We've been getting adjusted to life with our Little Rag. Mazel tov to Little Frumhouse on the Prairie for winning our pseudo-naming contest! LFP, be on the lookout for your prize. You'll know it by the (unused, outgrown) diapers I'll be using as bubble wrap.
The past couple of weeks have been sort of a whirlwind tour of parental emotions: elation, worry, relief. RaggedyDad and I have looked over at each other countless times, thinking the same thing: being a parent is really intense sometimes. Whew.
Little Rag was whisked away to the NICU shortly after he was born with a condition called TTN. Thankfully, HE'S FINE (RaggedyDad suggested that I make that totally clear in the beginning), and got to go home after three days, but it was a hell of a scare for us. This was our third baby born at the same hospital, but the NICU is not a place I had been to before, aside from visiting my nephew who was born a preemie a few years ago (and is now a major bruiser, famous for his penchant for peeing into open washing machines).
Let me just say regarding the nurses who work in the NICU - if society were just, these are the people who would be earning tens of millions of dollars, not professional athletes and movie stars. Because they really deserve it.
I remember Ann and Andy as newborns snuggled up next to my hospital bed in their cozy isolettes. With Little Rag, I had to walk about 10 minutes down confusing sets of hallways and heavy doors (a few hours postpartum), "scrub in," and try to find his little face under various beeping contraptions. I couldn't nurse him for the first couple of days and he was fed by IV. There was a night I spent camped out in the NICU "family room" chairs (and using public hospital bathrooms) after I was discharged but before Little Rag got to go home. As I said, he got better quickly, and we've thankfully gotten back on track with feeding and the like, though the ordeal did naturally delay the bris by a couple of days.
Now that that's over with, Little Rag has been somewhat jaundiced, leading to more hospital visits, blood drawn repeatedly from his scrawny arm with a rubber tourniquet (!) wrapped around it, and more stress. As a public service announcement to phlebotomists in training - if you aren't sure whether you're capable of drawing blood from a newborn's arm, please DON'T try to.
Most of the people we dealt with were terrific. Some were less so. The main issue I had was when the 'medical people' forgot that I was a parent, and not a fellow medical person, and were a little callous in their explanations. Eg: "Don't worry, TTN is not as bad as [that other thing], where we'd have to make an incision in his chest." What?!
Or when some very young student-type doctors who clearly don't have kids of their own yet asked how I was coping when Little Rag was in full hooked-up mode. My response - "I know he's where he has to be, but it's taking a lot of restraint for me not to grab him and run out of here as fast as I can." If I'd said that to the nurses (likely most of them are moms), they'd probably have understood what I meant and jokingly offered to drive the getaway car. But the Doogie Howser crowd actually took me literally, got a little alarmed, wrote stuff down in notepads, and asked me to please, please let them know the next time I felt that urge. Tough crowd.
Or the doctor at the Urgicenter who flippantly guesstimated at the baby's bilirubin count and said he was fairly certain that the baby would be re-admitted to the hospital for 'possibly a few days'. Yep. Some of you definitely fell asleep during the mandatory sensitivity training.
I'll update soon about my first solo outing with all three kids, and other things I've been doing (Preview - I've been saying "Don't kick the baby, Andy!" a LOT.)
Just know that I'm still around, if a little worse for the wear, and getting back to reading and commenting over at a some of your blogs.