first things first: here is our debut movie of the cutest baby you'll lay eyes on:
yes, those dance moves really did happen.
we are so thrilled to have her here. luckily, i had quite the photo crew on hand to take photos so i will be sure to upload all the fun ones from the day as soon as i can compile them.
the birth itself went extremely well. the c section had no problems. she was pink, healthy and chubby- just like we wanted. vi was on cloud nine, cade was a proud papa and i was taking in all the little moments to enjoy our meeting as much as possible. we loved it. i know i was worried about having a c section- but things went so well this time and i felt prepared enough to truly relish the moment. when they brought ivy to our room we cuddled as she cooed all her thoughts to us. she was very loved in that room by all of her admirers.
a few hours after ivy was born, however, we learned that all her cooing was actually not a good sign. a nurse decided to take her in to do a few tests. as they wheeled her out of the room in her little crib, i figured she would be back in an hour or so. after three hours passed, we became antsy and cade went to find our little lovey. i was anxious to have her back in my arms! the tests, however, showed that she had a little bit of water on her lungs as a result of the c section and that she was struggling to keep her oxygen saturation up. with these results, they decided to keep her in the NICU. all of this, i figured, would be temporary so we waited to tell family and friends hoping that it would all blow over in a few hours. well... it didn't really "blow over" as planned. we soon learned that little ivy would be in the NICU for at least a few more days. i was crushed.
it took 3 or 4 visits to the NICU before i could finally do it without bawling. it is a tough place to love on your baby as the room is full of other babies who are struggling. with all my tubes and all of ivy's tubes, we were constantly tangled into one another when i would go to feed her and cuddle. i hadn't even imagined our hospital cuddle time to take place in the NICU- she seemed so healthy at first! the doctors thought that a baby with her size and health would be off the oxygen in no time so it was all a waiting game to see when ivy would finally adjust to life outside the womb.
we tried about a dozen times to take her off oxygen before they finally decided that she would just need to have it on for a while. i was anxious to get out of the NICU mostly because vi wasn't allowed in to visit. she would look through a window at ivy and would cry to see her sister. so tender- and so sad. after five, long days in the NICU, they agreed to send ivy home on oxygen and on a monitor. we readily agreed- i was so excited to FINALLY spend time with her and for vi to get some ivy time in as well.
we had the oxygen all set up at home and were ready to follow the doctor's orders. we thought we were set- and then suddenly, everything changed AGAIN. for starters, i got a TERRIBLE engorgement fever that left me all but useless for the first little while at home. i was looking forward to finally spending time with violet and ivy together but found that i could barely get out of bed. as soon as i started feeling better, ivy unexpectedly developed a fever as well. i was worried i had passed something to her- but my fever had come and gone with the engorgement issues. anyway, at 11 at night on tuesday, we spoke with a doctor who advised us to go to the ER immediately. we packed her up and headed out- again, thinking that we would go in, get treated and come home. wrong again! it became clear that as soon as we walked in, the gravity of the situation was truly felt. a fever in a newborn is a big deal- and they don't take that lightly. the doctors and nurses started all sorts of tests on her to find the problem. i know they needed to do the tests but i can honestly say that watching your child get hurt is one of the worst feelings in the entire world. i was a bawl baby. everything on that poor baby was sucked clean, poked, prodded and drained. i tried to be strong but when they said they needed a spinal tap, i had to take a walk and let cade handle that one alone. so sad.
after hours of gathering samples, they admitted ivy and i back into the hospital where we learned that we would be in the pediatric ward for the remainder or the week. so after just a short stint at home, ivy and i were back at the hospital hooked up to a zillion machines as they tried to find the source of the problems. we found out quickly that the fever had nothing to do with my fever from earlier. it seems that she was having other problems and it would just take time for all the cultures to come back. it was devastating to watch little ivy get treated- even if they did put her in the cutest little hospital gown you'd ever see. her situation seemed pretty bad at one point- they tried to administer a muscle test and little ivy didn't even have the strength to form a fist. so, we just kept pumping in antibiotics and relied on prayers to sort this thing out.
i am sure you can imagine the emotional wreck i was at this point. i missed violet terribly and we all just felt so useless! they had mentioned that ivy may have a rare virus but were still growing some cultures. upon hearing that, i began to worry that my house is full of some baby-hating viruses or something (remember violet's big scare?). they ran more tests and finally found out that she had rhino virus. all of this scare had nothing to do with her oxygen. it was just a strand of the cold that she probably caught in the hospital and couldn't fight off on her own. antibiotics, rest and time would cure this little one. and they did! she started to be more alert and stronger. we finally caught the fever and once it had been 24 hours since her last feverish temperature was taken, they released us!
i practically skipped out of the hospital with the wee one in my arms. sure, she is still on oxygen and will be for at least another month- but i had learned quickly that there are worse things that can happen to a baby. the oxygen suddenly didn't seem so bad! we can handle it! life at home is all-the-better after our extended hospital stays. ivy and violet are adjusting well. vi vacillates between extreme love and extreme jealousy on a moments notice- but overall i think she is handling all the change quite well. she is sure to check on baby "ibeeeee" all day and tell her "it's ok ibeee" whenever she starts to cry. i am already so excited for these sisters to have pals.
thanks to all who lent us their thoughts and prayers through all of these scares with ivy. throughout all of this, cade and i have been so touched by the generosity and love of good friends and family. truly, we love you.
and we love our little ibeeeee.