They unplugged the pitocin, gave me some ice chips, and let me rest for a few minutes. I remember my body shaking uncontrollably, and the fatigue settling in as I waited to go to the operating room.
The hallway lights were bright as they wheeled me down to prep. They got the spinal going and told me to lay down.
I was asleep in seconds.
They nudged me awake so I could see the baby, I told Allen, "You stay with the baby!", and then I passed out.
The next few days are a blur to me. I know Allen was with me for a time; he remembers watching me come out of recovery and being very worried as the normal effects of the drugs caused me to have the shakes. I remember him telling me the baby had done ok at first, but then her breathing had declined, and they'd whisked her away. He then told me she'd gotten really bad, and was on a ventilator; that we couldn't hold her. Her heart wasn't working right and they were giving it time to "grow up" for a few days before they did surgery. That he'd spent every minute he could with her, would run to check on me, and would run back to the NICU.
|Here she is at 6 hours old. She was still holding her own with just a little oxygen at this point.|
We rounded the corner and the various beeping sounds of the monitors became louder. Into the door we went. Allen pointed to the second station. There she was with her own little name tag on a bright yellow star, Alexis.
|My first time meeting Lexi.|
I tried to open my mouth to say, "Hi baby", but nothing would come out. I choked back sobs, trying to maintain some sense of composure.
|At the "baby beach".|
They let me stay a full 5 days at the hospital, rather than kicking me out at the normal 3 day mark for c-sections. Words hardly describe the feeling of leaving a child behind as you drive away from the hospital. The whole event is very surreal. You know you've birthed this person. You know your heart is with them because the void is so big in your chest you can barely breathe. But, you're getting onto the freeway and everyone around you is acting normal. Like nothing has changed. And you get home and the news is on, the water still runs, the horses need fed, and the world is still turning. All the while, you're bubble has come to a screeching halt and everything you know to be true and tilted just a little in your mind.
Allen went to work. He wanted to save up time off for when Lexi would eventually get released. I couldn't drive because I was on pain meds from surgery. Our ward family stepped in and would give me a ride up to the hospital. Allen would come after work, and we would go home together.
|Our Angel of a nurse, Joan.|
|They told us to "move in" and get comfortable. We brought our own blankets, books to read to Lexi, clothes, and boppy to help us feel more normal about the situation.|
|Lexi in the "little baby" side of the NICU.|
|This is us together on March 27th. She was four days old.|
We tried to accept that we would be there for a while.