Welcome to the world Millie Bagwell!
Enjoy a peek into her world.
She spends her days in this "Giraffe" at 95% humidity. We like to think it's preparing her for life in the south. It makes it hard to see her sometimes, but we don't give up.
For her first 24 hours, her wardrobe consisted of a gallon sized zip lock bag! It helped keep her tiny body warm and damp.
She's already made friends!
Every once in a while we get to see her sweet head. Her eyes haven't opened yet, and we can't wait until they do.
She has sweet nurses that check on her all day long.
Although her body is tiny, to us it's perfect. Look at these darling feet!
On Friday, November 20th I started feeling a strange pain. I blew it off for Cafe Rio and New Moon. On Saturday I was still in a little pain so I called my doctor. Together we decided it was probably nothing, but I was to go to the hospital if my symptoms didn't stop. I wanted to wait it out for our Ward activity Saturday night. It was a Holiday Dinner and Talent Show...who could miss that? My symptoms were still very much present, but I honestly didn't feel like I should go to the hospital. That night I noticed a few other things and got a little nervous. I slept on it until Sunday morning when I woke Buck up to take me to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital unsure of where to go. Emergency room, or Labor and Delivery? We opted for Labor and Delivery to avoid the $100 ER co-pay haha! It turned out to be the right choice. We explained my symptoms and asked for an ultrasound and exam. I was admitted into a room and asked a bazillion questions. The nurse was pretty sure it was nothing until she did my actual exam. She noticed right away my water had dropped. In her calmest manner, she ran out for another nurse and to call my doctor. They determined that I was completely dilated and our baby was coming.
I was in this "ready to burst at any second" state from Sunday morning until Tuesday. That means contractions, liquid food only, a catheter, and no getting out of bed that entire time. During this bed rest I received steroid shots to help Millie's lungs. I made it through both rounds, and we attribute that to how well she is breathing today.
Early Tuesday morning (like 1 AM) I finally got the nurse to order my epidural. That provided enough relief for me (plus Buck and my Mom because of my crying from the contractions) to get a few hours of sleep. About 5:30 AM my doctor arrived to break my water and get things going. I was rushed to the OR with Buck (decked out in that fancy sterile white outfit) for the delivery. Millie arrived at 1 lb 4 ounces and 11 inches. Because she was so small her body ended up turning sideways during the delivery. So if you think delivering a small baby is easy, I can assure you delivering a small, sideways baby is not. She also arrived with one hand above her head, doing her beauty queen wave.
I was only 23 weeks and 4 days along when we got to the hospital so the NICU was brought into the loop immediately. They had everything she needed ready right away, so her transition from birth to incubator was smooth. I was told so many times that 24 weeks was the "safe zone" and even just a day short of that was very dangerous. I was never promised her health (or even resuscitation) but for some reason I was calm and confident through the whole thing. I later found out that she had a low chance of even being resuscitated, so I can honestly say she is a miracle.
Millie made it through the 48 hour "honeymoon" phase beautifully. The doctors keep waiting for some major medical problem to arise and we still don't have any. She has had several poopy diapers which the doctors are amazed at. She breathes on her own occasionally, which is great. The only problem is her heart. She is receiving surgery right now that will close an area that needs to be closed. It isn't open heart, so it isn't a major surgery. It is a surgery performed in her bed through an incision in her side that places a tiny clamp to close up the open area. After this is finished and she recovers we should be able to start feeding her! Up until now she just takes fluid and vitamins basically.
The next benchmarks we are looking for is her 10-day mark, and then her 4 week mark. We expect ups and downs daily, and promise to update everyone when there is something major. We want to be with Millie as much as possible so we will be adding visits to the hospital daily to our already busy schedule. This means we may have less time to call our loved ones as often as we have been. Please know we love you, want to keep you informed, and are just trying to keep up with everything right now.
We are told to expect to bring her home about her due date, March 17th. I am beside myself excited to hold this girl in my arms. Having her sleep in our home will be like a dream. I really look forward to just the three of us spending time together.
This concludes her birth story and update. Thank you everyone for your prayers and love. Below is a message for my pregnant friends. Love you girls! It's just some personal emotions you might want to prepare for.
Just a side note to the soon-to-be-mom's out there:
Prepare for some strong emotions. I still haven't held her and it was days before I got to even touch her foot. I felt pretty distant from her at first because of this, but I know it was for her safety. It was really hard for me that Buck got to be with her right away while I had to deliver the placenta. I was wheeled in there to look at her, but I was still pretty out of it and exhausted. During my recovery it was also hard for me to watch the grandparents spend hours by her side learning about her and getting to know the staff while I was stuck in bed. I felt terrible for barely knowing my own daughter, and jealous that everyone else seemed to know her so well. If the birth was normal she would have been mostly by my side, instead she was barely by me. It was also hard for me that everyone else got to sleep at home in a normal, warm bed and shower daily!
Don't get me wrong, we love our parents. We're so grateful they all made it out to be with us and welcome our daughter into the world. I was just unprepared, exhausted, and emotional. The grandparents were a big help in many ways. We have been fed and entertained well, plus they have helped keep the rest of our families up to date. That is something I've been terrible at. Plus without Buck's parents specifically we wouldn't have any pictures of our baby girl. My Mom was great in the hospital prior to delivery, and my Dad has been such a good translator for us to understand all this medical stuff.