Struggling steel jaw, avoiding NICU re-entry and yet another set back…

The rest of the weekend I’m just happy that my baby is alive and breathing right. She seems fine, struggling with breastfeeding (it’s mostly my struggle with her iron jaw; she seems pretty content!) but getting enough milk with the added formula and expressed milk bottles. She is gaining great, her pediatrician tells us at the next checkup.

After our baby had the scary episode of forgetting to breathe (oh you know, no biggie, just minor mishap), I have been debating calling her doctor but since she started breathing again (not exactly on her own) and talking it over with mom, we decided to hold off through the weekend and just monitor her closely (which again, means absolutely no sleep for me; didn’t think it was possible, but with the cat naps with her either on me-feeling her breaths, or with mom watching-staring at baby, hunched over the cradle; I somehow managed). No way I would let a stranger, qualified nurse or not, take her again (I will however change my mind about this during a minor setback when the sleep deprivation turns me in to a non-communicating zombie/b*tch).

Anyhow, we just didn’t want to take her back to the hospital when she seems to be doing so good again, eating and sleeping, and oh yeah…breathing! (Which is quite essential and if you are tired of all the breathing talk yet, hang in there with us will you!? this is definitely one of the scary realities of parenting a preemie). Now that we tell her doctor, I feel kind of bad…and scared all over again. She gets extremely serious and cautions us over and over to call right away if it happens again, AND bring baby in to the hospital even if she seems fine. My goodness, I don’t know what I would have done if she hadn’t started to breathe so quickly (felt like years though) again. This episode would have meant a one way ticket back into the NICU and the ped let’s us know it. Mom and I exchange guilty glances but I also know that we share the relief that baby girl is still home with us, doing well and NOT back in the hospital. Baby’s pediatrician is also still worried about her blood results; but since she is still so tiny (still not over 6 lbs.) she wants to hold off another week to test baby girl again. Other than that she is saying that my daughter looks really good and urges me to keep the breastfeeding/pumping up! (My urge is to scream “maybe you should!!” but of course I politely hold off and mumble “of course, whatever is best for baby”). I do want whatever is best for baby but I do also want it to be known; it is not easy!

Actually breastfeeding is such an issue, I worry about it constantly (yes, it is possible, just go get a newborn who doesn’t have the natural “tendency” to latch on correctly when you really, really need her and want her to, and you’ll see for yourself. I keep googling latches and positions and ask questions in mommy forums and baby chat sites. Her latch is so shallow and I’m leaking out of her mouth as well as having to avoid those steel gums of hers. I ask my friend from high school who is back in Sweden and savor the fact that she has been through the same issues and survived! She has some great ideas and much needed advice and baby girl and I power on! It is finally our last week of isolation. My son gets to go back to school next week and mom and I get to get out of the house with the baby (with another destination other than the doctor’s office). We plan a very low key, yet exciting outing.

It is my mother in law’s birthday and my husband’s brother is in town with his wife to surprise her and they are also anxious to see the baby. It is the weekend before the isolation lifts after all so I hesitantly agree that they can come see her for a quick visit. The night before however, I suddenly turn very ill, the nausea and stomach cramps catch me totally off guard and as I stumble to the bathroom attached to our pink isolation chamber I throw up violently. Okay…this is probably not so great. I feel shaky, dizzy and weak and the next day, it’s even worse and an added symptom worries us all…

About jennym

A doctor of psychology and a mother of four writing about the struggles and joys and the ups and downs of motherhood, marriage, pregnancies, deliveries and her absolute love for her children in a humoristic yet down to earth weekly blog!

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