Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finally Home!

Well, today is Father's Day, but for me every day feels like Mother's Day.

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.

We were so happy when she was moved from the warming bed to this hospital bassinet. We knew it was one step closer to her coming home.

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.

This was a sweet moment holding her in the NICU. I still have those "pinch me" moments of not believing that this little treasure is mine.

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.

Much Love,



Angie said...

She's just beautiful! Thanks for sharing some photos, and so glad you are both doing well.

Kristin Ferguson said...

I've sooooo been waiting for this post! Kathie, she is beautiful and so tiny and precious! Josi was the same size when we brought her home after 18days in the NICU. Like a little baby doll. Your children are going to be such great helpers with her. Take those naps whenever you can and only post when you're feeling up to it...but thanks for making the time to share Victoria with us!

Blessings on your entire family!

Kat said...

I have been waiting to see your beautiful blessing!!! She is just precious! Continued praying and PRAISING!!!!! WOO HOO!!!!

Jessica said...

She is so beautiful! Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

She is so precious!
Love her smiles!
You are looking gorgeous, as well!
Such a beautiful family!

Angela said...

She's absolutely beautiful!! I love seeing the pictures of the other kids with Victoria also. We had a 3 week NICU stay with our Victoria, and the older kids have spoiled her rotten. I'm guessing you will see the same thing!

Take it easy in your recovery.

Sean and Lisa said...

Ah, take my breath away BEAUTIFUL!! So glad she's doing well. Prayers continue.
Please give her a gentle hug for me.
Much love!

trustandobey said...

She is so yummy!!!! I know you are so glad to be on this side of everything! And you have the summmer to recoop. She is precious!!!
Congratulations to you all!!!
And praise God from whom all blessings flow.

JBZ said...

What a precious blessing!!! She is beautiful! As I looked at her pictures and read her story I was reminded of James 1:17...what a perfect gift! Congratulations!

sierrasmom said...

OHHHHH I have been checking every day!! I knew you were busy but I just coudn't wait to see her. Oh my Kathie...she is precious!!What a blessing she must be to your family!! Too cute for words. I love the differnet pictures of her with the kids. How adorable!!!
Hugs and keep us posted when you can!!!

Rachel said...

Thanking God for this miracle. Just amazing how He works!

Lelia said...

I too am so happy to see this post! I'd been thinking of you and wondering how you all are. . .she is too cute for words. I seriously cannot imagine holding a baby so tiny (I am still LOL at the "person the size of a sub-sandwich" comment :)). I loved esp. the pic of her dancing in her bed. What a precious blessing for all of you. Enjoy and soak up every baby moment. . .I know you are. Miss you---

sierrasmom said...

Ok...I know you are busy but we need new pictures!!!!!