May 19, 2010

Heidi's home!

For whatever reason, our kids just like to show up early and in speedy, dramatic fashion.

Back on April 14th, it took 3.5 hours from Kate waking up in the morning, thinking something was up, to the arrival a screaming pink baby.

Much like an entry I did just after Sacha was born, we have to stress the point that “fast” birth does not equate to “easy” birth. We’ve gotten our fair share of comments along the lines of “oh man, another baby that only took three hours of labour to deliver? You’re so lucky!”

Yeah, and the three weeks in hospital that followed that were a real cake walk. Not.

So, here we are and Heidi is over a month old now, and home with us, thank God. We’ve been debriefing ourselves on the situation over and over again, and we can admit it at this point: having your baby show up quite as early as this is terrifying. The morning of April 14th was a scary emotional rollercoaster, somewhat devoid of the joy that comes along with having your baby brought into the world. It was very fast, it came with a major sense of unease, and to say the least, heart wrenching to have your baby, just minutes old, whisked away from you. Tubes in her nose. Morphine, antibiotics, Tubes in her throat, Intravenous lines in her hand. Heel prick blood sample after heel prick blood sample. Incubators cutting you off from being able to have skin-to-skin contact. All this on a four pound little person just born.

This could not have been further from the quiet home birth scenario we envisioned for our second child. An hour after sacha was born, we were in our own bed with tea and toast. An hour after Heidi was born, Kate was in a recovery room, and I was with Heidi in a busy intensive care unit, alarm bells ringing, nurses and doctors and respiratory therapists and x-ray technicians, not to mention other sick babies and stressed out parents.

But it is the other stressed out parents in this scenario that make us realize the good fortune of heidi’s arrival, early though it was.

Heidi, at 32 weeks gestation, only had a little bit of growing left to do. We live ten minutes from the hospital, and we have a great support network in town. Many other parents in the Neonatal ICU are from North of God knows where, babies born at 24 weeks with open hearts and collapsed lungs, weighing a pound or only a little more. Some of the parents we met had been there for months, and were living in their camper in the hospital parking lot, with not much prospect of going home any time soon.

Heidi was transferred out of B.C. Children’s Hospital after five days since she was doing so well. We were moved out to the Burnaby hospital’s Neonatal ICU, where the pace is slower and there are less babies present. Another 14 days, and we were on our way home.

We’re happy to report that Heidi is doing very well, gaining weight daily (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6 lbs, 8 oz. at this point). She’s five weeks old now, and feeling quite solid, thank you very much!

Sacha is adjusting as well as can be hoped for, though he is compensating for the
situation by getting up way too early every morning, which just adds to the sleep deprivation that comes free of charge with most every newborn.

We've all managed to get out for a few family outings, which is exciting and maybe just a little nerve wracking at the same time (what? we have to wrangle TWO of these little peole now? ack)

So, I know that what most people really want is pictures, so here you go. hope the few images peppered throughout have satisfied you a little!

Lastly, just a huge thanks to everyone for thoughts, prayers, and assistance (especially the assistance!) during the last month. With so much time spent at the hospital and a needy dog and two-year-old still to attend to, the many helping hands did a yeoman’s service in keeping our household sane. Blessings on all of you!