These are some of the first pics we have of Ryan and Kaylie. When I look at them I still can hardly believe they are my babies. I have to fully admit that I was drugged up when I saw my babies for the first time. I barely remember it to be honest. I got to see them at about 9 P.M. on the day of their birth. They were born at 5 in the morning. The NICU was a foreign world to me and DH filled me in on “the rules” on our way up. I was weepy before we even got in the door.
I remember having to stay seated in the wheelchair and peer up at them. I saw Ryan first in an open air bed. I was overwhelmed by all the machines, lights, beeps, and wires. I pressed myself to see past all that. He was beautiful. He had 5 fingers and toes on each hand-yay! I remember the skin on Ryan’s legs and back had rolls to it. Kinda like a Shar Pei dog only more precious. Rolls where the fat that would have been accumulating in the last few months would have settled. I touched his thigh—it seemed to be the only place without an electrode/sensor. I could see all the places on his heel where he was pricked. There was even dried blood on the blanket that he laid on. I cried. I wondered if he was in pain.
He wasn’t breathing on his own but they assured us that they were rapidly decreasing the support and that he would be on CPAP in no time. They had tried that already but it was not effective so on the vent he went.
I saw Kaylie next. YIKES! Oh my God! Something along those lines were my FIRST thoughts at seeing my baby—terrible isn’t it? I wish I could have realized how beautiful she was at the moment when I first lay eyes on her, but she was the tiniest baby I had ever seen and I just got wrapped up in that thought. I would give anything to go back to that moment because she is beautiful. I tell her that every day. The poor girl is going to have a big head about it. I actually couldn’t even see her face because she was wearing her blue-blocker sunglasses under the blue lights. These were later removed and the light turned off. Her skin was reddened and you could make out the bones in her body. The tears started rolling. I just remember thinking how small Kaylie was and would she be okay. A baby this small didn’t have a chance right???
It would later prove that little Kaylie was stronger than her brother. She was a fighter from conception. Tears fell left and right—sort of like they are right now as I write. I did a finger and toe count and I touched her through the hole in the isolette. I think a nurse assured me she was holding her own. Like I said, the details are fuzzy. Kaylie was on CPAP from the start. No breathing issues. Her little lungs were working.
These poor babies had to endure more than their fair share in just the first few moments of life. I had to try to put on a happy face and stay strong. All I wanted to do was hold my babies and cry. I needed to know that they were going to be fine.
GUILT: The guilt that goes along with not being able to get to full-term with your babies is enough to eat you up. Could I have done something different? You just feel like a big failure. I guess I had to feel good about getting to 30 weeks, some people don’t get there. The Dr.’s didn’t think I would get as far as I did. But I still have the guilt today.
Meanwhile the first time you get out of bed after having a c-section is the most pain I have ever been in. Honestly, after that initial time it gets better but WHOA! It didn’t help that the nurse I had just pretty much yanked me up instead of letting me get up at my own pace. I was taped to the bed!! My catheter tube was taped to me for some reason and then the sticky residue from the tape had me stuck to the bed, so maybe that is why it hurt so badly. I had some resistance. All in all it probably took me a week and half to feel good enough to stop taking pain meds. They say not to do stairs, but to be honest they didn't bother me although I did stick to the rule of once down and once up a day. My mom came to take care of me the first week home.