Forgive me for not posting since Victoria's birth. All is well, I just haven't had much time to update. I spent most of the past two weeks at our hospital's NICU(neonatal intensive care unit) until they finally let out baby girl come home last Wednesday. Since then I've been living in Eastern Standard Newborn Time and I'm cherishing every exhausting minute having a baby in the house again.
She spent the first 9 days of her life in the NICU until they felt she was ready to come home. They kicked me out of the hospital a week ago Friday, but--being the stalker mommy that I am--I hung out in the NICU from 8 a.m. till 5 p.m. so I could feed her myself and not miss too much of these precious newborn days.
A week ago Saturday, they thought she might be ready to come home and let me "room in" with her. I was thrilled to be able to have a sleepover with my tiny girl in this room that they have just off the NICU. Well, I'm embarrassed to admit that I was done in by a person the size of a sub sandwich. This trial run proved she wasn't quite ready and needed a few more days in the hospital.
Her biggest issue has been her inability to get enough in each feeding. For several days she was fed with the assistance of a feeding tube in her nose. She just didn't have the stamina to nurse or take a bottle for more than a few minutes. Her other problem was not being able to maintain a good body temp. Because she is so thin, she burns a lot of calories trying to keep herself warm. We have her dressed for an Arctic blizzard yet sometimes her temp goes dangerously low. Although she was delivered at 36 weeks, she was more like a baby born at 33 to 34 weeks, but we can already tell she's going to catch up quickly.
Since coming home on Wednesday, she has eaten well and her temp has been stable. Wooo hoooo! We took her to the pediatrician Friday and we were thrilled to hear that she's back to her birth weight of 5 pounds. She is certainly the miniature princess of the house and we are so grateful for the precious gift of this special girl.
I've got a little time before the next feeding to finally post some pics.
This is the first time I was able to see my baby girl. I'll never forget feeling her breath on my cheek as Brad held her up to my face. The tears were flowing in Operating Room number 1!
This was a quick photo with me and Brad before they took her to the NICU and while they were sewing me up.
I'm still so grateful for the wisdom of my doctors to go ahead and deliver via c-section. We know now that the reason she wasn't the size she should have been is because of issues with the cord.
The recovery has been a bit harder than with a regular delivery, but it granted me some additional days in the hospital. That extra time in the hospital was a blessing because it was so hard to leave her behind when they sent me home.
Here we are hanging out in the NICU.
This is Olivia meeting her baby sister for the first time. It's hard to believe that I have one daughter starting high school and another just starting out in life, but it's actually a lot of fun having such a range of ages.
Can you tell how excited Ava is to have a baby sister? She's been praying for one for several years and is overjoyed that Victoria is here.
Daniel was so precious the first time he met Victoria. It has been so special to experience this with him and see his pride in having a new little sister.
Brady is perhaps the proudest sibling of them all. He is already very protective of her and instructs all visitors to wash their hands and not touch her head. I know Brady and Victoria will have a very sweet bond that will grow over the years. He still doesn't have the confidence to hold her, but he sits by her bassinet and chats with her. It's very sweet.
Here's Victoria spending some time under the tanning bed while in the NICU because of jaundice. She's fine now and she and Daniel have the best summer tans in the family.
Here are some pics taken with my phone. They didn't appreciate flash photography in the NICU so I had to sneak these when I got a chance.
Who says babies can't smile? This was taken when she was 3 days old. We can't wait till she's able to smile all the time.
Here she is in her fleece Halo sleep sack. Even though the temps are in the 90's outside, our girl almost always has this on to keep her warm.
Finally the feeding tube is out! She hated it and was always pulling it out and frustrating the nurses. She didn't like the monitors' wires either. Ava sang the song "I've Got No Strings" from Pinocchio when they took it all off.
This is her at home dancing in her bed.
Oh, gotta run. Time for a feeding. Here's one more photo with her celebrating her first Father's Day with her dad and siblings.
I'm so grateful for my husband, my father and father-in-law, and my Heavenly Father. It was a special day indeed.