fast. We didn’t know her weight until at least two hours after she was born. It was important to not only us but the hospital that moms, dads, and babies spend time together first. Measurements aren’t going to change in two hours. She also wasn’t bathed right away, and we declined the Hep B shot (we’ll get it for her when she gets her other shots… not looking forward to that).
The first night had its ups and downs – and was different than what I imagined it would be. I imagined that we would get no sleep, and that she would cry the entire time. After her first feeding (which lasted nearly an hour and a half!), she didn’t want to feed again for nearly 12 hours. Believe me, I tried. However, as we found out, because she was born so quickly, she didn’t have a chance to expel the amniotic fluid that had built up in her lungs like most vaginally birthed babies do. So she spent the rest of the night coughing it up, and she wasn’t interested in feeding. Not that I blame her – if I was coughing up all that fluid I wouldn’t want to eat either.
The next morning for me started out tough. It was then that the pain from the birth started to set in. I was lucky and the tear I had wasn’t too bad, but it still was pretty uncomfortable. We spent the day just enjoying our time together and learning how to change diapers (S was the one who did them – and the first baby poos are NO joke. They warn you they’re super sticky, and they’re not kidding). We enjoyed the Ravens/Texans game, and had some friends come to visit, and ordered food that was on the no-no list before. We were hoping for another night like the night we had before – although I wanted her to eat.
She did NOT want to sleep unless she was being held. The nurses said that it’s probably because she was premie, and was having a bit of separation anxiety. So S took her first, then I took her. We decided at one point to change her diaper, and we didn’t call the nurses for help. Let me tell you what an experience that was. She was screaming (she still does not like being changed – and screams like you wouldn’t believe), and we were sleep deprived, and running around like chickens without heads. Looking back now it was hilarious (and I wish we had video taped it), but in the moment we realized we had no idea what we were doing. But we worked together, got her dressed and swaddled again, then the knock on the door came. The night nurse (who was amazing) came in to take her for a little bit so we could sleep. She took her for about two hours and it was amazing. When she came back at 5:30 that morning, we felt a bit more refreshed and ready to meet the potential discharge day.
On Monday, January 16, we had quite a few tests to get through in order to be discharged. I had to be cleared by my OB, and V had to pass a car seat test because she was a premie, as well as the other medical tests (blood work, hearing). We also met our pediatrician that morning, and he’s fantastic. With the bed rest and quick induction, we didn’t get a chance to interview any, but he came highly recommended by a few people I work with, and we couldn’t be happier. By 10 am, all tests had been done, and our little premie was showing full term babies… she passed all her tests with flying colors and impressed everyone! We changed her into her own diaper and outfit, and headed home.