It was as sleepless a night as ever. Every 3 hours someone came in to push on my stomach to see how much I was bleeding. I guess thats a normal after-birth thing that no one told me about. They push so hard to try to feel your uterus and check (on the biggest pad in the world) that you aren't losing too much blood. Damn all the woman who never told me about this painful push. Or maybe it would't be that big of a deal if I was holding my baby, maybe it's something people don't remember. I don't know.
Over the course of the night I got a fever and they put me on antibiotics, my white blood cells were up. I was fighting some kind of infection in my uterus. I felt horrible, but fine at the same time, I was riding this weird numb feeling.
On Thursday we were moved out of Labor and delivery and into the mom and baby area. We were wheeled over, through rooms filled with families and new crying babies. The other moms that passed us in the halls in wheel chairs were blind to their surroundings, all they saw was their new little swaddled bundle. I cried on the way to the room. Over the next 2 days we had a routine.. wake up. pump. visit henry. pump. visit henry. pump. visit henry. pump. sleep. During all of this we had plenty of new visitors. Not for Henry though, it's important that he keeps his stimulation to a minimum. Here are some of our visitors aside from a few family members...
The lactation specialist came in, to teach me all about pumping. I wouldn't be able to breast feed, obviously, but I was encouraged to pump, breast milk is considered medicine for a preemie, so I was absolutely going to do it. My milk came in by Friday, so we were grateful for that.
The doctor who delivered Henry came in, and said things are looking decent, and that I did a great job. The first 72 hours would tell us a lot about Henry, this is the critical time.
My high risk OB came in to talk to me about what I just went through and how they are all pulling for little Henry. It was also the first time "postpartum depression" was brought up to me, it made me cry. Then she said we need to take this risk seriously because her sister took her own life 5 weeks after having a baby. She told me things are especially tough for me because I will have to go home without my baby.
The social worker came in to talk to me about a breastfeeding support group, a NICU support group and a postpartum depression support group. She brought a test for me to see if I was losing myself to depression. I wasn't.
NICU came in to talk about our potential future, the good and the bad.
Nurses taking blood, adding to the IV, taking my blood pressure and checking my temp. On Friday morning, July 1st, my moms birthday. My infection was gone and I was being released.
We packed up, loaded the car then went to sit with Henry for a while. I cried. I cried a lot over those 2 days. I cried for my sweet baby, I cried for Matt, I cried for myself. I am a crier now.
It was time to go... I walked out of the hospital and saw the sky for the first time in 6 days. When would Henry see the sky? Leaving a child behind is indescribable. I wobbled and cried to the car, as we drove away I couldn't help but feel gut wrenching sorrow. Although I would be back in a couple of hours to sit next to his bed, it just wasn't right. I longed for the sleepless nights of a crying baby, the exhaustion of never being able to put him down. Wishing all of those annoying comments (get your together time in now, because once you have a baby it will be all baby all the time) true.
But they weren't true, it was just us, Matt and Nikki, like it always has been, and while we are both grateful for each other, we both had a piece of ourselves missing that can only be filled by that sweet little boy.
Matt and I walked into our silent house, hand in hand, broken but stronger then ever.