So I haven’t written in a while and honestly, let’s face it… I will probably only write when I have something to say. I know you all will appreciate that too :-). After my last adventure with the twins, I felt like I could conquer anything DSS gave me (actually that is a false statement because nothing is picture perfect). So when my social worker called me on a Friday afternoon with a placement of a newborn baby girl I did not hesitate to say yes. Well, actually I did. LOL! When my social worker first called me, I was a little annoyed because it was Friday afternoon. I mean, I don’t know about you… but by Friday afternoon I am looking at the weekend like the finish line and I already had my plans set up for the weekend. A weekend of doing nothing but cleaning my house and relaxing from the aftermath of the twins. BUT when I heard the word “newborn” I immediately changed my tune. The baby was born on Thursday and they needed to place her, but the hospital wanted to release her on Saturday and CPS didn’t want to pick her up until Monday. That was all I heard after I said yes… and that CPS would call me with instructions. Well, that evening I set off in a frenzy purchasing a few things for the new addition. A stroller system, some clothes and diapers, and formula. And then I waited… waited… waited. No call. I started to think that either CPS was able to talk the hospital into keeping the baby until Monday or maybe they found a relative to place her with. So the entire weekend I just kept telling myself and others, I “may” get a newborn baby girl on Monday. Monday morning comes… and I still hear nothing from CPS. I call my worker, but of course there is no answer so I start to again think that this wasn’t going to happen. Around 12:30p CPS calls me and lets me know they are leaving the hospital with the baby and will bring her to my home.
CPS arrives at around 2:00p with the tiniest baby I had ever seen. A four day old baby girl! I was so overwhelmed by having this tiny arrival, but tried to keep it together as the workers relayed the discharge information the hospital gave to them. Then it was off to the races trying to get a doctors appointment for the baby as all kids who come into care have to see a doctor within 48 hours. The first few days were a blur, I was (am still) sleep deprived and still trying to work my full-time job. By Wednesday afternoon, I had made a plan to take off Thursday and Friday to recoup some of my sanity and sleep and sort of get into a rhythm, and I kind of caught up… but boy were things about to change in a major way. One thing I didn’t mention is that when the baby came, her breathing was off. She always sounded like she was congested or like she couldn’t breath. Early Tuesday morning, she was really struggling to breath and I thought of taking her to the emergency room to get checked out, but just thought I could ask her doctor about it when I went to her appointment later on that day. I was really scared. The doctor gave me some saline drops and told me to continue trying to suction her nose. Um, okay… thanks doc. Friday afternoon, one of my bestest college friends came to visit. My mom came over so my friend and I could go out to dinner and I could get some groceries (fun Friday night here folks!). The next morning, my friend allowed me to go to the nail salon and get a much needed mani/pedi while she sat home and watched the baby. Now, let me take a break here so you won’t think I am a horrible hostess and tell you that my friend Tonya didn’t want to DO ANYTHING when she came to visit. She just wanted to relax, sleep in, and get some seafood (when in Maryland… right?). So she was happy to sit around and binge watch shows while I went out and about. Okay, back to the story…. So when I returned from the nail salon, the baby’s breathing did not look right to me.
I called her pediatrician and she told me to take her to Children’s Hospital. So, we went to Children’s and they immediately saw baby girl and started tending to her. After about an hour, the ER doctor told me that they were going to admit the baby to the NICU so they could observe her. We ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days, I slept in the room with her… couldn’t get me to leave that hospital if they paid me.
Shout out to Children’s Hospital in Washington, DC! They are absolutely wonderful in every way. Another shout out to my friend Tanya because I know her visit was completely a God send! She kept me calm and is also a specialist at Children’s in her hometown, so she was definitely an asset to have with me that weekend!
About this baby girl. She is an absolute JOY! She has the resting baby face down packed. She gives the best side-eye and her facial expressions seem to match the mood of whatever is going down at the moment. LOL! She has grown so much over the last month. Her color came in, her cheeks have gotten fatter, and she has transitioned from preemie clothes and diapers to newborn! The one thing that still haunts me is bedtime. Home girl will not sleep on her own. She will only lay down for 20 minutes, but only at night. During the day she can sleep without being held and on her own, but at night… it’s another story. She also hates being swaddled. I have read so much about swaddling, the benefits and the calming sleep that it is meant to induce. That is not the case for this little one. Just last night she screamed every time I put her in the swaddle. She cried from 9 pm until 1 am because I was on and off swaddling her. I even tried to swaddle her after she fell asleep. That lasted all of 30 minutes then she was hollering again. I just can’t seem to get it right, which is so frustrating because I watched them swaddle her in the hospital and I actually swaddled her also. My mom thinks it was because she was getting drugs… so she didn’t care what was happening at the moment. LOL! Everyone who meets her loves her. I have needed/had a lot of help with this one (what else is new) and everyone always wants to come back and see her.
Because of COVID-19 a lot of things are different in the system. There are limited court cases being heard, visits by social workers and to sibling/parent groups are being paused. Baby had a hearing last week and nothing really changed in her case. Yesterday… just YESTERDAY after a month on her being with me was baby girl assigned a social worker, so now I can kind of get a better handle on her case. As usual things can change quickly, but at least I now know a little more and can plan a little better.
This is a new experience for me. I have never had to solely care for a newborn on my own. It sometimes has been scary because she is so new to the world, I honestly don’t know what to do most of the time… but through google, prayer, and help/advice from friends/family I am making it through. One month down and who knows how much more to go. The baby smiles a lot! And although I know she is smiling mostly from gas, relieving herself, or falling asleep, there are times when I know that she smiled at me… there is no doubt. I would only say this happened twice, but no one can’t tell me that she didn’t smile at me. LOL! She is also starting to hold on to me… which is so sweet. I am looking forward to watch her grow and seeing her reactions to the new world around her.
That’s all for now!