The NICU experience

"When are you due," people ask. 
"Last week." I respond. 
"You've got to be kidding me!" The shake their head in disbelief. 

I have a lot of conversations like this. I'll be honest I don't like being 41 weeks pregnant. I sometimes get jealous of people who give birth early. My sister in law was due a month after me and gave birth before I did-10 days before. Those 10 days can feel like an eternity. 

Then I remember visiting her son in the NICU. This is why it is important to be patient. The baby is growing. I have been blessed with babies who are born big, strong, and healthy. Good nursers, no NICU. I try not to complain about being pregnant. Sometimes it works.

And then there is this: 

"I want you to be aware, if we don't see significant improvement by tomorrow, you should be prepared that we will want to transfer Fidelity to a NICU." 

So there is that. My theory was wrong. Here I sit, in NICU - watching Fidelity sleep peacefully. So what happened? 

Here is what I know:

Fidelity's birth was fairly normal. Her APGAR scores were good. I held her, she looked around, nursed some, and met all of her siblings and grandparents. 

That first night she quit nursing. She quit trying to nurse. She slept peacefully. I woke her every hour to try and feed her. She would stir, latch, and then sleep. Repeat. Every hour, repeat. 
"She has to eat sometimes, right?" I joke with the nursery nurse. She smiled and nodded yes. 
While I was napping, I heard her cry. I thought, "This is it. She is hungry."

Wake. Latch. Nap... Nothing.       

When I tell my nurse she took Fidelity to the "level 2" nursery and put all the monitors on her. Everything looked good. They ran blood tests. Everything looked good. Chest x-ray = good. Head ultrasound = good. They started IV fluids and a NG tube to feed her. I really thought once she got hydrated she would perk up. She did, but not enough to drink from a bottle. Now it was more like: Wake. Latch. 3 sucks. Nap. Repeat.  

Level 2 Nursery with monitors. All the readings are good. Her condition is stable. 

"The next test that she needs, we can't do at this hospital." the nurse practicioner told me. "Most people here generally go to Carle."

"Is that in Springfield?" I ask. 

"Champaign, IL" the nurse practitioner tells me. 

I make a face. "I like Cardinal Glennon." I say. 

Without hesitation, she says, "You can go there. They are great. I used to work there. They actually have more specialist. Most people want to shorter drive. I can send you to Cardinal Glennon." 

... and here we are. 

Fidelity's arrival at Cardinal Glennon NICU