Life these past 5 days has been an absolute whirlwind! I’m not sure where the hours have gone, but here we are, 5 days after Austin Ryan’s birth and we’re FINALLY starting to get into the swing of things. Well, as much as we can anyway. It’s really been completely, utterly, and totally crazy!
There are so many things happening that I don’t even know where to start, but for one, my parents will be back from their 2 month trip to Colombia and I couldn’t be happier. I have missed them so much. The only thing I would change about my birth experience would be being able to have my mom there. I never realized how much I miss her when she’s not here, and how much I rely on her to keep me grounded. My sister spent most of my time in labor holding the phone up so Mami and I could FaceTime. It was the next best thing to having her there. Them being back means loads more help with our other 3 kids. Callie’s mom works full time and her dad can’t really handle 3 kids on his own, especially two very mobile infants, so having my parents back will be such a helpful blessing. My aunts have been a godsend, watching the kids until I was discharged. But now, we’ve been trucking them back and forth to the hospital for the past 2 days taking turns staying with them in the NICU Family Room while the other visits with Austin Ryan. What’s worse than having one sick kid? 3 sick kids! Noah has a double ear infection and is miserable, and Levi’s cough turned into pneumonia and he’s had a fever for the past couple of days. Definitely not a good thing when you have a baby in the NICU! My hands are raw from washing and constantly stinging from the amounts of sanitizer I’ve been using. The good thing is that they are always such happy babies, even when they are sick.
I have been, well, for the most part, a hot damn mess! I spend most of my day crying, and anxious and wanting to be at the hospital. I wouldn’t say I’m depressed because I’m very aware of what that feels and looks like for me, but I will say that I have a lot going on and it’s quite overwhelming. Take this week for example! 2 sick clingy kids, adjustment to new daycare routine, wife back at work, Mary with loads of half days at school and no care, Christmas, having a freaking baby 10 weeks early, baby in NICU, and life STILL goes on! Callie and I are still arguing about how to spend Christmas with BOTH families and all I wanna do is go be with my baby. It’s just terrible, feeling so desperate to be with him, but knowing that life needs to happen. I wish I had more words to eloquently describe this need and this urge to be with my son and how somehow I don’t care about anything else but at the same time have 3 other kids and a wife that consume my every thought. Hopefully, these hormones will all smooth out and I can go a day sometime soon without shedding a tear…
Now my little Austin Ryan. This kid is just, incredible! He’s doing so so well. As of this morning his bilirubin levels went down so they have been able to take him off of the lights. They removed both of the lines they had through his umbilical and now has an NG tube for feedings (he is tolerating the breastmilk very well and is having poops and pees consistently!) and a PICC line for the intralipids. He’s lost the 9oz and is at an even 3lbs but the doctor says that’s good as he’s lost all of the retained water weight. He still has the CPAP, but currently isn’t getting oxygen since he can do it all on his own! He hasn’t had any Apnea issues in over 24 hours. His heart rate is great and he hasn’t Brady’d (when the heart rate drops) in over 24 hours. His temperature was a little low yesterday, but today was good enough that we were able to hold him!
I got to hold him also but had forgotten my camera in the Family Room, which was a total bummer. I also got to change his diaper, which was just so tiny!!! I sang some songs to him, and he smiled at me when I sang “Beautiful Boy” which I’ve been singing to his brothers since the womb and to put them to bed, and now, this Beautiful Boy gets to hear it in person and not from the inside anymore. It was the cutest thing.
The nurses keep saying how well he is doing, and that there are some babies that even at 32 weeks don’t weigh as much or are doing as well. He’s such a little rockstar and the nurses are falling in love with his very feisty, very rambunctious personality. We put up his Christmas stocking and have started getting a few little things to put in there for him.
The only thing I’ll admit having a hard time with is going back and forth about what I could have possibly done differently to have kept him in a little longer. Should i have called the doctor when I thought I was having Braxton Hicks? Maybe I shouldn’t have had that spicy beef patty. Should I have called a cab to take the boys to the pediatrician instead of walking uphill? Should I not have carried the boys so much?! There are so many things I ask myself constantly, even though I know that there really isn’t anything I could have done. Even though I know that he was ready and that things are happening just as they should. It’s a hard thing to let go of and to not feel guilty about. A hard thing to not second guess every little decision that you’ve made up until the point where that baby is placed in your arms. It’s so so hard.
My milk has come in and I’ve been pumping A LOT! The doctor is happy that he doesn’t have to supplement with formula because it’s much easier for the baby to breakdown the breastmilk. I was worried I wouldn’t get any milk because inducing lactation was uncuccesul but, I’m doing pretty well! I get about 10cc per pump, which I’m guessing isn’t terrible! It double from the 5cc’s from yesterday! Something tells me I’ll get a lot of milk.