Saturday, December 06, 2008

My New Sense of "Normal"

Who would have thought that the words desaturations, spells, spinal taps/lumbar punctures, gestational age, corrected age, BPM, room air, CPAP, NG tube, low-flow, baseline numbers, Q2, full feed, IV, no aspirates and RESP would become all so commonplace in my every day life?
I never knew I'd have to know all of those things. Why should I have? I never knew I was going to have a preemie. It's pretty scary when all the alarms go off and lights start flashing around your baby's isolette whenever she "sats" high or low. Then you get used to all the flashing, beeping and ringing...and it sort of becomes "normal" to you. I still find myself looking up at her numbers whenever the bells go off, but have learned that if the nurses aren't worried, then I shouldn't be. Most of the time, the Little One's alarms go off because she's "satting" in the 100's and doesn't need her oxygen level turned up so high. She's breathing room air and still sats at 100! This is why the docs want to try her off her CPAP as of Monday.

It's really odd how this is my new sense of "normal". I had a baby very prematurely three weeks ago, I was discharged from the hospital and had to leave her there, I started pumping breast milk for her every two hours since the day she was born, I have to commute to and from the hospital every day to be with her. I feel like everything happened so abruptly. It was like she was taken from me. I never really got to enjoy a full pregnancy. Everything just happened so quickly. This is something I've had to accept as my new normal.

All the probes, sensors, tubes, and leads on all the babies seem "normal" to me now. They're not scary or horrific. They're necessary. It's odd how you get accustomed to things that would have otherwise freaked you out if you didn't have to go through the situation you're in with your child.

It's also hard when you hear about other babies in the NICU who aren't as lucky. I've had some parents tell me that their babies had to have so many lumbar punctures/spinal taps and blood transfusions during their stay in the NICU. It all sounded like such a "normal" thing the way they spoke. There are some pretty sad stories out there, and not all the babies make it. It always amazes me how much the doctors and nurses can do to help these little ones though. I feel fortunate that the Little One is in one of the best places for premature babies. They really are miracle workers there.

Actually, all the little ones in the NICU are tiny little miracles themselves. These little babies have to work so hard to stay in this world. They are such fighters. I feel blessed that the Little One is healthy and strong. It makes me cry every time I think of "what could have been" since she was born at 28 weeks gestation. There could have been so many things wrong with her. She could have had so many health issues. Instead, she is very healthy and there is nothing wrong with her. She's just premature and needs to grow.

She's definitely my little superstar. I am in awe each and every time I look at her or hold her. She truly amazes me each and every day.
I finally got a photo of her with her eyes wide open. I thought she'd have really "Asian" eyes like her mommy, but her eyes are soooooo BIG! Do her big eyes remind you of a certain someone? Here's who she reminds me of when she looks at me with those big bright eyes...


J at said...

Too cute! I have to tell you, I'm really looking forward to the day when your mommy stresses are more the normal getting up at night, baby not pooping one day, maybe colic (OK, NO've had your share of baby grief, you've earned an easy time as soon as you go home with her!). I know you're looking forward to a more normal sense of normal as well. Hang in there hon, you'll get there, together.

japanmanpete said...

Mate, you have had such a rough go. I am sure things will pick up and soon you will have your hands full with your Little One.

Would you like anything for the baby from Japan?

Love, cheers and beer!


caninecologne said...

yes, count your blessing and be glad that Little One is doing so well, especially compared to others who have way more problems! i'm glad that nothing was seriously wrong with your baby. she sounds like a trooper!!!

word verification:

Karen MEG said...

C, what a wonderful picture of you little one! Her eyes are HUGE and GORGEOUS! She is really getting bigger and bigger, every time we see her. No colic allowed, BTW, I think you've had enough drama.

Your outlook is so great, C. Your baby doll really is a blessing. Yay for her coming off the CPAP on Monday... she's totally a superstar!

louann said...

Look at those big cute eyes! she sure is growing real fast C!

Veronica said...

You know how those huge eyes make you melt? Yeah, I'm not sure kids actually stop doing them.

How is the pumping going? Are you finding it stressful at all?

Anonymous said...

Actually, her big eyes do remind me of someone....her cousin! What do you think?

C said...

Tee hee :) I know...I was actually thinking about all the "normal" stresses that will come when she gets home. *sigh* I think I can handle it (I hope I can!) after all this drama we've had from the start! :)

C said...

Yes, it's sure been a challenge right from the start of her life. Hopefully things can only get better :) My friend's husband was telling me yesterday that "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger".

C said...

Word ver: begradi. Too funny!
Yes, you are so right. We must count our blessings. We are very lucky (as odd as that sounds, considering the circumstances)!

Hey, I was going to try to call you. Maybe sometime this week. XOXO

C said...

I know :) That's pretty major, isn't it?

I know it's going to be crazy with the holidays coming, but if you want to meet up at good 'ol Mt. Sinai, I'd love to see you there! Can't wait for you to meet the babe too! XO

C said...

It is unbelievable how fast she is growing! I was saying that she is now a whopping 3 lbs! That is BIG news for a preemie though! Every ounce counts! :)

Ugh! The pumping! LOL! I have a love/hate relationship with it. I KNOW my baby needs me to pump. I do it every 2~3 hrs religiously. On the other hand, I find it really tedious and mechanical. It's not enjoyable at all. It's more of a chore, but a chore I will gladly do since it is for my baby :) I can't wait to breastfeed exclusively though!!!

C said...

I was actually thinking the same thing as you! Her cousin has got the most gorgeous eyes! Her cousin's eyes are so big and bright! He is a beautiful baby! Well, I guess he's not exactly a "baby" anymore, but he'll always be a baby to me :) I can't wait to find out what the twins are going to look like!!! Talk soon!XO

caninecologne said...

hi c! hope you're doing ok! again, beautiful pix of the baby!!!

re: your newest post - that's awful that someone would steal your metropass. what comes around goes around. shame on him/her.

word ver:

Momisodes said...

What gorgeous eyes she has! I know what you mean though. It it rare to see preemies with their eyes open long enough, and while they're still, to snap a photo :) She is darling, and looks wonderful!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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