i am typing one-handed right now, as i am pumping milk for our tiny princess... so my apologies in advance for the condition and brevity of this post..
i am panicked. i am scared my milk is decreasing, as i have hardly been able to pump the last 3 days... i nearly blew the motor in BOTH of my electric pumps, one is being fixed (hopefully) and the other is going into the shop today... in less than 3 weeks i screwed up 2 pumps... i cannot ever catch a break... i havent had any luck manually expressing milk, though i am trying to read up for more tips... *sigh*
sunday, june 3rd, 2012
anyway, sunday, victor and i were at the hospital and needless to say, i was asked to leave for awhile because i was tearing up (read: ready to tear someone's head off) and you arent allowed in the NICU when you are crying, it upsets the babies...
so here is what happened.... vic and entered the NICU from the back door, and since vivi is the first baby in the room, you can see her incubator, monitors, etc right when you walk past the room through the windows in the doors. her oxygen monitor was ringing the red alarm, and the two armhole doors were open. we are not happy to walk into this situation, but assume someone is working with our child, and we walk through the ward and out, down the hall to the parents locker room. we drop off our stuff, walk back inside, wash, gown up, sanitize and go in. maybe 4 minutes have passed since we arrived. no one is working with our baby. we close the arm-doors and wait. another few minutes pass and we are pissed. not only is her OXYGEN ALARM ringing, but her incubator was OPEN for god knows how long... vic throws a fit once we find out who is the nurse responsible for vivi for that shift... who does not take any responsibility for it, blames the doctor for leaving the doors open (the doctor who we didnt even see... additional time the doors are open...) and when asked about the lung infection i thought vivi had, according to the nurse i spoke to the night before, the sunday AM nurse claims she has no idea, no such infection is true, no antibiotics, etc. i feel like i am in the twilight zone... because i felt like i finally had some light shed on my traumatic week, in which i kept asking, "why is she worse today? why are these alarms going off again and again?" the nurse (who by the way, we have never seen before in one month of being preemie parents) just passed the blame along and accused victor of questioning her competency. NO KIDDING we are questioning you..... the fact that even when she was talking to vic and fiddling with vivi (i dont remember what she was doing) she walked away to the other room for about 3+ minutes, she left the doors open AGAIN, it confirmed to us that we are correct in our aggravation and questioning her level of... attention to our baby.
flash forward to the afternoon... i was pumping milk, so i told vic to talk to the doctor without me, as it was 3 pm sunday afternoon, and doctors cant really be bothered here on the weekends... i was afraid she would leave without talking to us (officially, for the first time.) then the truth comes out.
valentina has had a fungal lung infection for the last week (confirmed, despite no one telling us, despite the stupid AM nurse saying that she had no such infection), she has anemia from the antibiotics, and will have to have another central line catheter put in, for a blood transfusion. FML i was hysterical. not so much for the fact that our poor sweet baby is having such a hard time (which breaks my heart in itself) but because i felt like not only was i being jerked around all week, but because i am now terrified that the most pertinent information isnt being correctly transmitted from one shift to the next. if i, as the parent, am not receiving these huge facts pertaining to the health, treatment and thus care of my child, how can i be assured that the staff is aware of the gravity of her daily situation? i know there are other babies to care for, some worse off than my baby... but if i have to waste 45 minutes to 1.5 hours waiting in the hallway for the nursing staff to change their shifts, what the hell are they doing, if they are not collectively exchanging information about the care of my baby (and of course the 7 other babies in the room?)?????!!!
so later on, i got kicked out because i had tears running down my face and i was ready to kill and eat the next incompetent person who came near valentina. and to top it off, some stupid ***** nurse made some comment how one day i am crying the next i am happy and all smiles, etc. (it was a negative comment that vic overheard and probably shouldn't have told me... now i have to hate her too... : /
so that was sunday. *sigh* so much for one good day...
monday, june 4th, 2012
yesterday, was emotionally better, more or less. vivi weighs about 940 grams (or maybe they didnt weigh her yesterday... dont recall... oi....) which is 2.07 lbs!! victor and i arent celebrating her weight quite yet though, we want to wait another few days, just incase the scale was still incorrect... but either way, baby is steadily putting on weight, and for that i feel we are so blessed it makes me cry. even though our poor baby has all these "incubator- humidity- normal- hospital- life- related" infections and issues, she is growing bigger, which means stronger, despite it all... and that gives me a huge light of hope in my heart, as the bigger and stronger she is, the better she can fight these infections and issues.
last night, i was able to practice vivi's belly massages, as her tiny tummy has a tendency to trap air from the air pump, causing serious discomfort and agitation... and an agitated baby causes less "deep sleep" cycles (read: less concentrated growing time) and sends her heart rate and breathing and blood pressure through the roof... so i massaged her tummy and changed her diaper.
despite her rough day sunday, valentina was pretty ok, all things considered. this will be our life until valentina is approximately 40 weeks in her gestational age (weeks inside the womb). she is now 32 weeks (according to the traumatic baby emails i still receive and wont let me unsubscribe from...). basically we will live in the NICU until July 29th, my due date. and with all the luck and prayers in the world, we will be taking home our happy healthy baby vivi, first week of august. only the can we begin to celebrate and breathe easy... then the panic of being parents OUTSIDE the hospital begins... we are nowhere NEAR being "out of the woods," i think we are maybe just now getting comfortable with the daily guilt, trauma and glimmers of hope on any given day.
i know that vic and i both have received tons of personal messages and emails - in addition to all of your wonderfully- never-ending comments via FB, and i dont know about victor, but i have been terrible and havent replied to anyone. please know that i am reading your messages and they mean the world to me and to us. i truly appreciate the love we feel throughout this past traumatic month (one month sunday the 3rd...) and it warms my heart and makes me feel so much endless gratitude to have so many people in my life who think and wish and pray and hope and cheer for us every single day... family i havent felt close with in a long time, friends near and far, reconnecting through these daily struggles, i cannot thank you enough. it really makes me feel less alone in this whole thing, having so many wonderful people from my past coming forward to just say you are rooting for us. i think about all the wonderful moments we have shared, from my childhood, middle school, high school, college, ithaca, nyc, dtla, 914, roller derby, lisbon, everyone. sometimes when looking at FB you see names and photos of long lost friends who you are "friends" with via internet, but its been so many years since you were close, or even comfortably acquaintances, it feels awkward to interject yrself into their life now, despite the open invitation the internet provides... these are the messages that touch me in such a way, i cannot begin to describe... thank you for reaching out to me. i even have messages from friends of victor, whom ive never met sending me best wishes. for the millionth time, thank you for your support, it means the world to me to have so many wonderful people that i have shared so many good times with, shouting endless love and support for me and my family in this difficult time in our life. friends are always friends in good times, but in bad times, you see who is really there for you... and i am astounded daily, how many people are there for me and my family.
finally, i would just like to say again, thank you victor castro, for loving and supporting me every day, in good times and in bad... victor hugs and kisses me and soothes his hormonal crying wife every morning as i through a temper tantrum when i get dressed. i cry and throw my wardrobe around the house, as i cannot wear 98% of my clothes as i am still to fat and swollen and sore, and it is too hot to wear the rest of my clothes. yesterday, victor took me for a WAYYYY overdue haircut and color, as much as i resisted. i am now a strawberry blonde again, with a super cute short cut. (i will be going back in a few weeks to go back to my "natural jaxie state" of obnoxiously bleached blonde, and i am hunting down some superb purple hair dye. now that the wedding is over, now that the pregnancy is over, i can re-destroy my hair all over again: and this time, we are going for a bleach, black and purple theme... MAN it feels good to be getting back to my old self... having a new haircut really helps me feel better about the fact that my pot belly won't fit into any of my tshirts... but more than that, victor's encouragement to just go out and focus some attention on taking care of ME, just points out enormous love i have inside of me, for him. vic loves me in such a way that at times, i feel like i just don't deserve to be treated that well, or that the man must be confusing me with someone else, as he is endlessly wonderful to me, despite my... moods... vic, thank you for loving me the way that you do... <3
|i look terribly tired... but focus on the cute hair! the haircut!!|