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.
"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."