As I mentioned in Part 2, Rose had breathed in some meconium at birth despite the efforts of the nurses. This may have been the cause of the fever which began within 15 minutes and continued to climb until they gave her a cool bath which seemed to get it under control. This meant blood work which indicated some kind of infection. The next morning (Friday) the doctor ran the blood work again and the white blood count was higher then before as well as increased panels.
This began two of the longest days of my life. Rose was moved to the NICU where she lived in a (thankfully open topped) incubator, often under lights to fight the jaundice that showed up. She was hooked up to iv lines to administer antibiotics and had heart and temperature monitors taped to her little body. I went in every 3 hours to feed her and pumped half way through that. While we were able to hold her, the need for the bilirubin lights limited our snuggle/feeding time.
In the afternoon of the 1st full day she was in the NICU, I was given the “your as healed up as your gonna be for a while so the insurance isn’t paying for more”. We simply moved into a hotel down the road and continued to visit the NICU every 3 hours through the night and into the morning.
Then, when we came in for the noon feeding on Sunday, we were met with the NICU doctor’s smiling face. She said that Rose’s levels were all back to normal and show could go home. Whoa. Ok then! We checked out of the hotel, did some paperwork and packed our tiny little girl into her car seat only to find out, on one of the hottest days of the summer, the AC had stopped working in my car. Nice. The drive home was a little windy with the windows open but that’s ok. We were finally home with our baby. Then it was time to adjust to being first time parents. Yikes!
While the time with Rose in the NICU was difficult, it was nothing compared to what many parents have to go through. She was never in any real danger and was there is a little under 3 days. She was next to a baby that was born at 2 lbs 6 oz. So tiny!! I almost cried when I heard a mother across the way talking to the nurse who was helping her try and nurse for the first time 2 months after giving birth. It was the first time the baby was big enough to try. Sniff sniff.
I can’t thank the nurses at the Sutter Roseville NICU enough. They were kind and patent and loving during a difficult time.