Doug is holding Charlie right now and humming the Olympics theme song to him. Just finished the 3pm feeding and so now is holding time! We have Nurse Amy back with us this weekend, she was on last weekend too. I have only encountered one nurse I have not liked so far. The nurses I enjoy are ones that tend to have a sense of humor or are really lighthearted about touching Charlie. Nurses Kelly, Julia, and Amy I like the best.
We were encouraged to NOT buy preemie things; maybe an outfit or two for "showing off" when he gets home, but not to get a lot of devices or home monitors that aren't necessary. He's in newborn diapers already, and we were told if we get newborn-size gowns that he can grow in we'll be all set. Doug did research on our carseat and it's good for 5 lbs and up, and the nurses suspect he will weigh close to that when he goes home. They also do a carseat inspection before we're allowed to leave the hospital with Charlie, and that makes me feel better.
The neighboring room has a girl named London in it, and she is not happy most of the time. We've noticed that nurses check on her a lot and hold her a lot. I mentioned to Nurse Amy that I liked that nurses comforted them, and she said it was common. Although I have mixed feelings, you know - I want to be the one comforting Charlie all the time! Parents are the only ones allowed to Kangaroo though. They tell us that Charlie will be booted from this single room as soon as a sicker baby comes and they need the room; he's stable enough and not on oxygen, so he could be in a multi-pod room. He's up to 8cc today at each feeding, good boy.
I find I get to craving Charlie's nearness. Once I get to the hospital I can't wait to get up to his room and smell him. Yes, smell him. He's so little and sweet, and he smells of baby powder scent and his own specialness. I love it. It's also an amazing phenomena that I pump more milk after holding him. When he's on my chest he will actually push his head until it's right over my heart. He has been taking to his Daddy, too, which I am glad to see. Loves being on him just as much.
Roman. Now, there's an interesting week. He really overall is handling the extra stress, driving, hospital visits, and longer days at preschool well. He gets highly emotional some days and I know it's just because he's tired. However, he has been having behavior problems at preschool that we've constantly been talking to him about - not listening to his teachers, getting obnoxious with a couple buddies - and apparently his new teacher has had enough. Which is good, but she also sent a note home asking one of us to call to discuss Roman's behavior. Argh. We don't feel they follow through on discipline enough, although maybe that's what she wants to talk about. I'll call on Monday and see, I guess.
Rebekka. From all reports from her social worker, she's doing okay at her mom's. We are trying to set up a meeting next week where Rebekka and Sarah are going to come up to the hospital to see me, see Charlie, and then Doug will meet up with us with Roman and we'll have a general talk about how things are going. She was pulled so quickly from our house, and I've only talked to her once since then, so I'm anxious to see her.
I am trying to put my emotions in order, but it feels like the days are flying by and I can barely grasp getting through the days. I am trying to kick the Vicodin so I'm not so sleepy (or dependent) and just use my rx of Motrin. It's also difficult when I can't drive, because I'm dependent on others and I also think it makes it harder for Doug. I mean, I can find rides to the hospital but Doug has to get Roman, and then come all the way over here to get me in the evening. Makes for long days. That will only happen this week on Monday, I believe.
I still replay that afternoon of the c-section over in my mind. It was not as scary as my first morning in the ER/transfer, but it happened so fast. I slept most the day because I had been up all night the night before with a headache. I ate something at 11am and then slept. I woke up at 4pm and that horrible epigastric pain was back. I knew that if I said something, it was all going to be over. I didn't want to, but it wasn't going away either. I finally said to the nurse, "I don't want to tell you this, but...." She called my OB in immediately and his comment was, "You had the steroid shots, right?" I knew right then that I was going to have a c-section in the near future. For the first time, I was scared for myself.
Throughout this whole thing I worried about Charlie - being too small, developmental problems, all that. People had to keep reminding me that preeclampsia is the mother's problem - stroke and seizure are the main issues, but left unchecked it can turn into HELLP syndrome, an even more dire situation. The fact that we had reached the point that to treat me, they felt it was necessary to deliver Charlie - good God. Even before this I was beginning to feel helpless; the pain the week before, the week of bedrest, and then this week, moving so slow and not being able to drive. I'm getting really tired of needing people. I have a dr. appt. on Tuesday and I'm going to beg him to let me drive.
Someone said (in a caring way) that even before Charlie was born I seemed only concerned about Roman - like I wasn't Charlie's mom. I have to admit, folks, I didn't feel like Charlie's mom even when I accepted that I was pregnant. Because, I think, I didn't fully accept that I was pregnant. It never was a joy-filled revelation, and thank goodness I had a pretty easy pregnancy. Every time I went to the doctor I expected them to look at me quizzically and ask "why are you here? There's no heartbeat here, you're not pregnant." In fact, I even had a crazy brief thought as they wheeled me into the OR that they're going to slice open my uterus and there's going to be nothing there. I honestly never fully grasped or connected with Charlie. I think that's partly why God introduced him to the world early. It took me about a day of Kangarooing and I was head over heels for this little guy. This is God's way of getting me to bond with him before he comes home. (By the way, as I type this, Doug is snoring away with Charlie on his chest, and I bet if Charlie was able, he'd be snoring too!)
It took me by surprise that I could love Charlie as fiercely and equally as I do Roman. Now, logic and every parent says of course you love them all. The capacity for me to feel so protective and "heart bursting" as I do, for both of them, is just about enough to make me explode. I go from tiny, vulnerable, feisty little Charlie to my funny, adorable, smart Roman and nothing else in the world matters. I suspect I will crave adults soon enough, but for now all my boys are enough to make me content. Well, that and being able to drive again.