As the rush that comes with a baby’s arrival settled down around 1am, our nurse, Carol, suggested that Zoey spend the night in the nursery so both Rob and I could get some sleep. At first, we resisted, but after her first crying bout, we caved.
After about five hours of glorious sleep, in which Carol snuck in to put me on oxygen because of my shallow breathing (I was still on the magenesium slufate drip), she brought Zoey back. She never made it to the nursery as her blonde hair kept all the nurses on the labor and delivery floor wanting to get in a squeeze. Zoey had a new bow hat and was very happily swaddled.
While I finished out my 24 hours post-birth on the magnesium sulfate drip, I was not allowed to be alone with Zoey since I was still on bed rest. Rob would have to be relieved by a nurse anytime he wanted to grab coffee or get some air (aka warm up). The nurses taught Rob had to bathe, swaddle, and change Zoey while I watched from bed. Rob was just amazing. So calm and confident in his movements with his new daughter.
We finally moved upstairs to mom and baby late on Sunday night and convinced our nurse to give us another night with Zoey in the nursery, but to bring her back to nurse. At this point, I was off all lines tethering me to a bed and could move around. It was slow, and my knees forgot how to work, but I was mobile!
Monday was a flurry of activity with doctors for me, doctors for Zoey, nurses, candy stripers, lactation consultants, photographers, and carseat checkers.
On Tuesday, our third full day in the hospital, Dr. Sonia came in to tell me that because my blood pressure was still high, they were worried about me seizing. Essentially, I couldn’t leave and if it went any higher, I was going to be put back on the magnesium drip. When she told me that, I couldn’t stop crying for about an hour. Not just because of it’s side effects, but because it meant I could barely hold Zoey or be alone with her.
Dr. Sonia started me on a slow release blood pressure medication to try and help regulate it. She also mandated that my blood pressure be taken and my blood still be drawn every four hours. The kicker was Zoey was cleared to go home, but she wasn’t able to be discharged without me. I felt like I was failing her.
Rob had a little carseat lesson on Tuesday that the hospital enforces all partners to do. While he was there, they had a doll to use as an example. Rob told the teacher that his daughter was smaller than this, to which she replied, “Well, you better go get some premie clothes!” Thank goodness! The one outfit I brought would have been huge on our little blondie.
We started the day on Wednesday with high hopes of being discharged. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. My blood pressure was still high, so Dr. Sonia started me on a double dose of the blood pressure medication. There were more tears from me.
Rob was so supportive and encouraging throughout these six days. Honestly, I would not have wanted to switch roles with him. To watch your partner go through this and knowing there isn’t anything you can do? I don’t know how he stayed so stoic.
Finally, on Thursday, I was discharged! My blood pressure, though not back to normal, was stable and low enough for Dr. Sonia to be confident I wouldn’t seize at home. I had to stay on the medication for a month and check my blood pressure every three days.
It felt like we were escaping as we left the hospital with our little girl. We were home by 1pm and spent the rest of the day enjoying being a family of three without constant interruptions.
Fast forward and we now have a happy, active one year old!4