This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
The day after Samantha was born, I woke up anxious to hold her. I wanted to really meet her, not just glance at her face or feel her kick, but hold her and talk to her.
Unfortunately, I had to wait.
Travis wheeled me down to the NICU (after five weeks in the hospital on bed rest, I was less than steady on my feet), and we checked in. But there was a baby having surgery (not ours, someone else’s), which meant the entire NICU was closed to visitors.
Part of me wanted to make a scene. I already had some of that mama-bear instinct rising up in me. But I also knew that it wouldn’t do any good or get me to what I wanted any faster. Logically, I knew that I couldn’t risk another child’s health just so I could see mine.
So we went back to the room, and I pumped again, and got mad at the lactation nurse again, and rested. I think I started walking a little bit. I still felt pretty weak, between the toll pregnancy took on my body and the aftermath of surgery.
When I finally got to hold her, it was scary. She was so tiny! She still had various wires coming off of her, monitoring her heart and oxygen levels. Maybe there was an IV? Thankfully, she was born at 34 weeks, so she was much more developed than a lot of NICU babies. She was only there for a day or two before being moved to the step-down unit, and we got to have her in the room with us sometimes. She had jaundice, so she spent time in a special light-emitting blanket. And I started to learn how to nurse (and hated the lactation nurse even more!). But I slept and food was brought to my room. I walked when I wanted, napped when I wanted, and spent a lot of time just holding this tiny human being that came out of my body. Those days were magical.
Next post coming tomorrow.