Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. As many of you know, we had a bit of an adventure with Abby. We went to the hospital in labor at 9:15 p.m. Monday night, and Abby was born at 3:19 a.m. Tuesday morning. The entire labor experience was a dream.
Seriously, that’s not just me being a stupid man about the whole thing. Maryalice was awesome, and she didn’t feel a single contraction until she was 3/4 of the way advanced. She’s a champ.
There were a couple of hiccups during the actual delivery, but everything came out fine. We were moved to the post partum wing by 7:00 a.m. Tuesday. Abigail was a beauty, and Maryalice was resting comfortably. We met our pediatrician, and got a great report from all of Abby’s initial tests. She was perfect! They told us then that 48 hours is the normal stay after delivery, so we expected to bring Abby home Thursday morning. Sadly, that plan got … er … backed up.
Abby couldn’t poop. There, I said it. Tuesday came and went, and then Wednesday, and there was still no poop. Apparently, this is really big deal. At first it was kind of funny, and we made “shy pooper” jokes about it. As time went on, however, the humor wore off. When they moved her in to the NICU Friday afternoon, the joke was over. Our pediatrician sat us down and explained all of the different things that it could be. He was patient, detailed, and above all, very concerned. This was serious.
My three-day-old baby was in ICU with wires and tubes coming out of her, getting her nutrition through an IV. That’s something no father should have to see. I took pictures of it, but I won’t look at them often.
Several doctors, surgeons, and pediatricians were consulted, and they ordered a barium enema for Friday afternoon. This procedure would include her third set of x-rays in two days. While she was having that done, Maryalice and I had to go clear our things out of the family room the hospital let us sleep in the previous night, after Maryalice had been discharged and kicked out of her hospital bed. I called the NICU nurse an hour later to see if Abby had been brought back, and if so, how she did.
The nurse replied, “Oh, she did great. She had a huuuuuuuge poop. Seriously, it was everywhere. She splashed us all.” Great news! The barium enema served a dual purpose. First, it would enable them to take detailed x-rays of her entire digestive tract, to see if there were any abnormalities or physical problems. Second, like any enema, it would hopefully loosen her up and bring forth some glory. It did. It did a lot. Over the next 12 hours, she cleared out nine months of pre-natal ingestion and four days of milk. Just as exciting, the barium films showed absolutely no problems at all! She was cured!
Leaping for joy at our daughter’s newfound ability to stink up our house, we were finally able to bring Abigail home on Saturday afternoon. Maryalice (who literally hadn’t slept more than five hours the past five days) and I joked, “Hey, maybe now we can get past the hospital/emergency/far-from-home/health-concern exhaustion, and just settle in to the normal new-parents-at-home level of exhaustion. After the week we had, that will be a welcome relief.