Week One

by - 9:07:00 PM

This is a wordy one again - strictly for my benefit.

Abby's first week of life was a little more stressful than it should have been. We came home from the hospital late Wednesday evening (D. had school and work that couldn't be put off on Thursday morning). I'd noticed I had a headache and some swelling during my stay in the hospital, but thought it was all part of the process; besides, I was beyond exhausted, so I associated the headache with that. While we were prepping to leave, I noted my headache got a little worse. I again dismissed it as normal; I'd had severe headaches/migraines since 20 weeks anyway. But, by the time we got home (about a 5 minute drive) after stopping at the pharmacy I was holding my head in both my hands and squeezing (I don't know what my intention was with the squeezing, but it made sense at the time). I couldn't hold my head up. Literally.

It didn't help that we had kind of a rough night when we got home. I don't know what it is, because Abby still rarely cries, but that night she cried. And cried. And didn't stop. I think they do it for initiation, to make sure you (as the parents) really know what you're getting into.

Abby and Daddy the night we got home 

Now, I need to stop for a second and thank my mom. Thank her for showing me how to be a mother. She's shown me how to be an exceptional mother my whole life through her influence and example, but she also selflessly came up the day after we got home from the hospital (and a handful of other times on top of that) to stay the night since Dustin would be gone well into the night. [side-side note: to all dads out there, I don't think they get enough respect, or at least the dad of my children doesn't. He is often up in the night with Abby and myself, and we get to stay home because is is working and going to school to support us. My hat's eternally off to him.] Anyway, mom came up (along with Haylee, who had not met her at this point) and talked me through the millions of questions I had. I thought I knew quite a bit about children and infants. Man, there is no way you can be prepared for children of your own. They both helped hold they babe, they did laundry, came with me to the pediatrician, and made us three meals a day. Plus treats. Thank you's can't be said enough.
So hungry she's willing to eat her own arm, apparently

Abby got put on the bili lights that day. I thought that was the worst news (those baby blues, I tell ya, everything was the worst news of my life. literally on the verge of crying news). But, it only got worse.
Glowing baby on the lights - tail and all 

By the time the Mr. got home that night my head was hurting bad enough and my swelling had increased enough, that I checked my blood pressure and called my good friend (who is also the PA at our OB office) and then made a phone call to the doc. He ordered pre eclampsia labs for the following day - news I'd been dreading.

The headache only got worse. By the time I had the labs drawn, I was near tears when my eyes were open. I didn't go anywhere without my hands grasping my head. A few hours later the good doctor (who wasn't even supposed to be working, but did for me) called and told me to get back to the hospital for a couple days. If my family thought I reacted bad to the bili lights, they were in for a surprise. I literally bawled the whole way to the hospital, begging Dustin not to make me go. I cried all night that I was a bad mother, although Abby was sleeping soundly next to me. And I cried the the doctor the next morning that I had to go home. The magnesium was making my crazy, I wasn't sleeping (the protocol to check on someone on mag. every hour didn't help that situation), the baby wasn't eating and was hooked up to lights, and my poor husband was beyond stressed and exhausted and I thought it was my fault. My labs were improving and I knew the signs to look for that would be worrisome, so he let me go. With very strict instructions to call if anything got any worse. (PS, those who saw me in the hospital, that explains the excess swelling in the face.)

We came home. My headache was still pretty severe, but Abby's a good therapist and I cuddled her as soon as we got home (after a quick sponge bath for her). Dustin's parents came up to stay a couple of nights to help with the baby, life savers again. They spoiled all of us and we were so grateful for their help. By Sunday I was partially functioning, and by Monday when my mom graciously came for another couple of days, I was reporting only a "normal person" headache. I even wore make up that day. And later that day, we got to take Abby off the lights. We were good. Life was getting to be where it should be.
Sponge bath 

Second bath at home

We even took our first outing as a little family (plus Grandma Andie) and went for a stroll. Abby ate it up.

If you don't have one of these swaddlers, get one. They look like torture, but the babies love them (at least ours does). Lifesaver. I'll be forever indebted to those who gifted it to us. 

And Tuesday, May 22, the babe was a whole week old. Though stressful and overwhelming for these new parents, still the best week of our lives.

The hands are always next to the face, despite our tightest swaddling efforts 

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