This started as a quick update, but things keep changing before I can hit send, so now it's a cumulative update.
Hi all, this is a really brief update, just so you don't start thinking the worst about my silence.
I did much better than a 43 year old FTM with a battle-scarred ute, and gestational HBP has any right to hope to do, and some 3 days and 4 hours after the c-section, I've been discharged today with a clean bill of health. Pebbles is gorgeous, and not just in an 'I'm her mom and I'm biased' kind of way. However, I didn't even get to check her fingers and toes before she was whisked away with Mr Petra during the c-section. As early as she is, tight swaddling is a must, and although her lungs were thankfully functional, she has more in common with late-stage preemies, than with full term babies.
She was able to suckle, but lost 10% of her body weight in just the first 24 hours and then continued to drop. We are working very hard to get my breasts to cooperate, but I didn't make colostrum for the first two days, and finally got a few drops after manual expression and pumping combined on Wednesday. And finally was able to feed her first 0.36 mL and then 0.75 mL of colostrum this morning. Things are looking up, but she is confined to a bili-bed for a few hours and I might need to room-in with her for one night before bringing them home.
The sh!t hit the fan. They canceled my discharge and are keeping me here. I have been spending 2.5-2.75 hours each feeding first nursing Pebbles, then pumping colostrum, then placing her back on the breast and using a syringe, thin catheter, and nipple shield to try and preserve her ability to nurse, while trying to stave off more weight loss, climbing bili levels, and dehydration so bad that her skin all over her body is cracking and bleeding. I have to repeat the 'feeding' process every 3 hours. So, that leaves me with 15-30 minutes to eat, sleep, use the restroom, and deal with the constant influx of nurses checking vitals, hospital staff working on birth certificates, and random people working for the hospital who think that 'do not disturb new family, check in with nurse's station first' signs do not apply to them. Pebbles outright failed her first hearing test on Tuesday, because in the 20 minutes it took, there were 10 different people came in the room and she wasn't falling into a deep enough sleep. Wednesday we finally had 15 minutes uninterrupted, and she passed 100% in both ears. My meals get ordered from Nutrition and it's about 12 hours before I can even get to part of them.
So, after an edema episode well beyond the expected 6 week c-section bloat and has me in the sexy tet hose, but is getting worse and straining the fabric, and having the horrifying realization that our daughter was losing a battle that she HAS to win, everyone threw in the towel. The nurses canceled my discharge completely so that they could continue trying to take care of me. Mr Petra and I decided to stop breastfeeding and SNS attempts in favor of not only exclusively pumping and supplementing formula, but doing so with a bottle. And, the lactation consultants pulling out all the stops and getting some special angled flanges for our pump that covers about 50% of my engorged J-cups all at once during pumping for a remote chance at making enough breast milk to keep up with a 50:50 with formula demands. We finally have one small victory. This evening, not only has the well-since-past 10% of body weight losses stopped, but we regained a precious 2.2 ounces back.
Friday early morning:
I am focusing solely on waking up, massaging down engorged breast tissue, pumping, consolidating milk and prepping the breast milk bottle, eating, peeing, drinking a liter of water, and falling back to sleep until next feed. Mr Petra does the dishes to prep for next pump, keeps Pebbles from stripping off her protective eye cover and soothing her when she panics, preps the formula bottle, tracking the quantities and times of all feedings and diaper changes, changes the diapers, swaddles, monitors the in-room bili-bed, makes sure I have food and water waiting, works with the nurses, and basically not sleeping at all.
Mr Petra and I are utterly exhausted, but we are hopeful that if her biliruben levels come down low enough that an expected rebound won't be catastrophic, we will actually be home by Friday night.
Side note: The hospital chaplain who came to visit with us during the pre-op wait for the D&C of our lost twins last year came in to offer us support and Pebbles a blessing to grow stronger. She was the one I told to be prepared that if she was going to tell us that losing the twins was God's Plan, she could plan on me tossing me out on her ear out of pre-op. Instead she closed the gap between us and put her hand on my foot and exclaimed that it certainly was not God's Plan, and that it just sucked. It was exactly what I wanted to and needed to hear at that time and I have always remembered her for that. Well, when I saw her coming to help us last night, queue distraught post-partum hormonal melt-down. Good woman remembered us.
More later, hopefully from home.