Izzy's First Days

I think we are quite possibly two of the happiest new parents in the world! Oh how we love this little boy. 

 Our hospital stay was punctuated by a couple of events. One planned and the other a bit unexpected. Since Israel was born at nearly 11pm, we didn't get to our room on the Mother-Baby floor until almost 2:00am. Needless to say, we were all exhausted. The Captain tried to figure out the chair-bed (turns out that it was not put back together properly from it's last guest, poor guy had to sleep on a broken non-bed!) and we settled in for another attempt at feeding...though, lets be honest--this little guy was sleeping through everything. Thursday was pretty uneventful, though we had scheduled a procedure--step one in fixing my kidney issue--for Friday so we had a lot of interruptions. Interns and residents coming to ask the same questions that had already been asked so many times (I wonder why they don't just look at my chart?), signing release forms for surgery and not-signing for anesthesia (I had questions when I read that my only options were for a spinal or general anesth. that the resident couldn't answer so we waited to sign that one), pediatrician check ups and lactation consultations (both of which were welcome), meals (very, very welcome). But, it was all a little much when all we really wanted to do was hold our little boy and sleep.

In the wee morning hours the next day, I was awakened by a pediatric resident who tried to explain that Izzy's bilirubin count was elevated and they wanted to start phototherapy immediately. All of which to my exhausted brain was muddled and confusing.  The Captain was sound asleep on the cot which he had thankfully fixed, and didn't rouse until the end of our visit. I said I would need to discuss with my husband and asked if he could come back after I had fed the baby. It broke my heart to think of him taken away from me and put in a plastic crib all by himself, but there really wasn't any other option and frankly we were too tired to research it. We were told that Izzy needed more food to push the bilirubin through his system and that the lights would help break it down. I let them wheel my baby away and reluctantly fell asleep. I woke up with my mommy radar on high alert! I heard my baby crying--which was impossible since we were separated by many doors and walls--but I know I heard it. One of the nurses came in our room, looking a little confused, and said that my baby was screaming. "Bring him to me and I'll feed him, please!!" I said, a little shocked by her method of communicating the problem. If there is anything more heartbreaking that your newborn child's frantic cries, I do not know what it is. I gladly fed him and I could feel his relief even though we were definitely still figuring the whole breastfeeding thing out.

It wasn't long after the nurse returned Izzy to the nursery that we were told that they were ready for me in the O.R. I don't know why I wasn't given the option to pump breast milk (our nurse, who was wonderful, was on break while all of this was happening), and my lack of experience unfortunately didn't prompt me to ask, so we made the decision to let the nurses feed Izzy formula while he was under the lights until I came back from recovery later that morning. I did make sure they used a dropper instead of a bottle (too many fears of nipple confusion--which I have since learned is a real thing). Having Izzy under the lights and care of the nurses proved to be a blessing. As the Captain followed me down to the O.R. I couldn't help but get emotional. Being raised by a physician father, I am very comfortable in hospitals. Operating rooms and their surroundings are almost a second home to me. But travelling through that hospital on a gurney that morning, I couldn't help but think worst-case-scenario. Surgery is still surgery and general anesthesia -even in it's lowest doses--is still general anesthesia! There are always risks and, like it or not, there was a small chance I wouldn't wake up....
It took all of about five minutes and I was waking up, sleepily telling whoever was left in the OR that they did a really great job and that I was feeling great and was I intubated? because my lip felt like it had a laceration in it (they told me it was just an indentation). Coming out of anesthesia has to be one of the funniest feelings ever. So loopy!

 The Captain met me in the recovery room to check in for a few minutes and then went back to the Mother-Baby unit to be with Izzy. Once I was cleared to leave it took forever for someone to come and transport me back upstairs. I hated being away from my new baby. I finally got back upstairs and the Captain asked if I wanted to go visit Izzy. We walked around to the other side of the floor and there he was laying in a little bassinet under the lights with just a little diaper on and gauze wrapped around his little eyes. Even though he was very calm, it makes me emotional just thinking about it. All in all, he was only under phototherapy for about four hours. They continued to monitor his levels, which came back down to a safer number and we were both discharged Friday evening. (I'd love for the Captain to tell his version of what happened while I was away. Maybe I can convince him to include it here.)

Of course we had the same feelings as most, "Is this really our son? Our baby? And we get to take him home just like that? Yes, yes and yes. Now our home has been flipped upside down. Baby things have taken over our small apartment and it's never looked better to me! 
As we figure all of this new parent stuff out I am grateful for my life experiences that have prepared me for motherhood. Being the second oldest of six kids (I was 13 when my youngest brother was born), having 10 nieces and nephews on the Kartchner side (we have three nephews and a new niece on the Captain's side),  for being a member of a Church that teaches the importance of families and specifically of Mothers. As much as I never wanted to be an "old mom", I am glad for the time I've had to wait and want, to travel and study and grow. God is Good and His timing is perfect. 
Here's to the many sleepless nights and joyful days ahead!

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