My first night in the hospital was an interesting one. I couldn’t feel my legs and there was this noise that seemed to happen every few minutes, as I slowly regained feeling in my lower half I came to realise that the noise was an oversized leg balloon type thing that encompassed each leg, filling up to put pressure on my legs and deflating to release the pressure. I came to like the sensation of the noisy little massage. I was later told that it was there to prevent blood clots in the legs.
I was also super thirsty. Not hungry, just thirsty. I wanted nothing more than to have a tall glass of ice cold water. Luckily I was given a nifty little button to call for help in emergency situations like this! I waited patiently for the nurse, excited at the prospect of water. I was denied. Turns out that the anesthesia I was given makes it so my intestines were out of whack. Any food or drinks I had would soon find it’s way back up according to the nurse and they could not give me any foods or water until I passed gas three times. The rest of that night was spent wishing for flatulence and dreaming of cold water and kakigori (snow cones). I waited for a day and some change and the passing of gas did not happen. They eventually gave up and just gave me food and milk. Thankfully it stayed down. I can honestly say I have never wanted to pass gas so bad as I did that night!
My other discovery that night was the pain killers. The epidural they had set me up with had a nifty little button so that I could self medicate. I swear no one told me about this magical little button and I spent most of the night wondering if I should call the nurse so that I could acquire some pain medication and perhaps, with that, some water. But this place had thought of everything and that was why I was hooked up to some contraption outfitted with pain killers so that I didn’t have to swallow pills and vomit them back up because my intestines were not cooperating. The nurse showed me where the button for the pain medication was and as soon as I clicked it I felt a cool stream of who knows what run down my back which was shortly followed by pain relief. I was amazed at this new availability of unlimited drugs and was somewhat excited that I could click away until all pain was gone. I was cut off after three clicks. Turns out they really do thing of everything and there was a safety on the pain relief contraption so that I didn’t overdose on the cooling relief.
In the morning I was told I could go see my girl. I was pretty excited and somewhat scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I waited and waited, watching nurses and midwives come in and out, testing this and that, checking my blood pressure and temperature until finally one of the midwives came to get me. I was internally shaking with excitement to see our little Emi and I was ready to jump out of bed. Sadly my body wouldn’t cooperate. Any small move hurt and sitting up was brutal, getting out of bed was impossible. I wanted to push myself. I wanted to see my little girl. But I couldn’t, the midwife eased me back on the bed with a look of concern on her face and I resigned myself to not being able to see my girl on this day.
The rest of the day went by with various paperwork being done and more nurses and midwives going in and out. Shelby eventually came by with some signed documents the doctor needed. He told me it was permission forms for Emi because she needed a blood transfusion. He was also told that she had jaundice and was getting light therapy. And that she had a slight heart condition that should sort itself out as she grows, if not, it could be fixed with surgery. For a micro preemie, our little Emi was doing awesome!
Shelby went to visit Emi for a bit while I tried to get a little bit of rest. After a while Shelby returned to hang out with me until the visiting hours where over at 7.
Later that night one of the NICU staff members came to me with a cute little card. They had taken pictures of Emi, printed them out and arranged them nicely on the little card. I finally got to see my girl, even if it was only through pictures.
I wish I could say I remember more of that day, but I don’t. Perhaps there was not much else that needed remembering.