We have had an eventful few weeks here, and not just the ordinary busy-ness of taking care of a newborn! In order to catch you up on things, I will provide a brief update, week by week (and keep in mind, this is all on almost no sleep!). Week 1 (of Audrey's life): Audrey has high bilirubin levels, so we visit Pediatrician daily to get her heel pricked for blood tests. Levels continue to rise, so we are ordered off breast milk and onto formula for 3 days. I pump 10x per day to build up my supply.
Week 2: Levels decline a bit, so we go back to breast milk. Difficult transition from bottle and Audrey loses weight. Pediatrician is worried about weight loss and hears a heart murmur. Sends us to Pediatric Cardiologist and hospital for special blood work to see if she has a metabolic disorder. Pediatric Cardiologist finds two congenital heart defects that will need to be monitored (and fixed, if not healed by one-year). All blood work comes back normal, so we continue almost daily Pediatrician visits to monitor weight gain.
Week 3: Audrey gains weight, but not enough. Agree to visit Lactation Consultant. Ryan's parents come to visit.
Week 4: I have horrible stomach pains and visit emergency room. Have "a lot of gallstones" and will need surgery immediately, but won't be able to breastfeed for a month. I ask to delay surgery so I can pump to build up enough milk to last that month.
Ryan comes home with 103 degree fever. I quarantine him to guest room so he can't infect me or Audrey.
Speak to lactation consultant, who says breastfeeding won't need to be delayed a whole month, and probably none at all, besides recovery time. I am in a lot of pain and wish I had gotten surgery right away.
Audrey continues to gain, but still not enough.
Week 5: Ryan begins to feel better.
I have an appointment to meet with surgeon. Audrey has appointment with Pediatrician(6 week check-up). We both have appointment with lactation consultant. I have appointment with obstetrician (6 week check-up).
We'll see how things go!
Through it all, I have felt so thankful for all the blessings in our lives: for the kind medical professionals we have encountered along the way, especially at St. Vincent's hospital; for the lactation consultants, and even for Audrey's weight loss that led me to them in the first place, so that they could help me deal with breastfeeding and surgery (otherwise, I wouldn't have nursed for a month!); for everyone's kind help and prayers; and most of all, for our parents, who have helped cook and clean and watch Audrey as we deal with our own health issues! I feel like I have seen God's Providence at work in the midst of all this and can only praise him for taking care of us even when things feel overwhelming.
"The Lord is my strength." Psalm 28:7