Saturday, April 3, 2010
Good Golly Miss Molly!
Well, we have made it home. finally! And more than anything I want to be able to document our stay and Molly's long journey from delivery, to special care, to nicu, to the pediatric floor to home so that one day we can boast in her testimony over what God has done not only for her and for us, but also hopefully for the nurses, doctors and other parents we met during our stay. Molly was born on Wednesday, March 31st at about 8 am. Jason and I weren't expecting my csection to start until nine, but we were early and I was so glad because I was miserably uncomfortable that morning. The csection went mostly well with just a few things that weren't so awesome (like my blood pressure dropping and getting to throw up during this delivery just like with Isabelle!). Molly looked beautiful and I must say that I knew all along it was a girl. I am glad I was right! Immediately it was apparent that she was having trouble breathing and she was put on oxygen right away, but we were told that it was normal because she was a csection baby. She was taken to the special care nursery and placed under an oxygen hood and we were told she may be there for a couple of hours before she was able to get the fluid out of her lungs. A couple of hours turned into four, then six and then eight hours and eventually 24 hours in the special care nursery. I was unable to see her for some length of time because of my surgery...though I can't remember how long. It wasn't until 24 hours later that Jason or I were able to hold her for the first time. Holding her was amazing and sad at the same time because the only reason we were able to hold her was because she was being transferred to the nicu. She was still not breathing properly and the oxygen hood was not working to solve the problem. Upon getting to the nicu, Molly was placed on a cpap machine very similar to the machines adults use for sleep apnea. During this time we were not allowed to hold her and I had still been unable to feed her. We also had another agonizing decision to make about what family members would be allowed in the nicu to visit Molly. Only four people other than Jason and I were allowed access to the nicu. There were no substitutions so even though my dad left town on Saturday, we could not have put him on the list and then switched to someone else later. When you have a father in law, mother in law, sister, mom, dad, step-mom, brothers, etc that have all been looking forward to meeting your new baby it is very difficult to choose who to exclude especially given our emotional state of mind at the time. Molly was on the cpap machine for about 24 hours before being moved to high flow oxygen and then a regular nasal canula over the next 48 hours. she also started light therapy to resolve some jaundice which was actually one of the only things we could find a little humor in because she looked like she was tanning with some sun shades on! By Saturday evening at 11pm, Molly was breathing well enough to come off of oxygen and some of her iv's and begin to start eating. I was only allowed to give her small amounts from a bottle at first and the feedings were difficult. We had many amazing nicu nurses and one in particular lobbied for me to be able to try to nurse. Something I learned was that it requires a lot of energy for a baby to nurse and so they do not want what they referred to as "sick babies" to expend too much energy to eat, rather to be able to eat easily in order to gain weight. Luckily for me, Sheryl was an advocate for me and without her I am sure I never would have even been allowed to try to nurse Molly. While we were desperate to leave on Sunday, the neonatologist wanted Molly off of oxygen for 24 hours before he would release her. I even considered leaving against medical advice because I knew Molly was well, but was persuaded to stay after we were told they would be moving her to the pediatric floor so that even though I had to be released from the hospital, I could stay with Molly in her room and have a bed to sleep on instead of sleeping on a couch in the nicu. My amazing husband had been sleeping on that couch every night, even during the blue light and also stayed with Molly and I in her pediatric room. Then on Monday we were finally able to bring her home. We still have a long way to go in terms of getting her feedings established and she is going to have to gain some weight pretty quickly, but it is so much easier to work on nursing and getting a schedule established at home where you don't have nurses and doctors monitoring your every move and every minute spent feeding. They had very strict guidelines about her feedings that we basically had to follow in order to be released. This whole situation has really forced Jason and I to have faith I didn't know we had. We picked out scriptures and taped them to Molly's nicu bed. I must have recited those scriptures a hundred times and prayed them over molly just as many. While many of our nurses were in support of being positive and believing what God says about healing, faith, prayer and our lives, we did have a nurse and a doctor that laughed at us and our beliefs. They gave us gloom and doom, worst case scenarios that would have scared the crap out of us and discouraged us if not for the fact we know what God says in his word and we choose to believe that word is true. It was somewhat fitting for us that Easter weekend was taking place during our stay since we know specifically that 'by his wounds we are healed.' Molly proved to all of them that what we knew, and what we believed, and what we said was true, not what they predicted. I hope those scriptures and our beliefs influenced them and will someday make a difference. For sure this has been the greatest trial of faith for me and I can't imagine being in a place like the nicu without being able to believe in God's promises for our lives. So we are home now, trying to get adjusted, trying to make up for lost time with Isabelle and trying to remember what life with a newborn is like. You wouldn't think we would have forgotten much in 16 months, but we have! We appreciate our friends and family who have been overwhelmingly supportive and who have agreed with us in prayer during this time. I have so many nurses to thank it is ridiculous. I also have to mention that I have the greatest husband and my girls have the greatest father anyone could ask for. Jason was my rock during this whole time and endured more than his fair share of emotional outbursts! He also was the one who had to witness Molly being stuck 7 times trying to start an iv before they finally tried in her head, which is where her iv ended up. He is amazing. So if you have read this much, you know most of the story and I pray will never be able to relate. I look forward to posting about Molly's milestones, Isabelle's adventures as a big sister and our life as a FAMILY OF FOUR!