Tuesday, June 13th /“Recovery” ~
On Tuesday, I was feeling a little better, but still very tired and getting sick some. A nurse came in around 5am to take out my catheter, so my goal for the day was to go to the bathroom on my own. She said it would be good if I could go by Noon, so that became my goal so I would be allowed to leave my room to go see Emma. My nurse (Rachel) came in before her shift ended at 7am and “challenged me” to use the bathroom by 10am instead! Michael left in the morning to take Sasha out, and I was cranky when he got back. I had felt a few bathroom urges, but when I got in there, I would just sit there for a few minutes, sometimes just to throw up. This happened twice until maybe around 9:30am I was able to go. There was a piece of paper on the wall and a plastic measuring bowl in the toilet for me to write down how much fluid I was going through. I kept pumping every few hours, upset that I was still only getting a few drops, if any.
Dr. Feld came in to see how we were doing and at that time Michael was helping me walk another loop around the hallway. The pain from walking wasn’t too bad since I was still on a few different medicines (the epidural, two Percocet every 4 hours and Motrin every 6), but I had to lay down on my bed again because I started feeling sick. I ordered some food, but didn’t eat much of it. I had ordered oatmeal for breakfast, but since I told them I was on a “full liquid diet” in the morning, it was more like oatmeal flavored soup. Kind of gross, but I still ate it with brown sugar packets. Around Noon a different nurse came in and took out the epidural in one quick swift as she told me that ripping the tape off would hurt the most.
Around 2pm I felt good enough to go down to visit Emma in the NICU. My day nurse Megan brought us a wheelchair and Michael wheeled me down to the third floor. I had been keeping my room pretty cold (between 65-70) which felt very comfortable to me, so being in the NICU, the temperature felt much hotter. Especially right over Emma’s bed where they had a heat lamp on. It seriously felt like it was at least 90 degrees in that spot. I was able to stand for a few pictures, but then told Michael that we needed to leave because I didn’t feel well.
We got outside of the room and saw Dr. Fleishman, (the pediatric cardiologist who did Emma's fetal heart scan in May) saying hello. He started to talk to Michael, but suddenly I said, “I’m going to get sick!” And I did, so Michael quickly wheeled me away. I felt so sad that I could only see Emma for a few minutes. The nurse said that maybe part of the reason I was still getting sick was because nausea is a side effect of Percocet, so we lowered each dose to just one.
For dinner I was able to eat at least half of my small flatbread pizza that I ordered from the hospital café. We talked to Dawson that night and while he was on speakerphone his mom began saying prayers for Emma and us. I thought that was really nice. I told Michael it was okay if he slept at home that night, but before he left he monitored me while I took a shower. I had read on a few different websites about C-sections that women weren’t allowed to take a shower for a week due to not wanting to get any soap or water in the incision area. However, my nurse wrapped up my IV and told me that letting soap and water run over my incision was the best way to keep it clean, but not to touch or scrub the area. Michael was so sweet and washed my back, then dried off my legs since I couldn’t bend over. I was able to get more sleep that night- about six hours.
Wednesday, June 14th /“The Day I Became a Cow” ~
That morning when I was pumping, a blonde doctor came in and asked how I was doing. When I said I was wishing I could make more milk, she suggested I take Fenugreek supplements. Michael woke up late at home, which was fine, so I called him asking to pick me up some of those pills. He also printed out three pictures of Emma for me. It was nice looking at them on my phone, but I wanted them out next to my bed too.
Within 4 minutes of pumping that morning I got a call in my room from a NICU nurse who said one of the doctors (Doctor Orsini) wanted to speak with me. He said that Emma was ready to start drinking milk through her feeding tube, but since he knew I hadn’t been able to really make any yet, he asked if I would give consent for them to provide donor breast milk to her. Of course I said yes and had to verbally state my name, Emma’s name and give consent again. Even if it’s not mine, I knew breast milk was going to be super healthy for her. Luckily around 5pm that evening I was able to pump my first milliliter of colostrum and boy was that a huge accomplishment! A couple hours later I was up to 5ml! Michael made me swear that I wouldn’t post any pumping or milk pictures on Facebook or Instagram. That is too personal and kind of gross in our opinion. I did send the pictures to my mom though! =) During one of the morning milk drop offs, Michael talked to the nurses and was able to get the EASE app set up for Emma. That’s a program where they can send us pictures of her with little messages about how she’s doing.
At 4pm after eating some lunch, pumping again, and getting myself looking nice, we went down to see Emma. It’s always our favorite part of the day! Michael usually saw her more while I was in the hospital, just because he would go down to the NICU each time I pumped to turn in my bottles. We brought the wheelchair down just incase, but I was glad that I didn’t use it. I had been walking in place when I pumped to get blood flowing through my body better and kept the room temperature between 70-73 so the NICU wouldn’t seem as hot. This time Emma didn’t have the heat lamp on. We were able to stay with her for about 30 minutes. The nurse (Brittany) told us that they had Emma on about 30% oxygen the night before, but they had been able to turn it down to 26%, which was only five percent more than what everyone normally breathes. We made a couple videos, which I love watching over and over (and over!!), and I made sure to stick my pinky in her tiny hand because I wanted to feel those love squeezes.
When Michael drove home to take Sasha out before dinner, Nellie the lactation consultant came in to see how I was doing and told me how great of a husband Michael is, mentioning that not many husbands would be helping as much. I said thank you prayers for him and thanked him again when he got back to the room.
We visited Emma again around 11pm after I pumped and before Michael went home to sleep. The night nurse was really nice and asked us what the baby’s name was. We both said “Emma” in our sweet voices. “Oh, Emma. That is such a pretty name.” We got to see Emma get her diaper changed (those are some tiny diapers!) and I almost started crying when she got wiped because she made a crying face, but she never makes any noise. Michael said it was probably just because the wipe was cold, but I hate her having to be so strong and how she makes those sad faces for a second or two that crush my heart.
A month or two ago I was texting Lindsey about baby monitors and how I wouldn’t want to rush in every time the baby makes an uncomfortable noise because most of the time they just turn over or are able to cry themselves back to sleep (especially if they have recently been fed and changed), but now seeing Emma for real and me dying every time she looks unhappy just for a second, rushing to her side is all I want to do!
After she got her diaper changed, the nurse spoke again. “Ella is a great name. My friend’s niece is named Ella.” We both just smiled, until she left and I turned around, rolling my eyes at Michael. One of the nurses I had during my hospital stay in May said the same thing; calling her Ella after we said her name was Emma. Focus people!