Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Coming Home

One year ago today we were finally able to bring Smug-Baby home from the hospital! It felt like years dragged by while we waited for them to release her from NICU. But we survived and were able to bring her home on March 8th.

I remember being so anxious to get her home and talking with the doctors and an LC and trying to figure out why they were keeping her when she was off all the wires and tubes and nursing and gaining weight and everything. The LC even considered that they would get more money from us and our insurance since we were private rather than on Medicaid. When I was finally able to get the doctor to come talk to us, he said that Smug-Baby needed to finish the round of antibiotics she was on and then he would release her. He wouldn't make eye contact with me and I don't think he was used to dealing with educated, self-assure people, because all talk of her staying another week vanished after he and I had that conversation.

I had already decided that I was going to take her home that Monday even if I had to sign an AMA waver. I was getting really mama bear toward her at that point and I was feeling like they were trying to control our life and threatening to give her formula and all that stuff! I was feeling like if I didn't get her home soon, I never would!!

When we finally got her home, we walked into the house and set the car seat on the living room floor and both Smug-Hub and I looked at each other at the same time and said "Now What?" We hadn't really been able to think about how the details of life would change and now here she was and we didn't know what to do with her.

What we did was climb into bed. I took her clothes off and my top off and we stayed in bed together nursing and sleeping and nursing some more for the next 48 hours. I know that my husband and his mother (who was staying with us during the whole time Smug-Baby was in the NICU as well as for about 3 days after we got home) were concerned that I wasn't letting Smug-Baby sleep more than two hours at a time. As much as I tried to explain that I was trying to establish breastfeeding and she was such a sleepy baby (probably due to all the residual drugs in her system), that I needed to keep it up until she learned what she was doing and was able to latch herself on without issue.

By the end of those 48 hours, she had pretty much gotten the picture and my milk supply was adjusted to her needs (I had been pumping every two hours for 15-20 minutes at a time while she was in the NICU, so my breasts were under the impression that I had given birth to like 4 babies!!) and we settled into our new life.

It was a few more days before we switched over to our cloth diapers and I was able to put a shirt on again. Smug-Baby also got more awake and alert, but never needed to nurse the whole 20-30 minutes that I was thinking she should. She was able to get everything she needed with about 5-10 minutes and then would nap.

I spent the next 6 weeks or so sitting on the couch, holding her soft, warm little body and bonding deeply with her. I would listen to her breathing and smell her milky breath and hold her soft little hands. Smug-Hub was concerned that I was wearing a hole in the sofa cushion because I didn't want to move from that spot or put her down.

I wanted to hold her when she was awake and make faces and coo and talk to her. Then I wanted to hold her while she slept because a sleeping baby is the best thing on the planet!!

Happy one year anniversary of being home where you belong, in my arms! I love you my girl!!

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