Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Isabella was taken to the NICU immediately after birth. We were already discharged from the hospital but she still had to stay there. The NICU journey was not easy. Its a roller coaster ride of emotions.
I felt sad seeing that she does not have baby clothes to wear that actually fit her.
I worried because the doctors said the words "failure to thrive" to describe her. I was worried that when she lost weight on her first week of life (from 4 lbs 3 oz she went down to 3 lbs 5 oz) she won't be able to gain it all back. When you already have a small baby to begin with, any weight loss is huge.. I was scared that there would be nothing left.
I felt pain for the bruises on her heel for the many blood tests that they had to do on her.
I felt so bad that she has to be fed through an NG tube. I also remember that that was the first time I felt angry because feeding through an NG tube was no way to feed a baby.... not my baby.
I felt weak in the knees when I saw that her eyes were pried open, with what looks like a speculum for the eyes, by the opthalmologists.
I felt my heart stop when I saw that she was "yellow" and she had an IV placed on her head.
I felt helpless when I couldn't carry her and make her stop crying because she had to stay under the phototherapy lights. So right by her bedside, I cried too.
I had a difficult nights being far away from her and far away from my son because I needed the comfort of being close to my children.
I felt a pang of guilt when I found out I couldn't nurse her from my breast because of her cleft palate.
It felt weird having to go home from a hospital after giving birth but to not have a baby.
I felt disappointed (yet again) when we found out several blood tests and a doctor's consult later that she had renal issues (renal hypolasia).
I felt displaced just trying to find a niche in the hospital and establishing a routine because we had to stay there the whole day.
I felt alone and that nobody understood me, not even my husband.
I felt frustrated because the doctors couldn't give me a discharge date and that they still cannot give me a prognosis and a clear picture of the future because she has no diagnosis.
I felt lost because I don't have a clear picture of what is going on and I'm clueless about what to do and the doctor's who are the supposed experts don't have answers because they do not know either.
I felt exhausted because we had to drive back and forth to the hospital.
I felt discouraged because I see no light at the end of this tunnel.
I felt extreme sorrow... and I was drowning in it.
While we were at the LPCH-NICU, i got in touch with the Pictures of Hope Foundation. Thanks Cheryl!
The Pictures of Hope Foundation provides complimentary documentary style photographs for families of children staying in the NICU. Through the foundation I met Leandra from Goose and Bugs photography. She posted some pictures of our NICU stay on her blog site.