Tuesday, July 8th
Our daughter was born today at 1:34pm. As I mentioned in the previous post, the delivery happened very quickly (to say the least), but everything otherwise went fairly smoothly. We knew from what the NICU doctor had told us during the first night we were admitted to the hospital that once I delivered my baby, she would likely not be crying, and not to worry…this was normal. Additionally, she would have to receive immediate care from the doctors given her fragile state, so I would not be able to see her or hold her after the delivery. This broke my heart, but I had dealt with and accepted the reality of the situation.
However, our kid decided she already going to go against the odds and break tradition. She not only came out breathing on her own, but also let out a small, single cry as soon as she came out. It brought tears to my eyes, because I knew already…this kid is letting me know she is tough and will be just fine. The doctors also later commented that she had started to suck on the end of the bulb they use to suction out her mouth, already showing some of those necessary motor skills required for eating and drinking.
During the delivery, the doctors informed me that they were going to be doing a “delayed cord clamp” to allow for more blood flow and oxygen to be transferred to the baby. Once she came out and the doctors were doing as they said, I was able to get a quick glimpse of her face. It was so tiny, but so amazing.
Approximately 2 1/2 hours after I delivered her, which felt like an eternity, Ian and I were finally able to go over to the NICU to see our child. As expected, she had a plastic tube coming out of her mouth which was taped to her face, as this was providing oxygen to her lungs through the ventilator. She had several IV’s and a line coming out of her umbilical cord, and several monitor stickers covering her body so the doctors and nurses could continue to track her vitals. She had a moderate amount of lanugo covering her face and body, which is the very fine, and usually unpigmented hair that can be found on the body of a fetus or newborn baby. She had a head of dark hair, and really long extremities and fingers, which made Ian and I start to question if the medical team got her switched with someone else’s kid in all the craziness that occurred during the delivery. Ian commented that she “definitely has your nose,” which he expressed that he was quite happy about:) Her eyes were not yet open, although you could see a small slit beginning to open in her left eye. Ian and I were able to touch her and begin our parenting bond with her. We would lightly touch her head or her legs, and would put our finger in the palm of her hand, which she would occasionally grasp onto. For a 2 lb 9 1/2 oz infant, she had quite the grip.
Although she started off being intubated and on the ventilator, by midnight that night, she was already extubated and placed on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which is a breathing device that uses mild air pressure via a nasal cannula to keep the airways open. The doctors were amazed at her strength and couldn’t believe how well she was tolerating the low CPAP settings, as she was receiving 23% O2 (keeping in mind that the air you and I breathe is at 21%).
We returned to our room that night, continuing to feel the shock and adrenaline from the days events, but overall feeling that “this is all going to be ok…she is going to be just fine…she is obviously strong.” Ian and I enjoyed a romantic evening in the hospital room (or at least we pretended) that night as we ordered from the “gourmet” hospital menu (seems like any oxymoron). I had chicken parmesan, he ordered a sirloin steak, and we each got a piece of cake for dessert. “Our child is here” was the thought that kept running through my head and is what I continued to say both to myself and out loud, and still, it wasn’t sinking in. It was so unreal. What an amazing thing.