Dave. Valerie. Sylvia. Veda. Guinevere. And the animals.
19 November 2011
Fidget is Here!
I am still in some shock as I write this, announcing to you that this past Sunday afternoon (2:15 p.m., to be precise) our little Guinevere "Evvie" Rae was born! She entered this world with some sass, crying and fussy-- no greater sound to parents of a baby born nearly six weeks early. She was 5 lbs. and 5 oz and 18" long. Dave was able to hold her and show her to me and then got to walk her down to the NICU himself.
Once in the Special Care Nursery (NICU), she was given an x-ray to check her lungs, placed on oxygen, and had some blood drawn. The x-ray came back with a reading that she possibly had pneumonia, but the hospital pediatrician said she thought the scan was blurry only because Evvie took a deep breath in, expanding her lungs and moving her body a bit, to scream at the precise moment the x-ray was taken. Blood work confirmed this theory, as everything came back normal.
She was quickly weaned from the oxygen and within a day or so was removed from air altogether. She has never been placed back on. Her first two days proved that she is an amazing little girl. She began to nipple from a bottle, often taking her entire feeding through a bottle (and not her tube). She was also completely weaned from her i.v. by Tuesday evening. Wednesday we began to see her tire out a bit and her bilirubin count was rising. She began to take less of her feedings from a bottle as she just got too tired to continue sucking. I was discharged from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
By Friday her bilirubin was so high that she was placed in a bili blanket (this replaces the old "blue lights" of the past, and has proven to be about 3x more efficient). Yesterday was a hard day for her. She ate very little from the bottle and most of her milk was given to her through her tube. She had also lost an additional 2 ounces, putting her weight under 5 lbs. While I got to feed her without the bili blanket, the rest of the time she was snuggly wrapped in one, glowing a nauseating blue. Evvie gets to wear "cool dude shades" to protect her from getting a headache or even sick to her stomach from the glow, but the rest of us cannot look at her for too long without feeling a migraine coming. Dave had been at work for part of the day and by the time he could have gone to the hospital to see her it was already dark in the nursery, making the blue light even more intense. He decided to just let her sleep in peace and visit her today with me.
Today she was doing so much better! Her bilirubin count had dropped by nearly 4 points and she had gained 2 ounces back. She did not look nearly as orange and was eating better. She was also alert for most of the two feedings we got to do with her today, which was not the case yesterday. She knew when we arrived at the nursery, because when she heard our voices she promptly stirred, opened her eyes and began to search for the voices. This was really neat to see.
So, what happened? Why did she come so early? This is the question(s) I have been asked a lot this past week. The short answer is that I went into labor. The long answer: I woke up Sunday morning with contractions around 4:00 a.m. but did not think much of it yet because I had been waking up around the same time every morning with contractions. But by about 9:00 a.m. I began to wonder a bit. I took a shower and got dressed and at around 10:00 I decided to let Dave know that we were maybe going to be having a baby that day. At 11:00 we piled the kids in the car and headed for my parents' house.
On the drive down I finally heard back from the on call doctor. It was, of course, the one doctor I had never even see, much less met before, from my OB/GYN's office. He sounded rather skeptical on the phone and when I told him we were already on the way he just said, "Well, I guess we'll see what you've got when you get here." [As a side note: I had decided that we were not going to drive 70 miles, burden my parents with the kids, only to be told to go back home. I was going to make sure I was actually in labor and that a child was going to be born before deciding to go to the hospital.]
The doctor came into my room shortly after our arrival. He casually sat down in a chair across the room from me, looked me over and said, "Well, you do have a look about you. That look that I often see on women in labor . . ." Meanwhile, I'm thinking, Will you just check me already and get this show on the road?! ". . . Because, you know, we don't take delivering a 34-weeker lightly . . ." Yes, I know! Will you just check me already?! "So, I'll check you now and we'll see what's going on." It's about time!
He checks me, gives what almost seemed like a little sigh and then looks right at the nurse and says, "Oh, yeah, she's in labor. This is a no brainer. I'll make the phone calls." Finally!
Surgery went very well. No complications. And the doctor actually proved to be a pretty great guy. He's a little odd, but he knows his stuff and was even willing to do sutures instead of staples at my request. My recovery time went without a hitch as well. And a little after 9:00 p.m. I was able to be wheeled down to the Special Nursery to see Evvie and do some Kangaroo Care with her (also known as skin to skin). Below is me holding my baby for the first time:
And please remember that I am only six hours post-op at this time, so my appearance should be somewhat excusable. She was already sucking, the pacifier (or "pipe" as we call them in my family) is evidence of that. And currently, even when she takes little from her bottle during feedings, she has already begun to establish a very good "suck, swallow, breathe pattern." In many ways this is more important than her taking her entire bottle.
Her sisters are allowed to visit her. They have been twice now. Tuesday morning Dave brought them and he again came with them after nap time today. Sylvia is rather fascinated and smitten with her sister, but Veda remains a little stand-offish. This does not come as any great surprise. We fully expect the jealousy issues to be more severe with our second daughter than with our first. Our primary concern with our eldest is that she will be too much of a mother to "Baby Evvie" and we may need to intervene during some of her "caring" for her baby sister.
Her name: Guinevere we just really liked, much like her sisters' first names. Also like her sisters' names, her middle name is after a late family member. Rae is after Dave's grandpa, Raymond. Dave always had a huge respect for his grandpa and I was lucky enough that I got to meet him and spend some time with him before his passing from lung cancer. He was a pretty neat guy, and I know he really liked me and I suspect he knew that Dave and I were going to marry one day. And so, Guinevere is his little girl in name. And, also like her sisters, she has a second middle name- my last name.
We have been calling her "Evvie" for a long time already. I just thought it was a cute nickname but it is also easy enough for both of her sisters to say. And Sylvia has, in fact, been talking about and to "Baby Evvie" for quite a while. [Please note: The name is Evvie with two v's and not Ewie, with a w. I chose the two v's so that people would know the E was short and not long, as in Eve-y. But perhaps I only added to the confusion!]
While Evvie is in the hospital all of us are staying with my parents. This is both wonderful and stressful all at the same time. We hate being an added stress and burden to my parents, but we also know that they are more than happy to help us. We need to be close to Evvie and the girls need someone to watch them so we can spend time with our youngest. We are immensely grateful to my folks for all their help and support. Likewise, not enough can be said for the ways in which Dave's folks have also been amazing in their willingness to help. My mother-in-law has been available to come stay with the girls so that my mom can bring me to the hospital or to run some errands or to just be able to get a cup of coffee in peace. She has also been our "gopher," willing to pick up all those last minute essentials. And while I am still recovering from surgery (which will be for several more weeks), we need all the help we can get!
This is, believe it or not, the short synopsis of our last week! I will try to keep everyone updated on Guinevere and as soon as I know she gets to come home, I will be sure to let you know too!
We live in the country and have a little zoo: Three indoor cats (Audrey, Edgar, and Orange), too many outdoor cats, and our little parrot lovebird named Duncan. Our daughter, Sylvia, was born in October 2008; our second daughter, Veda, was born in January 2010; and our third daughter, Guinevere "Evvie," was born November 2011.