Emily was born weighing 5 pounds exactly, and measuring 17.25 inches (she’s a long baby!!). She was 34 weeks and 4 days, which means she was 5 1/2 weeks early. Because she was premature, she was born with a few complications that meant she needed to go to the NICU right away. Bryan went with her to the NICU, while I was still being operated on. I got to see pictures of Emily while she was still in the OR, and saw a peek at her in the bassinet as they wheeled her off. It was really hard not being able to touch or hold her right away, but the speed was needed to make sure she was safe and healthy.
Once in the NICU, further tests were done. She was put on CPAP, a breathing treatment, as she was not breathing well on her own. She was given an IV for fluids and antibiotics, a feeding tube, and put on multiple monitors to check on her oxygen levels, blood pressure, body temperature, etc. Bloodwork was done to check for infection, bilirubin levels, and a whole plethora of other things. While all this was happening, Bryan was going back and forth between the OR and the NICU to relay information to me.
After the C-section was complete, and after the required hour was spent in recovery, I was wheeled on my bed to the NICU to see Emily. It was initially really scary seeing her attached to all the tubes and wires, and because of the size of the CPAP mask, I couldn’t really see her face at all. That said, it was the most amazing thing ever to finally be able to see the little girl who had been growing inside of me for months!
After a little time with her, Bryan and I went back to our room to sleep a little (although I didn’t really sleep…too much excitement and fear running through me at that point!). After a couple hours, we were able to go back to see her again. The doctors decided to intubate her, as her breathing was still labored. The CPAP helps push some extra air into her lungs, but the ventilator makes her lungs fill and empty, essentially breathing for her. We spent as much time as we were allowed to with her throughout that day, just watching her, and touching her through the isolette bed. We were not allowed to hold her that day. Throughout the day, I was also pumping as much as possible to help my milk come in, so that Emily could be given breastmilk. Thankfully, the hospital has a donor milk program, so that Emily can still get the benefits of breastmilk in these very important first few days.
We finally turned in for the night, and tried to get sleep (tried being the key word here! Hard to do when you can’t stop thinking about your new little baby!).