I spent the next hour getting stitched up and then x-rayed. They had not had time to count the instruments and had to make sure nothing was left inside of me. As they finished up the surgery they also came around and attached my patient bracelet. Things had gone so fast that from Dr. Wasserman’s check to your actual birth was only 32 minutes! I was taken over to recovery and spent almost 3 hours there, some of the time with Debby. She and Kim were able to talk me through some of what happened and checked on you for me. Daddy and Nancy came down to give me an update and let me know that you were doing great. You had an IV, lots of monitors and were getting a little oxygen to help. Quickly you were off the oxygen and just had room air being blown to help you breathe deep enough. Daddy had some pictures and videos which I loved seeing as well. I finally found out you were 9 lbs, 4 ounces and 21.5 inches long. You were also B-, which meant no Rhogam for me and other than a rough start things were looking really good. The worst news I got in recovery was that you were under a nothing by mouth order for the night. I was furious that I wouldn’t get to nurse you even after I left recovery. They wanted you to just be relaxed and stable before we tried anything, which is why you had an IV. Kim and Debby and Nancy all explained it, but it didn’t make it any easier to hear.
After I was ready to move Kim and Lindsey took me to my room, but not without a stop in your NICU room! You were actually the first baby to use the room as they had just opened their new NICU on Monday. They had to do a lot of finagling to get my bed in your room with your isolet, but they did it. I reached in to touch you and just started crying. I mumbled something about not having even held you yet and Laura, your nurse said that we should change that. A whole lot more maneuvering and they were able to get you out and into my arms, even with both of our crazy IVs, monitors, pain med dispensers and everything. Daddy and I had our first pictures together with you and I was pretty much ready to stay there all night. You were very quiet and relaxed which was good to see after such a stressful event just a few hours earlier. After a time that seemed just too short I headed down to my room to pump and rest and you and Daddy spent the night together in your room.
Around 7am I called up to your room and was told that you were doing great. You and Daddy were doing skin to skin and you had spent a bunch of time sucking on his fingers. You were hungry and I was ready to feed you! We were told a Dr. would be seeing you after 8 and we should be nursing sometime that morning. Since you were such a healthy boy you were kind of pushed to the back burner and I had to throw a fit to get a Dr. in to see you. When I was holding you you were bobbing and rooting and screaming at me to eat. One of the hardest things I’ve done (and something I really kind of regret) was following the order to not feed you when you wanted it and I wanted to give it to you. It was around noon when they pulled the cannulas out of your nose and then we had to wait to see how you would do with no help. It was about 5:30 before we finally had the go ahead to nurse. You were a total champ and latched on right away. You wouldn’t make eye contact with me and I have no doubt that you did not understand why I had not cared for you earlier.
We nursed all night long, every 4 hours or so. Each time you’d feed for at least a half hour and everything looked good. We met with the lactation consultant, Deanne and she had some great tips as well as noticed that you were tongue tied. Your IV was off (we knocked it out during one of the feedings) and you were passing your blood sugar checks with flying colors. You had your first bath that night and while we had planned to be there it was done while we got a quick hour and a half nap. You also got moved to a regular crib and Kathy (one of your night nurses on Friday) was all on board with us to get you looking as normal and healthy as possible so they would release you to my room. Dr. Bob was the neonatologist on that night and he was a character. As morning came he let me know that he had planned to release you before he left at 8 am, but you had just a few times when your oxygen level dropped to 90 and they wanted you to be monitored a little longer. Our next nurse told us that most babies are expected to stay at 90 or above, but for some reason they had you set to stay above 92. I guess they just wanted you to be an overachiever from the very beginning! The best news later Saturday morning was that you were continuing to do great and hadn’t had any more issues with your oxygen levels. Just before noon we were told that you could come to my room as soon as the paperwork and such was done! And right as we were told that Dr. Wasserman came up to the NICU and told me that he thought I was doing fine and he wanted to release me that night as well. That way if you were ready we could maybe be home still Saturday night, but if they wanted you to stay in the hospital overnight then I could stay as a guest in your room, which was really my room on the Mom/Baby floor. I was one grateful Mommy to have such good news from two doctors at the same time!
Daddy and I went down to have lunch while we waited for you to be ready to transfer. It turned out that they were swamped and it took a few hours longer then expected, as did everything it seemed. During the wait Grandma Schneider came to the hospital and got to hold you for the first time upstairs in your NICU room. You and I kept up our nursing schedule and kept working on getting your latch to improve. We were really excited when we finally got to ride down the elevator with you and settle into our room.
Because Dr. Zukowski couldn’t come to St. Mary’s, Dr. Claudia Koch (whose office ordered the ultrasound for us) was going to be your fill in pediatrician. Of course, she was not on that weekend, so the doctor covering for her told the neonatologists that they should discharge you when they felt you were ready using their instructions. And Dr. Mario was not going to discharge you when he had just released you from the NICU. We decided that Daddy would go home to see Garrett and Kelby and let Grandma Fuerniss take the van to come and meet her newest grandson. I ordered our celebration dinner and Grandma helped me eat it when she got there. We didn’t want to celebrate until you were in my room and then Daddy was already home! Grandma and I talked for a long time about everything and then she headed home as well. You had a busy night as you had to pass a car seat test, have your hearing test and we were up nursing a lot as well. I was one tired Mommy come morning, but was so glad when Dr. Bob came into our room and told me that you were ready to go whenever I wanted to head home. I called Daddy (who was getting ready to come over already) and we all rejoiced that you were going home! Even with your challenging beginning we were still in the hospital less time than Garrett and I were!
You were home around 12:30 on Sunday and met Garrett and Kelby who were still eating lunch. Kelby took a nap and you and Daddy and Garrett all watched the Packer game while I napped on the couch. It was great to be home and to have you be safe and sound in our arms! Your entire story is not what we would have ever expected, but we are so grateful that things worked out well for you Evan Otto Schneider. We are so happy to have you in our family!