Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Norah's One Month Update

I can’t believe you’re finally one month old! I say finally because honestly, this teeny tiny newborn stage freaks me out. Though I love you as a little baby, I’m glad we’re to a point where I’m at least slightly less scared of breaking you or something silly like that.

Our first month has been pretty amazing. We had a little bit of a rocky start at the hospital, but since we’ve been home, things have been great. Sometimes you cry and we aren’t quite sure why, and you don’t love all the bunches of seats/newborn “equipment” we have for you. Basically, we’re still trying to figure each other out a little bit. You definitely know I’m your Momma though and I love how much we both already need each other. You definitely also know your Daddy and seem happy to see him when he comes home from work every day.

You are such a gorgeous baby and everyone who meets you says so. We had your newborn pictures done and I couldn’t be happier with them. You are generally a happy baby, but even when you fuss, it’s impossible to get upset with such a cute face.

Weight: We find out at your doctor appt later this today. We will update this post when we find out.

Height: Same as above.

Nicknames: Pea, Pea Pod, Peanut, Nori, Little Pea, Princess Pea.

Eating: No complaints in this area. We had a rough start, and breastfeeding is hard and a lot of work, but we’re making it. We’ve had to supplement with formula here and there, but 95% of the time it’s breast milk only. You nurse every 2-3 hours. Occasionally more during the day, and you can go 4 hour stretches at night. The past week or so you’ve started to fall into an eating pattern, and I really hope that sticks so we can build a routine around it! Mom planned to get you on a Moms on Call schedule, but with your medicine schedule, that’s just not possible, so we will have to make up our own.

Sleeping: At first you slept basically all day, as most newborns do I guess. As of late you usually go to bed at 8pm (if we’re lucky), wake up at 10pm to take your medication, then it’s back to bed “for the night”. Bed is the rock n play sleeper next to Mom’s side of our bed, and through the night usually includes 2-3 wake ups to eat and/or have your diaper changed. As you get older, that’s more consistently becoming 2 instead of three, and we’re hoping soon there will only be 1 wake up between 10pm and 6am when you wake up to take your medicine.

You are a pretty good napper the first half of the day, but I have a harder time getting you to go down for afternoon or evening naps. You did go to a neighborhood get together and slept from 6pm to 10pm like a champ, only waking once to eat. Apparently to take a good evening nap you need to be outside surrounded by lots of adults talking and kids playing. Besides the rock n play, you like to sleep in the newborn napper basinet portion of your pack n play. We also try to get you to nap in the crib, but that is hit or miss. Usually miss.

You hate to be swaddled and usually break out of whatever blanket or sleep sack we have you in. We’re still trying different brands/methods to see what’s best for you. I hate forcing you into those things since you like your hands by or above your face, but if I don’t, you wake yourself up in a heartbeat. So far we’ve had the most success with the Summer brand swaddle pods with the zipper, or aden + anais blankets. Your cardiologist insists he has a fool proof method of swaddling babies, and if you keep outsmarting me, I may ask him to show me his method at your next appointment.

Diapers: You hate to have a dirty diaper, and also hate to actually have it changed. You are getting better with tolerating the changing though, and most of the time once you have a clean diaper on you’re happy as can be. We tried the Honest Co brand diapers, and as much as I wanted to love them, I didn’t. And neither did your dad. We like Pampers Swaddlers, and Pampers Baby Dry for night time. You were in newborn sizes until week 3, then we upgraded you to size one. Those are actually still too big, but the newborns are just a tad too small, so we make size one work.

Clothing: You are still a tiny little pea in newborn sizes. I have noticed you’re getting a bit longer, but you’re still swimming in anything size 0-3 months. I bought a ton of headbands for you to wear, but they seem to annoy you a bit, so we only put them on for pictures or leaving the house. And half the time we go somewhere, we forget to put them on.

So far you aren’t picky about what you wear clothes wise. Mommy loves anything Carters brand. Daddy loves the sleepers that either zip or only button down one leg because they make for smoother diaper changes. You had a ton of summer clothing in newborn and 0-3 month sizes, but since it’s cool in the house and we rarely go anywhere, most of those items haven’t been and won’t get worn. We will save them for a friend’s baby, or for one day when you maybe have a little sister.

Social: Everyone comments on how alert you are, and how wide and bright your eyes are for a newborn. You make eye contact with us sometimes which we love, even if it’s brief. You make the silliest faces at us and I hope that continues. You also seem to smile at us, but I am not sure if that’s intentional or not.

You love to be held and though you don’t seem to mind other friends and family holding you, I think you still prefer mom holding you the most J. You’ve met plenty of friends and family and have been the perfect angel. You met a few neighbor friends who can’t wait until you get a little older so we can have some play dates.

Likes: Being held, rocked, and “sush-ed” to sleep. The Rock n Play is definitely your favorite “seat” so far. The swing is also up there, with the bassinet in your Pack N Play and the bouncy seat rounding out the list of places you will hang out. Our K’tan and Ego 360 carriers are hit or miss with you, depending on your mood. The Boppy newborn lounger will also get the job done. Going on walks. Eating. Playing with Mom and Dad. Music. Kick and Play Piano gym. Dr. Brown’s bottles.

Dislikes: Getting your medicine. We give it to you three times a day, and all three times you are not happy about it. Having a dirty diaper, being naked/cold. Being strapped into the car seat, though you’re usually OK once we start driving.

Firsts: Walk around the neighborhood and neighborhood get together. Shopping and lunch date with Mom. Visit to Grandma and Papa’s house. Pediatrician appointment. Cardiologist appointment. Visits with lots and lots of family and Mom and Dad’s friends at our house. First time being alone without Mom or Dad (when your dad was at work and I had to go to the doctor). You didn’t mind being babysat at all which was a huge relief to me.

Mama: Emotional, though by week 3 or so that got MUCH better, thank goodness. Tired. Loving you more than I thought humanly possible. Paranoid that something will happen to you at night, but slowly getting over that.

Daddy: Lets just say you already have him wrapped around your little finger. I think you two will be the best of friends, with Dad as more the fun parent and me as more the comforting parent, if that makes sense.

What we're looking forward to: A few date nights out for mom and dad while Grandma and Papa babysit. The holiday season. Just watching you reach new milestones and learn new things.

We love you so much Pea! Our lives have changed in a million different ways since you were born, and I wouldn’t change a one of them. You are absolutely beautiful, silly, adorable, and just the best baby we could have ever asked for.

Until next month XO.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Norah's Newborn Pictures

When I was pregnant I knew for sure I'd want professional newborn pictures of Norah as soon as she was born. I also brought my DSLR to the hospital with the intentions of taking a ton of pictures of her and our family on her first day or two of life. Since we ended up in different hospitals, that didn't quite work out, so the newborn photo shoot became even more important to me.

We had the pictures taken when she was about a week and a half old. Our photographer did an amazing job. She is the same person we used for our gender reveal shoot, and I have a feeling we'll be hiring her for many years to come! If you're looking for a photographer in the Cincinnati or Akron area, Michelle is easy to work with, professional, and great at what she does.

But let's get to the good stuff. Here are a few (ok a lot) of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Something I Hate

I really love the Time Hop app. Today good ole Time Hop shared with me a link to my first blog, which I started in 2010 when I was entering my first senior year of college. Super senior over here- between life and transfers and a quarter off, it took me five years to finish college.

Anyhow, I breezed through a few posts, and it was REALLY nice to be able to relive that time in my life. I was so passionate about so many things. Unfortunately, the dreams I had at that time in my life never came true. And they probably never will. It's bitter sweet. There was a time in my life when I wanted to escape Ohio. Move to Chicago or New York and live in an overpriced, tiny apartment in the city and work long hours in PR. I think I would have been happy with that life. But I am happier with this one, as different as it may be.

Anyhow. One of the posts I wrote was about a list of 30 prompts. 30 things about myself or questions to answer. Since lately I have been writing about NOTHING but le bebe, I thought it might be fun to do this again. I know it won't be 30 days in a row, but over time I'm sure I can get to all 30 prompts. And I'm sure I will look back in a few years in awe at how different these answers would be if I was answering them, just like I am pretty astonished at some of my answers from four years ago. BTW I CAN NOT believe it's been four years since I was a senior in college. Sheesh.

The first prompt? Something you hate about yourself.

Starting off with a positive note huh? Nothing really comes to mind. Hate is a strong word, and I don't know that there is anything that I really hate about myself. I think if I had to pick something, it'd be my lack of softness. Finesse is possibly the right word.

I have a strong personality. That's just how it is. I have no desire to change said personality, but I have worked really hard over the past few years to try and stop that strength from coming across as being rude or a bitch or whatever you want to call it. I try to be an honest person and I really don't see the point in tiptoeing around things. Unfortunately, sometimes things do need to be tiptoed around, and I've learned that the hard way.

I find myself sometimes being misunderstood. People, especially those I don't know well, sometimes take things I say the wrong way. Be it due to my tone or choice of words or both. And I hate that. I am actually a caring person and it bothers me when people I care about are hurt by me.

So anyway, that is something I hate about myself. And I think I would actually use the word hate. Because the last thing in the world I want to do is fly off the handle and hurt someone I love with a poor choice of communication. And unfortunately, it happens.

Even though this is a bit of a downer topic, it's a good reminder that we as people are a constant work in progress.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Norah's Birth Story: Part 1

(Part 2)

Norah’s birth story will probably end up being the longest, hardest to write post I’ve ever shared here, so I think I’m going to break it up into two (still super long) parts. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, and I want to make sure I include every detail possible. There might be a few TMI moments, but I was obsessed with reading other’s stories during my pregnancy, and I appreciated people who wrote with transparency. Hearing other’s experiences really helped me feel prepared. Even though honestly, nothing in this universe could have prepared me for what was to come.

 The last belly pic I have of myself. 40+ weeks. Almost 41!

I guess our story really starts at my 40 week OB appointment. I actually had this visit on a Thursday when I was 39 weeks and 6 days along. I’d made progress since my last visit, but was showing no signs of actually going into labor. At 39 weeks 6 days I was 3 centimeters dilated and 80%-90% effaced. My OB scheduled me to come back the following Monday when I'd be 40 weeks and 3 days to have an ultrasound, another non stress test, and schedule an induction date.

I made it through the weekend, and come Monday morning, was still very pregnant.

When Will and I got to my appointment on Monday afternoon, I was nervous and excited. I knew there was a possibility that I’d be sent right to the hospital from there to be induced. My NST (non stress test) results hadn’t been the best at the appointment on the previous Thursday mentioned above, and if the OB didn’t see as much movement as they liked this time around, I knew they’d send me to the hospital then and there to be induced. Scary, but I was also secretly hoping for this. Norah had other plans.

The ultrasound looked great and we found out baby weighed somewhere in the 7lb range. When we got to the NST, things were another story. It took the staff quite some time to get the baby to move and have the heart rate along with the movements that they wanted. We were this close to being sent for an induction, but at the end of the day it was determined I could wait until something could be scheduled, rather than just showing up and waiting for a room. It was a really popular week to deliver in Cincinnati and my doctor was afraid we’d end up just sitting in the waiting room for hours and hours. We took the next appt available, which was just about 3 days later, Thursday morning at 2:00am.

This was bitter sweet to me. So many feelings were going through my mind as we walked out of the OB’s office, I had to ask Will to give me a few minutes of silence to let it all sink in. I wanted to meet her ASAP. I was concerned about my NST results, even tough the doctors said they were ok. I was hopeful I’d deliver on my own before the appointment came along. My doctor said he wouldn’t be surprised if I did go into labor on my own before the induction, so overall I was just happy we’d be meeting our baby sooner rather than later.

I kind of already forget exactly what I was thinking those couple of days that we spent just waiting for the induction appointment to arrive. I expected to feel a huge wave of relief and excitement once we had something scheduled, but I just had an overwhelmed, almost negative feeling about the whole thing. Maybe I really did want to go into labor on my own? Maybe I was just scared about labor? I hadn’t allowed myself to fret over the actual pain of delivery much throughout my pregnancy, so I attributed most of the feelings to that.

The next 48 hours came and went. I felt a few Braxton Hicks contractions, but I knew I was more than likely going to end up delivering this baby after being induced that night. Wednesday when Will got home from work we relaxed, did a few things around the house, repacked our bags, and waited. He decided to take a nap and I tried to do the same, but I don’t think I was able to fall asleep for more than a few minutes.

Just before we had to leave for the hospital around 1:00am, my mom and sister arrived at our house from Chicago. I was so happy to have them in town to take care of the house and our dogs, it made the whole scenario a little less nerve wracking. During this time, since about 11:00pm, I started to feel what I thought were “real” contractions. Nothing painful like I expected. To me they just felt like my stomach was getting really really tight, like the baby was trying to bust out or had somehow just doubled in size. More uncomfortable than painful really. Turns out they were real, and that discomfort would turn to excruciating pain before I knew it.

The ride to the hospital was calm. There aren’t many drivers out at 1:00am on a week night, so we had a peaceful 20 minute or so ride. We pulled into the emergency entrance, unloaded our bags, and headed inside. I was so excited and nervous. A little in shock too.

Once inside we headed up to the maternity area, got checked in, and were back to our room within minutes. I will do my best to recount the rest of this in order, with times or how long it took included, but things start to get a bit hazy at this point.

After making it to our room I changed into my hospital gear, got hooked up to an IV to start fluids and antibiotics and tried to relax. I think all of this started happening at about 2:30am. Maybe a little later. I’d brought my DSLR camera, so I had Will take a few pictures of me and the room. Being the middle of the night, it was pitch black outside. We had a big window to look out of, and it was actually pretty peaceful. The hospital I delivered at has very nice labor rooms, and besides the medical equipment, it felt kind of like a hotel.

Around 3:00am or 3:30am the nurse came in to tell me they’d be breaking my water and starting Pitocin soon. I was terrified of both of these things, especially the Pitocin. I knew it was “necessary”, but was terrified none the less. Also around this time the anesthesiologist came by to talk to me about an epidural. He said I could get it whenever I wanted, but warned that many first time moms experienced slow labors, so I should to be cautious not to get it too early as there was a risk it could wear off before I got to actually pushing.

A few things here. 1) My contractions were getting intense at this point. Not unbearable, but they hurt like hell. I thought about asking for the epidural right then, planned on it, and in retrospect- I totally should have requested it at this moment. Unfortunately I was scared by his warning, and I assumed I had plenty of time, so I decided to try and hold out at least another hour. 2) I was still just 3 centimeters dilated. Or so we thought. I hadn’t been checked since I’d arrived an hour or so before, but no one thought much would change in an hour. 3) I honestly believe if they wouldn’t have broken my water or given me any Pitocin, I would have still had my baby then and there. I could just feel myself going into labor before the induction process started. I almost asked them to turn off the Pitocin because I could feel my natural contractions intensifying, but shit hit the fan before I got the chance.

Anyway, back to the events. The anesthesiologist left, Pitocin got started, and my water was broken (it felt similar to having my cervix checked). The gush of water was super weird and pretty disgusting and I am SO GLAD that didn’t happen to me at home/work/in public. There was A LOT of fluid and I probably would have freaked out. It was probably 3:30am-4:00am at this point, 2 hours into my labor, and I was FREAKING OUT. My contractions were coming closer and closer together, with very irregular spaces of time in between them, so I didn’t even know when to expect one. There was still the tightening feeling, but this time it was more like someone was wringing my insides out like a dishtowel. Imagine the worse period cramps times a billion, and the pain wrapped all the way around my abdomen (and huge belly) to my back. I put my hands on my belly and could feel how tight it was, and it really scared me that my baby was in there while all this craziness was happening.

I started to have issues breathing or talking through the contractions. Will really had to remind me to remain calm and remember to breath. I threw up around this time and that made me feel even worse. I couldn’t believe this was how horrific the pain was at a measly 3 centimeters (or what we thought was 3 centimeters). I started to panic at what they’d be like when I was 4-5 centimeters (when I planned to ask for the epidural). About 5 minutes after thinking “I’ll give it another hour”, I knew I couldn’t wait. I had the nurse call the anesthesiologist and I started praying for some relief.

Part 2 here.

Norah's Birth Story: Part 2

Part one here.

Back to the story, when things actually start happening.

Fortunately, the anesthesiologist was back in my room in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, this guy FORGOT HIS COMPUTER PASSWORD, and couldn’t log in to do what he needed to do to get me my shot. It was a huge fiasco, and it took every fiber of my being not to throw something or scream at him. I ended up screaming at the nurse later (I don’t remember this at all, Will told me about it) but managed to keep my cool with this guy. Finally, around what I guess was 4:30am or 5:00am, I had my epidural. Getting the actual shot was NOTHING pain wise compared to the contractions, and I don’t even think I felt it.

My contractions should have been a little shorter and less intense pretty quickly, but that was not the case. At all. I could still feel all of them and I really felt like not only was I going to lose it, but there was no way my baby could be doing well if I was feeling this horrible. I am sure this was a totally irrational thought, but it’s how I felt in the moment. I basically just totally lost my cool.

The nurse called the anesthesiologist back pretty quickly to up my dosage of pain meds, and I could tell he was shocked I was still in so much pain. Then I noticed relief was only in one side of my body, so he upped the dose again and had me lay on my side. At this point, it was maybe 5 something in the morning. Just 2-3 hours into my labor. The anesthesiologist suggest the nurse check my cervix again, because the contractions I was experiencing were in no way those of a woman that was only 3 centimeters dilated. She seemed skeptical, but did it anyway. Or maybe my OB came and did it? I really have no clue who was where at this point. I was just savoring the glory that is the epidural. Anyway, whoever checked me discovered I was at 8 centimeters! EIGHT! Just 2-3 hours in. I couldn’t believe it.

Things really become blurry for me here. I remember telling Will to call our parents to come to the hospital.  I remember freaking out a bit because I thought I’d have the entire day to labor, mentally prepare, and take pictures with Will of me in my hospital gown for us to save forever- but here I was about to have this baby and the sun wasn’t even up.

Our parents were there within 20-30 minutes. In that time they’d drained my bladder and I think gave me more fluids. Will went out to update our parents while we waited for my OB to get to the room. I know it was daylight at this point, and the sun is rising here about 7:15am, so we will say it was that time. I assumed there’d be a bit of a break before I pushed considering I JUST started feeling relief from contractions, and was so numb and exhausted there was no way I could push. I was wrong. I literally had to call Will’s Dad (Will’s phone was in the room with me) and talk to my father in law while I was on the delivery table, because we needed Will to come back to the room so I could push!

He was back in a flash and they had me do a practice push. It was a good one, so we got down to business. The pushing was weird, but painless. I couldn’t feel a thing, so I have no idea how I managed to actually do it, but I did. I asked Will on my second contraction pushing what was happening, and he said he could see her head! That quickly! I laughed and talked the whole time. I pushed for 3 contractions, and bam, there she was. Our perfect, beautiful, baby girl was born. I somehow felt the bones of her shoulders coming out, but it didn’t hurt. Will cut the cord and they handed her to me for a few seconds before getting her cleaned up. It was amazing and indescribable.

The feeling of 150 billion percent joy I was feeling was pretty short lived. When I first saw Norah, I thought she looked too blue, and she wasn’t crying. Turns out both of these things are normal, but since I thought they weren’t, I was watching the nurses handle her very closely. I couldn’t even turn around and look at Will. I just knew something was wrong.

The nurses did their normal checks of the baby and exchanged a few words. Some I could hear, some I couldn’t. I knew it wasn’t good though because they weren’t looking at me and wouldn’t tell me what was happening. One of them made a phone call and another, more senior looking nurse came in and began checking over Norah. I don’t remember which one of them told us this or how they said it, but they told us that her heart rate was extremely high. In the 270 range, when normal would have been something in the low to mid 100’s. They didn’t know why or what the cause was, but they’d be taking her to the NICU immediately. They suspected maybe it was from how quickly my labor progressed, but no one knew for sure.

I knew a lot of babies went to the NICU for a quick check after being born as a precaution, so at first, I wasn’t too out of my mind worried. I sobbed anyway. I wanted my baby. I wanted to do skin to skin and hold her and look at her little face. I was emotional anyway from you know, having a baby, so I just sobbed. Will went with Norah to the NICU. I cried for my Mom.

At some point I think I tried to get off the table and say I wanted to go to my baby. This is while the OB is still delivering my placenta and stitching me up. I didn’t even know he was still in the room. All I could think about was her.

I think it was just when my Mom got to the room that a nurse came back to give me an update. The NICU doctors had tried to lower her heart rate by covering her face with ice packs. I had no idea this was a medical treatment, but what do I know? Anyhow, they tried it twice and it didn’t work. There is an excellent Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati (about 20 minutes from where we were), and the doctors at my hospital were communicating with the cardiologist there on what to do. This is when I started to get really, seriously scared.

The nurse then let us know that an ambulance was on the way to take Norah to the Cardiac ICU at Children’s to see what was wrong with her heart and get the rate down. She said this was best since they were calling there to get information on every treatment decision anyway.

This is when I lost it. It was terrible. I started sobbing and was hysterical. They became worried about my health at this time and took my blood pressure, which was of course through the roof. The nurses tried to assure me everything was OK, and encouraged me to remain calm because if my blood pressure was too high they wouldn’t let me leave my room to say goodbye to her, and it could prevent me from being discharged as soon as possible. It was hard to stop crying and moaning and having what I can only describe as a complete emotional breakdown, but those warnings shut me up pretty quickly.

Maybe 30 minutes (I think?) went by before I got to see Will. They sent him back and he gave me the same update the nurse had. I don’t remember who told me first, but turns out on a third try of the ice method, her heart rate slowed. It’d been high for an extended period of time though, so she still had to go to Children’s. I was happy no medication was necessary, but still scared to death.

The nurses wheeled me back to the NICU to hold my baby before the ambulance got there. We passed our families and some other patients on the way and I couldn’t look at anyone. I was a fraction of a second from losing it again and I really didn’t want them to not let me hold her.

When I got to her NICU room everyone cleared out except for one nurse and I think Will? They handed her to me and I couldn’t believe how perfect she was, or how sad it was that she was hooked up to so many wires and machines. I knew I only had about 15 minutes, so I tried to just stare at her and smell her. She looked at me and gave me a sort of smile, which started my tears (calm ones this time at least) all over again. I knew our 4 family members that were there were also worried, so I gave up a few minutes so each of them could come see her for a second. Then the ambulance crew arrived. They were extremely nice, reassuring, and let me have a few extra minutes with her, even though I am sure they were on a tight schedule.

I had to give her to them, and they put her in one of those infant incubator looking bed type things that was attached to the top of a stretcher. It was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, and the last thing I expected to be dealing with an hour after I gave birth.

Will rode with Norah in the ambulance to Children’s, so we said our goodbyes. I was moved to a recovery room. My mom and sister stayed with me, and Will’s parents headed to Children’s to be with him and the baby.

In my recovery room, I was still barley holding it together. My Mom wanted me to take a sleeping pill since I’d been up for well over 24 hours at this point and couldn’t manage to calm down, but the nurse advised against it since I would be trying to breastfeed.

Luckily, physically, I was OK. I had only had a very minor tear, and the bleeding wasn’t too bad, so most of my suffering was mental. I sent my family home to get some rest themselves because truthfully I just wanted to be alone. Each nurse and PCT and doctor that came and went made it harder and harder. Some seemed to know my situation and were sympathetic, offering kind words and prayers, which broke my heart. Some seemed to have no clue why I was in recovery with no baby and didn’t even acknowledge that I was alone in the room with no child and no husband, and that seemed so cold and hurtful to me.

Will sent me pictures and updates as often as he could. I have never been more thankful or sure of my love for my husband as I was on these days. Neither of us were prepared for this, and I had taken the lead on everything related to our hospital stay and what we wanted for the baby. He really stepped up as support for Norah, being her advocate since I wasn’t there to make the feeding and other decisions. He had to make all of her medical decisions that day without me, and watch all of the procedures performed on our tiny baby. All while knowing I was across town alone and devastated. Of course being with Norah was better than being alone in a hospital room, but both were hard roads to walk.

We found out that her rapid heart rate was due to a her having a condition called Supraventricular Tachycardia. She would probably be totally fine, but would remain at Children’s at least overnight for monitoring. I spent the day texting friends and family and just thinking about my baby. One really nice nurse had given me the hat she wore when she was first born, and I hung on to that thing for dear life. I finally managed to fall asleep around midnight.

The next morning I was up bright and early, determined to be discharged. My Mom and sister brought Panera for breakfast, and following my sister in laws suggestion, I showered, put on make up, and packed up all my things. I wanted to look as cheery and normal as possible so they’d know I was ready to leave. No one could guarantee me when the OB would make their rounds, so I prayed it’d be first thing. At about 10am I got my wish and a resident from my practice came to see me. She said she assumed I was ready to go be with my baby (DUH!!), and approved my discharge. I was ecstatic.

Within a couple of hours we were packed up and on our way to be with Norah. I have never been so happy to see that part of town in my life. Children’s is just down the street from UC, and I sent Will a message that Norah just must have not been able to wait to get down to campus. Future Bearcat on our hands!

I had my mom drop me off at the entrance and Will’s dad wheeled me up to the Cardiac ICU. I was in our room within minutes, and finally got to hold my baby. Will had already given her her first bath, changed her first diaper, fed her her first bottle. It was hard for me to accept these things, but I was just happy to finally be with my family.

A few hours after my arrival we were moved to a Cardiac Step Down unit. I think I left that room 3 times in the two days, and only left the unit area once, never stepping outside the hospital. In that room very few minutes of sleep were had. Lots of tears were shed. I cried over breastfeeding. Over the shots and tests and needle pricks that I had to watch Norah endure at all hours of the day and night. I cried because I’d missed over a day of her life. I cried because she had a heart condition. And I cried because we were going to leave Children’s with a happy baby, and I knew so many families there wouldn’t be so lucky. About a day and a half later we were discharged.

And that is our story. I will post more one day about her condition and what it means for our family. For now, we're just happy to be home!
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