We called down to the NICU and were told Addie had not only been extubated but she was on room air only, not even a cannula! We were so thankful and grateful to God for this. We felt a huge weight lift off of us. Not that we were concerned that she had complications from the surgery. But to know that we were through the surgery, she was breathing completely on her own and they were talking about starting to try to feed her soon.... well we felt like we'd won the lottery. It was such a relief. We knew we had a long road ahead of us but we felt like we were well on our way. And that our daughter was obviously a rock star.
Adam went down to the cafeteria and had breakfast. I ordered my bagel from 'room service' and pumped again. We made our way to the NICU by 10am. And were met with this beautiful sight.
I believe we visited four times this day. After shift change that afternoon, we went back and were greeted by Ethel. Ethel was by far our favorite NICU nurse, hands down.
She introduced herself and said that the next night would be her last because she had been fired. Adam and I just stared at her with our mouths hanging open a bit I'm sure. She laughed and said she was just joking, she had quit. Her husband had gotten a job in Misery.... er I mean Missouri. (her words!) When she would make Addie mad by moving her around, she would tell her that her name was Minerva not Ethel, so she couldn't report her. LOL She was just what we needed at that time. We talked to her for hours that night.
This was also the night that the couple next to us offered to have prayer for Addie and we all stayed by our respective beds (can't have more than two visitors by a bed) and had prayer.
We were able to give Addison a bath this night which was a bit of a challenge. At one point Adam picked her up so that Ethel could change her bedding. This was when we saw the back of her head for the first time after surgery. Dr. George had warned us that her head was going to get weird, and we thought we were prepared for this after pouring over what felt like hundreds of blogs while pregnant but it's still different when it's your child and it's in front of your eyes and not a picture.
I'm guessing because of her cyst, the posterior bone fell in much more quickly than any of the other bones. This may be normal and I had just never seen a picture of another hydro babies head from the back. I don't know. But it was the most unsettling thing we had experienced at that point.
A few pictures of her first sponge bath at 3 days old!
You can tell by the look on my face that I was scared of hurting her or pushing her reset button as Adam called it. Anytime we moved her head too much, you could tell it caused her head to hurt and the pressure to shift. It was literally like pushing a reset button and waiting for her to come back around.
We went back to the room and attempted sleep again. I believe it was this night that I finally started feeling the effects of my surgery and had to ask for pain meds above just motrin and tylenol. I knew I had to be able to stand by Addie's bedside, so I took the help from the meds.
Monday, May 23 -
We found Addie wide awake and waiting for us when we arrived to the NICU this morning. It was such a wonderful sight!!
They were able to take the little ducky sticky off which was her temperature gage. Which means she was able to maintain her own temperature without the aid of the heater above. She had never needed much heat but it was nice to see her all snuggled in a blanket and with one less tether. We went back to the room for lunch and a nap. Adam was going to run back home for a while to sleep and do laundry.
We got a call from a new nurse and then from a neonatologist. Addie had been moved to a different location in bay 4 (instead of bay 3) and they were going to try to feed her at her next assessment at 3pm.
Change of plans!! We rushed back to the NICU to make her first feed and I was very thankful we were there to witness it. She took right to it and drained the 10ml that they started her on and then she passed out and slept three hours straight. Bless her heart, you know she had to have been hungry, having only had fluids through her UVC line (in her belly button).
Very first bottle attempt
Adam went home to nap about the time Mom, Melissa (my oldest sister) and the boys came up to visit. Mom and I decided we would hurry and try to make the 6pm feed. Everyone walked down with us to the NICU, me still being pushed in a wheelchair up the horrible ramp to the NICU. They had built the NICU between floors 3 and 4 so it was one heckuva ramp. Jack and Grayson were going to turn back around with Melissa and walk around and explore some while Mom and I went in for the feeding. Well, Jack got very upset when he realized he wasn't going to get to go past the doors. He started bawling and saying over and over "I want see Addie! I want see Addie!" Well I lost it. I dropped off my cell, camera, bottles of milk and wheelchair in the NICU waiting area and went back out to where the boys were and picked him up. All 42 pounds of him. And yes I was just 3 days post op but I didn't care at that point. He needed his mommie and I needed him. We stood there on the ramp outside of the NICU doors and both cried. I had thought to prepare my 8 year old about not being able to see Addie. Didn't even occur to me to warn Jack. It was heart breaking. I handed him back off to my sister and mom and I went in to watch Addie eat again.
That evening, after Adam got back from his nap, he and I went back down to NICU and watched her get her third feed of the day and I got to hold her for 45 mins!! I hadn't held her since the brief 5 min hold the day she was born. It was wonderful! Quite a different experience from the first time I held her. It definitely made leaving her behind in the NICU a little bit easier.