Mama speaks

posted by Mel

Thank you all so much for the well wishes. I want to be able to tell you all about Simone’s entrance into the world, but I’m not ready with/don’t remember all the details. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was the most beautiful and worthwhile thing I’ve ever done too. Here are some things I will cherish for the rest of my life: the love I have for the women (and it was a completely female support and medical team) who came together to bring me through it, the focus and positive energy I felt around the effort we were all making to bring this little girl safely into the world, the looks of awe I saw on the faces of each of my most loved ones when they saw my daughter for the first time, me touching her head as she was crowning, seeing her and touching her for the first time myself– especially hearing out loud the voice I’ve been hearing in my head for so long. She has the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. I love her beautiful dark hair, her for-now deep blue eyes, her tiny fingers and toes (there are more than expected– more about that in a minute), and especially the searching expression on her face when she opens her eyes and takes measure of the person speaking to her.

I didn’t expect it to get easy after she was born, but I did hope it would get a little easier. I was released from the hospital two days ago, but I’ve been rooming in with her because she hasn’t been released yet. To me she is perfect, but she is not without her problems. She came 4 weeks before term, and she was growth restricted, so she is small even for a 36 weeker. While she’s a really good feeder, breastfeeding is not easy, and I have to pump after every feeding to build my supply. Fully 1/3 of my time I am completing some task related to feeding her, which makes it more of a chore for both of us and sucks some of the bonding opportunity out of it.

She is jaundiced, which is what kept us in the hospital another day when we thought we were going home yesterday. She is sleeping under a bilirubin lamp in my room, which means she has to be naked. That makes keeping her temperature up– particularly difficult for a preemie– quite a challenge. So we alternate skin to skin contact and the lamp with on top of someone’s chest on top of the bilirubin blanket with a lamp.

She has an extra thumb on her right hand. This in itself is not any disappointment, but we are trying to figure out what it means in connection to her overall development both in the womb and outside of it. That meant a genetic consult. The genetic consult meant a lot of testing. The testing meant a thousand needle sticks for which she was taken from me in the middle of the night when I was sleep-deprived and vulnerable and not told what was happening. When they couldn’t get blood (they kept her through the equivalent of two feeding times, so she was probably dehydrated), someone decided to keep sticking her over and over again. She came back to me cold, bruised all over, and without energy to feed, which put her behind for an entire day. I don’t take this event as a reflection on the entire hospital, which has, for the most part, been amazing, but I am very angry with the nurse who told me she was taking her to the nursery for a weight check and would return her in 2 hours so I could get some sleep and then let me sleep for more than 4.

She has a tiny dimple at the base of her spine which might be an indication of a spinal problem (probably not), so that required an x-ray.

Because of her two-vessel umbilical cord, she had to have a kidney ultrasound. That came back normal. There are numerous miscellaneous other tests that have been run or are being run related to the 2vc as well.

The latest most concerning news is that she has some heart issues that are going to need to be followed up on– 3 separate holes, all very common defects, but it’s rather uncommon to have all 3 at the same time. There’s no cause for immediate concern, but they need to be followed up, could have an affect on her ability to grow appropriately, and might require surgery within her first year.

I am trying not to see her entire childhood in and out of a children’s hospital spread out before me. I want a healthy normal childhood for her. I want that for all of our children. I want it for all of us parents, particularly those of us who have wanted so much and struggled so long to become parents.

Through it all, it gives me amazing peace and joy to look over at her now breathing gently under her blue light, blowing tiny spit bubbles from her last breastfeeding. She’s delicate and beautiful and dramatic and demanding and has come through all the challenges so far like a little champ. She has a ton of personality for a not-quite-4-day-old. She IS perfect– her own tiny Simone brand of perfection.

Simone & Mom

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Mama speaks

  1. Welcome, little Simone. And, you’re right. No matter what the problems are, she’s perfect.

    Wishing you the best of health and hoping that the breastfeeding gets easier as she grows.

  2. what a little cutie! so glad she is here… what comes next is not yet possible to know, but you and she will make it through… you are both tough broads! thinking of you both.

  3. giggleblue

    i’m so happy to hear that she arrived safely and that the birth was a wonderful experience!

    she’s a fighter – she’s proven that already. i know you both will be equipped to handle whatever it is that life brings your way.

    you’ll be in my thoughts!

  4. Carolyn

    Oh, you looks soo happy! And she is gorgeous. 🙂 I do hope that her health problems all end up to be minor things. And that your breastfeeding goes well. She is perfect!!!

  5. Simone is too adorable and so totally worth all the challenges judging from that giant smile on your face. You both are in our thoughts. Get some rest while you can and enjoy your new baby girl!

  6. Amy

    also hoping for all minor things here, she is absolutely adorable and you are glowing!

  7. She IS perfect–just look at how beautiful you two look together! I will be thinking good thoughts and hoping that all the tests reveal that she’ll be fine.

  8. h.babypants

    She is adorable! You’re right, she is perfect. I hope breast feeding gets easier and any health issues she may have are minor. Enjoy your little one!

  9. She, is perfect and amazing. We’re glad that your overall experience in the hospital has been good, but sorry for the one bad night. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and well-wishes. You’re doing awesome new mom 🙂 Lots of love, Jen and Michlele xxxooo

  10. Thinking of you both 🙂 Let me know if you need anything.

  11. Annette

    You are both beautiful!

  12. Congratulations! Best wishes and good health to all of you.

  13. Jen

    Mel, thanks so much for the update! I literally got goose bumps reading the first paragraph. You two look great 🙂
    Good luck in the weeks to come cuties 😉

  14. I’m glad you updated. She’s beautiful and I look forward to reading about how she is thriving and fighting through everything put in front of her. And with mommies like hers, she can do anything!
    Congratulations to all three of you.

  15. Thanks for this photo – as I looked at it at work this morning it totally made my day. She’s as cute as a button.

    You’ll all overcome the health stuff – you’ve come this far!

  16. You sound so strong and positive. It’s uplifting. and will get you all through this. She’s adorable.

  17. Lo

    She sure is beautiful, and you are one amazing mom. She’s a lucky kid.

  18. Lynn

    She is gorgeous and looks just like her mama! Very best wishes to you all!

  19. vee

    Aww – such cuteness in such a tiny package! And you should be damned proud of yourself, getting her here safely through so many obstacles. Whatever health issues Simone may or may not have (and I hope they are small and shortlived), I know you’re going to be a wonderful mother to her and that she’ll make you very happy indeed. Congratulations!!

  20. She is so beautiful, congrats on your amazing bundle of joy. She is strong and will get through this poking and prodding. She is magnificent. xo

  21. Julie McCall

    Hi Melody – I am so happy for you! You two were meant to be together, she is so luck you to have you as a mom! Best of luck!

  22. YAY!!! So beautiful!!! You look so happy. I can’t wait to hear more. Also, what hospital did you end up going to?

  23. docgrumbles

    Absolute perfection!

    Congratulations!

    I wish you the best with all the potential (not NOT guaranteed) problems ahead. Love her as you obviously are, and her development will surely benefit.

  24. Co

    You both look amazing! Hi, Simone!

    I am sorry for all the health monitoring that needs to go on. It’s stressful. Thinking of you both on that score.

    She is so perfect! And you rock!

  25. Welcome to Simone! Congrats to you! She is totally perfect, and you are the perfect mother for her. I’m sorry there is stress and concern, and I will be holding you both in my heart. In the meantime, beautiful picture, beautiful baby, beautiful mom. All my love!!

  26. I’m so glad Simone arrived safe and sound. I hope all this confusing, complicated testing and concerns pan out, and that she comes home soon.

    Big hugs from Hippytown (aka Btown)! 🙂

  27. She is beautiful! Her health issues will be addressed one by one and some day you’ll be watching Simone run around your yard and you’ll think, “Wow, look at her now!”

    Congratulations.

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