Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gace's 1st week of life

I am going to copy directly from my personal journal....

Hello.... Special Care Nursery @ Shore Memorial Hospital!

Never in my wildest dreams!

So... Monday night (01/26/15) we were getting ready to be discharged.... Brendon went to get the kids to bring them to the hospital as we thought it would be special and memorable for us to all go home together as a "family of 5."

There was a "snow blizzard" apparently on the way.... the hospital usually looks down or gives you a hard time about going home 24 hours after birth but we have always pushed for it and got our way:)

However, this time Grace's nurse (Colleen) really didn't like this grunting that Grace was doing in her sleep... I thought they were just cute newborn noises.  I actually mentioned to Brendon how many parents check on their newborn babies those first few nights to make sure they are still breathing and alive but we had no concern as she made noises the whole night:)

All of a sudden, I find out after our CHOP pediatrician had been called that he wanted us to stay and he was going to hand the case over to the neonatologist doctor @ the hospial because of the snow storm and the CHOP doctor wasn't sure if he or any of his colleagues would be able to make it to the hospital if this storm was going to be as bad as they had predicted it to be.

So, this tall doctor walks in and very bluntly starts telling us how sick Grace is.... I COULD NOT CONCEIVE IT!  

We were getting ready to be discharged to go home... she was making "Cute newborn" sounds that were ADORABLE and THAT was a sign that she was septic?

She was nursing great... pooping/ peeing great.... then this doctor comes in and said antibiotics ASAP - well, I don't believe in antibiotics... especially not in my 24 hour old baby and for 2-21 days!  

They were admitting her (taking her out of my care and my room) into the special care nursery... they wanted to run a lot of blood work, do a chest X-Ray and a SPINAL TAP to test for meningitis!

He really did not have good beside manners and I flipped!  I broke down crying hysterical!  The doctor didn't know what to do with me.  Fortunately, Helen Lynch was visiting us in the hospital and bringing us dinner.... she heard this news, she saw me.... she grabbed our kids and left.

I felt completely powerless and like I had no say in the matter - the only choice we were given was whether we signed off on a spinal tap!  We had minutes to make decisions and I needed to talk to someone I could trust about this huge decision so all I could think of was Keith Grimm.

I called my friend Julie Bickings just crying and found out Keith was on his way to Florida for vacation and him or Katie weren't picking up their phone but Julie mentioned this nurse Danielle Fluky that bother her and the Grimm's had for their babies - so Julie tried calling/ texting her and she didn't pick up... so, I asked my nurse if Danielle was working and she said she had just gotten off... right then she walks in my room and said because of the snow storm she was spending the night at the hospital and she would stay with Grace.  She explained everything to us and I felt SO much better.

So... off Grace goes.... Brendon felt he needed to take the kids home and put them to bed as they were so upset Grace wasn't coming home... I wasn't going home... but he would come back.... so I was alone.

He asked if I wanted someone with me but I didn't... I needed to get a hold of God!
I did!
I had just listened to a John Gray message  about giving God a midnight praise - in your darkest hour praising Him and that is what I did!

The neonatologist doctor said to me - "The case has been given to me" and I felt God say, "No, the case has been given to Me/ Heaven - it is MY case!  I have her in MY hands and there are angels all around her."

They also had encouraged me in the first 24 hours I had her to do a lot of skin to skin contact with her and I felt the Lord say to me  that I needed "skin to skin contact with my Heavenly Father so that I only heard His heartbeat and not satan's lies."

We also felt she was named appropriately and we needed God's favor and He had blessed us with a perfect gift!

We also felt this was the very beginning of her testimony!

We also felt that we were on the verge of of a lot of breakthroughs and satan was trying to attack us so this was spiritual warfare.

We told just a select few and those warred in prayer - I had prayer meetings on the phone with friends!
(The below song was also one I held on to so close!)

I was allowed in the nursery as much as I wanted and I was I was able to continue to exclusively breastfeed her - everytime I would hold her, I prayed and prayed.

She looked like a pin cushion - veins bruised - it was so heart breaking.

The spinal tap was successful in 1 attempt.

I was being discharged on Tuesday and they told me that I could stay until Thursday under their 48 hour nesting provision - I was so relieved.  Brendon was not allowed to stay overnight with me so I was discharged without a baby and put in a room by myself.

It all hit me and I started crying all over again!

You don't know how strong you are until you go through hard stuff.  Someone once said to me, "one of the hardest things ever is to be discharged from the maternity floor without your baby.  When you have to leave your baby at the hospital."  I remember when I heard that thinking "Gosh!  Yes!  I never want to experience that!  I can't even imagine that!"  Well, I did it - yes, it was sad and yes, it was hard.... however, I felt HIM so close as I sat with my nurse and she went through just MY discharge papers and instructions... I packed up just my bags.... there was no infant seat, no diaper bag, no dressing her in her "take home" outfit.... it was just me!

You also don't know how close and intimate the Father's love is until you go through the dark valleys... He didn't even walk with me, He carried me!

(Above was a picture of me counting down her antibiotic doses until they would release us.)

I also learned a lot about friendships - when you are in a battle, you want people who have a true relationship with God battling with you... someone who can get on the phone and call Heaven down for you and give you a Rhema Word.... not a pat on the back - not someone to feel sorry for me.

My view - you can't see too well but it was ocean view:)

I had a little "pumping station" set up in my nesting room as two nights I had to go home and get a couple of hours of rest so I pumped for the 1AM and 4AM feedings.

However, I spent every almost every single moment in the nursery with Grace.... I had snacks, books, and my sweet baby!  

She. loved. this thing!  She got really spoiled with me holding her all the time so this was the only contraption that would keep her happy so I could go to the bathroom or get a quick shower... Brendon also made me leave the hospital one time a day to get lunch or something like that.

Daddy spent a lot of time with her as well in the nursery!

The kids were absolute troopers this week.... my parents plane was canceled twice because of this "snow storm" that never came so they stayed with Emily a couple of nights then Brendon was with them but it was rough on them knowing things weren't right.... so they would come to the hospital and I would try to spend 1 on 1 time with them while Brendon or my parents held Grace.

She wasn't feeling very well so we cuddled, watch cartoons, got an ice....

Children are not allowed in the NICU but our favorite nurse ever - DANIELLE - she came through again for us and brought Grace to the threshold of the NICU and let the sisters connect!!!

At the nurse's station they hooked Katelyn and Daniel up with LOTS of Big Sister/ Brother stickers and Katelyn asked that I put one on Grace and take a pic to send to her so she could make sure that I did it:)

My dear friend Julie that I called when we found out Grace was sick came to the hospital and sat with me in the NICU and she hooked me up with all nutritious food, snacks, meals... once you are discharged from the hospital, they don't provide you meals and when she found that out she was there!  She also brought this sweet red headband for Baby Grace and she rocked it in the NICU!

After two nights of me leaving the NICU at 10:30 and coming back at 6:30, the manager for the floor came to me and said you do all the "care" work for your baby - you are always with her feeding, changing, cleaning, holding so we are going to give you another room for the rest of your stay with us and we are actually going to let Grace room with you... as the room was connected to the NICU so they could monitor her heart/ oxygen, etc - YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

This also meant our whole family could come in the room and hang out together!  

I really don't know what I would have done without my parents help this week - they took such good care of the older 2 so I could focus all of my attention on Grace.

On Sunday AM, Grace and I watched an Elevation service live in our room and had church:)

I was also remembering back to the previous Sunday when I was sitting in church and timing my contractions on my iPhone:)  Happy 1 week old, Baby Grace!

I could not wait for this baby to be "Wire Free" but this mamma learned how to attach all those wires and re-connect them when they came off... I even got the whole dressing thing down and learned how to tape the wires with the diaper - I was becoming quite the "pro-NICU" mamma!

She got 1 whole week of this!  A LOT OF CUDDLING!  I had waited a long 9 months for these moments!

My heart!

We watched the Superbowl as a family in the hospital:0

Then.... Monday came!  I seriously tried not to get my hopes up too much as no one would guarantee me a release date until all final blood work had come in!

One week delayed but we finally got the "take home" outfit out - mommy's favorite designer EVER... Mr. Ralph Lauren (I have a complete fascination with him and his entire family!) and my friend Nicole made the beautiful hat, booties and blanket!

Baby dressed with no wires!

1st time in the car seat and we were breaking out of that hospital.... FOREVER!

Here is the Dr!  The one who had come in my room 1 week prior - the one who started with poor bedside manners but 1 week later we had become friends - we had drank coffee together in the NICU - we talked about his family - we connected - he explained to me why he did the procedures and every morning we had a meeting about Grace and her progress and her daily treatments!

His final words to me were "Mrs. Wilson, I am handing you a completely healthy baby.  What she has gone through in the past week will have no effect on her future.  Please enjoy her."

As we walked out - I mean danced out of the hospital - my joyful and grateful heart almost exploded out of my chest!


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