I have been told many times that a lot times situations like this go unreported yielding different results. Meaning a lot of women do not catch it soon enough or take it serious enough when movement decreases. Simply because just like I thought, you don’t want to overreact. Or you aren’t sure if it is really a big deal, or wait it out another day. Tragically, this often ends in loss of pregnancy. If I had any questions on whether or not Siena was suppose to be here they are no more. She is definitely meant to be with us and is a gift from God. It was a lesson in listening to your body and your gut feelings like no other.
It turned out as I was in recovery Brain was weighing decisions about blood transfusions and spinal taps. Seeing our baby being hooked up to various machines and watching doctors work at a rapid speed. Although the doctors tried to give us regular moments such as letting me see her, letting Brian cut the cord, they could not disguise the fact that this wasn’t a routine birth. Again, Brian was never alone, God was with him with every decision and comforting him, I truly believe that. She came out very anemic and ultimately went through 2 blood transfusions.
I didn’t have the moments where you are in your room showing off your baby to visitors. People came and went, but I had no baby to show them. I didn’t have hospital photos, photos of first visitors with her. No photos in a pretty robe staring at my baby (can you tell I had a robe obsession). I even left the hospital without a baby. I knew she was in great hands, the NICU nurses at Morristown Memorial are true angels. They were wonderful with Siena, and when working with our family. When visiting the hospital day after day seeing parents leaving for the first time with their babies, I would tear up on my elevator ride up to see mine. But I knew it was only a matter of time, one day I would be the one in the lobby downstairs.
People kept inferring that it was great that I was getting “extra” sleep. That would infuriate me. I was still up all night pumping just without a baby to bond with. While knowing someone else took care of her through the night. As if I escaped the horrible stage of being up all night with someone else doing it. Instead I would spend all day at the hospital holding her full of tubes and wires in silence. With the exception of the beeping of the machines she was hooked up too. I wasn’t dressing her in cute outfits, having people visit the house. Nothing was “normal” I didn’t know what normal was anymore to begin with. I couldn’t even figure out how it was emotionally or mentally affecting me. I still can’t quite put my finger on whether or not this changed my overall way of being with her even now that we are home. But I shoudn’t tell anyone I feel that because that would look too negative right?
All of the prayers put forth were felt everyday as she overcame each obstacle. Each week she made new strides. She was transitioned from an incubator to a crib rather quickly, she wasn’t jaundice. They were and still monitoring her blood cells and iron levels. Her brain scan, hearing, and seeing tests came back with the best results you could hope for. Her largest hurdle after the transfusions was learning to feed. She would have learned the suck, swallow, breath coordination had she been full term. We were so happy when her feeding tube finally came out! We worked with a feeding specialist to get her to where she needed to be. Usually you think of feeding your baby as this quiet time, this bonding time. For awhile, it was stressful with the special bottles and ways to hold her. Listening for her to swallow correctly, crossing your fingers she doesn’t choke. If she didn’t take a certain amount from her bottle and gain weight we couldn’t go home. Each bottle you would hold your breath hoping she would take a good amount and not have to rely on the feeding tube. I knew I should trust God more and yield to his timing. I am still learning!
In the meantime, I tried to prepare but in vain. Thank God I have wonderful people in my life. Friends and family who came and stayed at the hospital with me for hours day after day. A church full of people dropping everything and praying their hardest. Sending me messages of encouragement. My mom and my sisters went through everything in the nursery and turned it into the beautiful room it is today. While I stood by in a bit of a daze unable to think clearly most of the time. I so badly wanted to have a grip on the situation and be my organized, planning self again. Suddenly, everything was uncertain. Although I was trusting in God and truly thankful for the strides made. Sometimes I cried in the shower, and I thought I should do better. Some people have even worse situations. There I go again with the “should.”