Please excuse any typos – I’ve got a newborn and spelling and grammar is the last thing on my mind!
Graham was taken to the NICU to have his breathing monitored. He was grunting with each breath so even though he came out crying, they still wanted to watch him.
The rest of the day is a blur. I remember getting cleaned up but that’s about it until that afternoon. (The first time you stand up after giving birth – geez. That will be something I won’t forget. The nurse that helped me in the bathroom was wonderful. It takes a special person to be a nurse.) I know at some point I was moved to a different room. I know Josh went to take pictures of our family looking through the glass into the NICU. But I don’t remember much else.
OH – I do remember this. After I got cleaned up, the family came back in the room and we announced his name. That was a disappointment as well because I’d always planned on holding him and introducing him to everyone. But he wasn’t even in the room with us when we told everyone his name.
Luckily everyone loved his name. 🙂
That afternoon, Josh wheeled me up to the NICU to visit Graham. We weren’t able to hold him and I couldn’t see him well in his bed without standing up. We stood for a while and touched his hands and chest and legs and feet. I gave him a kiss. (I’m tearing up writing this now.) But they had the heat lamp on him and I wasn’t feeling very well, and it hurt standing there a few hours after giving birth. The heat started making me sick, so we didn’t stay long. We went back to the room and rested there until that evening.
I’m not sure what time it was when we finally went to go see him again. He had been moved to a different area with chairs we could sit in. We were also finally allowed hold him again. I breastfed him and we gave him a bottle. Josh’s family had stayed, so they got to hold him. It was a special, quiet time. The lights were dim and we all just took in the sweet new baby.
|So many wires and cords. 🙁|
I think I was just in shock that whole day. All of the moments I had dreamed of that I didn’t get to experience because he was early – they didn’t bother me at the time. Maybe it was the shock of having a baby. Maybe it was because I was worried about him. It wasn’t until that night that I really started to process the whole day. I thought of all the things I thought we’d do – like holding Graham on my chest right after he was born. Introducing him to the family. Showing him off to visitors. Laying around all day in the hospital room just staring at him and bonding as a new family of three. We missed out on all of that. Instead, I spent most of his birth day watching tv with Josh in our room. Without our brand new baby.
And that night was the worst. I finally bonded with Graham that evening when I got to hold him again. And then we had to leave him. Josh was exhausted from not getting much sleep the night before when I was in labor. I was exhausted too, but too emotional to sleep. I spent most of that night crying. (Like I am now remembering all of this.)
The next day was better. Graham was moved to the 7th floor – which is for babies that don’t need the serious monitoring they get in the 2nd floor NICU. We spent almost the whole day with him – only returning to our room for me to take my meds and to eat meals. Our families visited again. My mom, dad and sister were able to hold Graham for the first time. A few of our friends visited too.
|My dad and me.|
Graham ended up staying in the NICU for a full week. His breathing was fine after the first night, but he was a “lazy eater” and ended up needing a feeding tube. So we weren’t able to take him home until he started eating better. It was so hard leaving the hospital without him when I was discharged. I had watched all of these happy women leaving the hospital in wheelchairs holding their sweet babies. I was wheeled out holding my purse. It was just so hard. This was the most emotional I’ve been in my whole life.
|Poor baby Graham with an IV in his head and a feeding tube in his nose. 🙁|
But we went back to the NICU every single day. We got there in time for his 9am bottle and left around 11pm each night. You’d think we would have gotten bored sitting around all day every day for a week, but we didn’t. We took turns holding Graham and staring at his sweet face.
We were also working on breastfeeding at the time and I was pumping every 3 hours around the clock. Nights at home were emotional too – getting up to pump just reminded me my baby wasn’t there with me.
The day we finally got to bring him home was such an awesome day. We were pros at taking care of a baby by then. The nurses in the NICU (who were all awesome, by the way) had shown us how to feed him and change his diaper. That was the good thing about having a baby in the NICU. We were able to ease into parenthood.
|Our little NICU pod where we spent the first week of Graham’s life.|
|“Look ma, no more wires!”|
|Finally going home!|
We brought Graham in and introduced him to the pups. Our family came to visit and we enjoyed our first day and our first full night at home with our sweet baby boy.
|The Grandma’s sorting baby clothes. 🙂|
Graham is doing so great now. Eating like a little piggy. He’s up to 9lbs now!
Graham – your daddy and I love you more than you’ll ever know. We’re so happy you’re here with us!