Under Water

So…it’s been a ride.

The baby decided to poke a hole in its amniotic sac and my last few months have been under water.

It’s been 2 months since I’ve written a post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Instead of working on the second draft of my memoir, I’ve been working on the first draft of many thank you cards. Some days I feel like all I do is write thank you cards. There are just so many people to thank. Like my mother for coming to the hospital every second day with socks and snacks and softer hand soap; like my husbands aunt for cooking meal after meal and bringing them to the hospital for us every few days; like my girlfriends for visiting and bringing lunch and flowers; my brother for breaking me out in a wheelchair for a ride around the block when I needed some fresh air; my sister-in-law for making individual dinners that we could heat up in the ICU family room; my mother-in-law for taking in my cat and loving him like he was her own; and the list goes on…

Byrdie was born six weeks early at 3lbs, 12oz.

I’m still having some nightmares about the morning she was born. It was a shit show. Loud fast chaos.

“Go take a shower and head up to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care) when you’re done” the nurse said to me as they cleaned up the blood off the floor.

I was in a daze but I did as she said. I almost passed out but JV picked me up and I had some juice. He had been there almost every night in the hospital. His quick breaks back home were spent doing laundry, sterilizing things, and building baby furniture.

Now we were into a new phase. The NICU was its own beast.

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I understand now why the nurse told me to take a shower. It was because the ride wasn’t over and it was the one breather I was going to get for a while.

The NICU schedule was unambiguous and demanding. It was the most challenging few weeks of our lives.

Byrdie was perfectly healthy, she was just little. They call these NICU preemie babies ‘feeders & growers”. The nurses created a strict 24 hour timetable on a 3-hour rotation. diaper, temperature, feeding, sleep, pump, label, sanitize, NNS, 15 minute break, rinse & repeat. We were there around the clock. Caught sleep when we could. We each got exactly one-hour of skin-to-skin every day. That was the best part. Being able to hold her. Even amidst all the wires and monitors and tubes. Feeling her warm little body snuggled into ours.

That’s still my favorite part.

Byrdie is loud and feisty and sweet. She’s a great addition to our household. I think we’ll keep her.

I hope she’ll never know the lengths we went to to get her here. I don’t want her to take on that pressure. It’s all a distant memory now. That quickly. Like a snap. All the pain and heartache, gone in a flash.

And here we are. Our new normal. Having Byrdie hasn’t drastically changed our lives, she just added to them. More joy, more laughter, more poop, and less sleep…

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2 thoughts on “Under Water

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