Sunday (Hospital Day 5)
I spent the first 5 -10 minutes of my daughter’s life holding her hand while the nurses cleaned her up and the doctors stitched up Robin. We talked about a lot of important things. I was ready for this conversation, you see. I had run it over-and-over in my head since I was a teenager.
I told her how loved she was already. I told her that I’d never allow anything to harm her. I told her that the world is scary and terrible and wonderful and awe inspiring. I told her that we’d been waiting to meet her for a long, long time.
I clipped the umbilical cord, they wheeled Robin out. Midwife Julie came over and put her arm around me, her head on my shoulder. She handed me my phone and said, “Great job, dad. She’s perfect!”
A different nurse takes charge of us now. It’s the four of us in a small recovery room. Caroline goes right up on Mommy’s chest and we start the all-important Skin-to-Skin contact. The nurse teaches us the basics of nursing, and kiddo latches immediately. Score. Colostrum is important. I’m super-stoked that she got it! An hour later, we are whisked away to our new room.
Another new nurse is there to give us the complete rundown of what’s in the room and where. I change and bathe Caroline for the first time and get all of the ground rules for the floor and how to Identify folks and how to allow visitors and how to yell for help and so on and so forth…
Ed, My mom, and my in-laws came by. We finally told my mother what we named the baby. Less than 10 people knew the names we were thinking about. Mom was pleased. My daughter’s name is Caroline Ruth Emma. She is named for my mom (Carol Fabiano Emma Fortier) and my grandmother (Ruth Thorell Fabiano Weinstein).
Robin is feeding every 2 hours or so, the kiddo is doing great.
Monday (Day 6)
Nurses, Doctors and Midwives who worked with us or met us during our first week at SSH were coming by now to say “Hello!” and to meet Caroline. It was really quite awesome.
“Tone? Wake up. Dr. Blanchard is here…” Robin said to me at 7:00am.
Dr. Scott Blanchard is Caroline’s Pediatrician. He is amazing as are the other Doctors in the practice. Check them out! Winners. He did his thing. The baby is a little jaundiced, but fine otherwise. I learned my favorite baby word so far. Bilirubin.
More visitors, more feeding, more diapers, more lessons.
Tuesday (Day 7)
Robin woke me up again. This time, there was a lot of bleeding. We called the nurse and midwife down. Too much blood. They get it to stop, but not before pressing on Robin’s surgically repaired abdomen to express any clots…Unpleasant.
They sent her for an Ultrasound. Her OB is going to do a D&C…ugh.
The staff rallied together a surgical team and they took over the Operating room in L&D. If Robin had to wait for the SSH OR, they would have waited all day.
Normally, you are under general anesthetic for a D&C. Robin was nursing, so she elected for another Spinal. Three spinals in three days.
Caroline and I spent the entire afternoon together. My Sister-in-law was there for a bunch of the day too.
I had all of this alone time to worry. I was a walking, talking anxiety attack. The baby kept me centered. I just held her and smelled her head. It was amazing.
They got it done. They found the problem and fixed it. Now we just needed to hope that the procedure didn’t mess up Robin’s milk production.
Wednesday (Day 8)
Something is wrong. It was 4am and Caroline was screaming. Only a few days, but this is far and away MORE pained/angry than any sound that we’ve heard. We tried all of the normal tricks (Bouncing, singing, walking, etc) to no avail. We called the nurse. We talked for a bit. Then Robin said “I think she’s hungry…”
The nurse brought us a pre-mixed formula bottle and a syringe. I syringe supplemented my Baby Bird 15ml of formula at each feeding for the next 24 hours.
Our lactation consultant came up later in the morning. We had a plan. She taught Robin how to use the pump. We needed to know if the baby was getting enough volume.
General consensus was that the D&C probably reset Robin’s milk production. Robin is determined to try and make it work. I gave Caroline formula and Robin pumped at each feeding. Nurses, Doctors and Lactation are all on board with the plan.
Thursday (Day 9)
Thank the Stars.