Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Baby In Town

Turtle in December.

Aria Finley in December

She spent a little over 7 days in the NICU. The only real concern was developing her lungs. She spent 3 or so days on the CPAP, which basically allowed her lungs to work a little less hard and helped the air sacs stay open. After that she lounged around under the bilirubin lights until her levels were back down to normal, and worked on increasing her feedings.

She got to come home on the 10th. Her stay in the NICU wasn't exactly desired, but since shit happens we couldn't have asked for a better experience. The two neonatal specialists were fantastic, they welcomed questions and were completely reassuring. It really meant a lot to us that they were both so positive and upbeat. Likewise, the nurses were a wealth of knowledge, and since neither of us had much baby experience they gave us lots of advice and hands on help.

Aria Finley in December

The first couple of weeks that turtle was home were the most exhausting of my life. I do not function well on no sleep, nope not even a little bit. The hubs had previously rearranged his schedule to take time off for a wedding - sure work a bunch of days in a row, I'm just going to be sitting around in my state of whaleness, it sounds like a solid plan. And then I went into labor a month early. So, it was just me and turtle figuring things out (like breastfeeding and how to not have a mental breakdown), baking goodies, wrapping presents, shipping packages, and sleeping in hour long snippets. It really was the best of times and the worst of times. On one hand, having turtle fall asleep curled up all tiny on my chest will always be the highlight of my life, but on the other hand, no sleep and flying poop.

After those few (endless) days, when the hubs went back to a normal work schedule with blessed days off life was much better. I had help, and I let myself relax and not stress over taking care of turtle. I like order and routine and symmetry and color-coded organization, so I had to force myself to chill the fuck out and go with the flow. Best advice I ever gave myself. I'd stress over things like how much is she eating, how much is she sleeping, my God this child hates bedtime. I was also worried she wasn't gaining weight because she had stalled right below her birth weight, and I really didn't want to be forced to supplement with formula (shit is expensive...boobs are free). Thankfully when she did start gaining weight it was with gusto and she flew by her birth weight. With that worry crossed off, I think it clicked that she was doing well and that she was healthy and that I could relax...and I hadn't even dropped her, which I was intensely paranoid about in the beginning.

I also started making up a bottle of pumped milk so hubs could give her the first feeding in the morning and I could get a solid chunk of sleep under my belt. An absolute lifesaver, plus what else was I going to do with my huge surplus of breastmilk that kept getting larger and larger in the freezer. It was like peeling back layers of terribleness: layer one, stop stressing so much; layer two, get a little more sleep; layer three, make it the fuck past Christmas. I was just reminiscing to hubs about how un-magical Christmas was this year and he was all like wahhh? it was totes* awesome with the baabeee. Sure turtle was totes awesome sleeping peacefully on Christmas morning and the fact of her existence, but getting Christmas gifts out was a hellish ordeal on top of giving birth and recovering and not sleeping. So I was just glad it was over. Sorry Christmas, I love you, but you sucked this year.

Aria Finley in December

*For the record, hubs doesn't say totes, that was just my mocking exasperation showing.

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