Monday, April 23, 2007

Blessings amidst the suffering...

It was this bed of "bili-lights" that nearly threw me into post-partum depression.

Micah was only a few days old when we found out that his bilirubin levels weren't going down, but up. The pediatrician insisted that he would need to be placed on bili-lights, but that it was no big deal because we could still have him at home with us. When Shira was first born in Oregon, she also had to have the lights - but her' were sooo different. It was a paddle-type thing that we just slipped inside her onsie and rested on her back, and although it was bulky with the big cord and inconvenient, we were still able to hold her and feed her easily. Enter Oklahoma health care.

The home health nurse came with two huge suitcases, and the fact that our insurance didn't cover the expense of her being in my home only made me eye her even more warily...I didn't need to see what turned out to be a full-fledged BED that Micah had to be strapped onto. She was very business-like about her proceedings; telling me how to hook him into the bed, which buttons turn the light on, etc... She also had me fill out about twelve hundred forms of paper signing our lives away. THEN she proceeded to tell me that the baby needed to be ON THE BED for 21 out of the 24 hours of the day. I about lost it! As a momma for the third time, my parenting instincts have changed drastically! With #1, I did everything by the book. Feed your baby every 3 hours. OK - so I did! She didn't get one drop more than that - if the book said every three hours and how important it was to get her on a schedule, then I'd do that! With #2, I was still so busy with not-even-two-year-old #1, that it was just a TRUE BLESSING that he put himself on a 3 hour schedule. He slept, then ate, then looked around. It was like he knew not to mess with me! But with #3, all I wanted to do was to be able to hold him continually. Micah came out knowing his momma, and had already learned, in just the few short days of his life, that the best place in the world to sleep was right on my chest. I had prayed for this baby to have this temperament! I didn't have to work with the others, so my time with them was unlimited and I never felt the urgency to hold them. This time, I'm working part-time, and I know that his is my last baby, and I just want to SAVOR each and every single moment I have with him. The moments seem rushed, too, because there is always something to go to, or pick up, and DO. Besides that fact, Micah is a hungry little boy, and loves to eat about every two hours. So upon hearing the news that he'd need to be on the lights SO MUCH was almost more than I could take. I bawled. Then I felt guilty for being so upset about a few days of not being able to hold my baby. Then I thought of other parents that have far worse situations, other parents that have walked dark roads of doubt, wondering about the health of their babies, like Addison, and Eliot, and Haley. I marvel at their faith, their strength and their courage. I sucked it up and dealt with it - but I did sneak skin-to-skin time with my little one several hours a day when I felt like I couldn't part without him any longer!

The lights ended up staying for 3 days. Three long days. And each day surrounding those lights, I had to visit the pediatrician for heel sticks on Micah to get his levels checked. The trips to the doctor were stressful, knowing that my little tiny baby was going to get stuck AGAIN - but also knowing that our insurance had told us that they wouldn't be covering any of his lab work fees, so each trip just seemed like a dream-like state in which all I saw were dollar signs floating around and a helpless baby crying.

So it was with great joy and relief to find an EOB from our insurance provider in the mail today stating that each and every single lab fee for all 9 heel sticks is TOTALLY COVERED and the checks have already been sent to the pediatrician and the lab!!!!! GOD IS GOOD! Our amazing Community Group had rallied together to help with some of the light bed fees, knowing that we were going to be overwhelmed with medical bills - and the EOB today is such a blessing, because now all we'll have to pay for is the bed! We can manage that!

And Micah is doing much better! His eyes are white and I'm so proud to announce that at my 6-week check up, he had gained over 4 pounds since his birth! So a few days on the bed, with a few less feedings, didn't seem to hurt him at all!

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