Today baby F is one week old! He is doing great – started latching on and nursing like a champ at 3 days old. He is a pretty mellow guy so far, and his big brother is seriously in love with him. He kisses him and sniffs him and rubs his arms and legs all the time and is doing really well with being gentle for the most part. Monkey is a great big brother!
I figured I should get my birth story down before I forget anything now that I have a minute to breathe, so here goes.
We arrived at the hospital on Monday, April 29th at 5:30 AM (groan). They took us up and had me change into a gown and got me hooked up to a monitor and the IV placed. The first woman who tried to do the IV did a horrible, painful job (shudder) and it had to be redone. Thankfully the second woman got it in without incident. I had a couple of dizzy spells and felt like I was going to pass out, which wasn’t too pleasant. Finally I was wheeled into the OR.
Once there, I got the spinal (not a big deal) and started getting numb. Once again, I thought I was going to pass out, but the anesthesiologist told me it was normal and he would give me something to bring my blood pressure up. DW came into the room and told me she got a nice text from Monkey’s teacher, which made me cry (hormones).
After a while, they told me they were going to start pushing the baby out. My doctor exclaimed, “He has a bunch of hair!” Then I heard cries and watched as they whisked him over to examine him. DW cut the cord and they rubbed him down for quite a while. I heard them saying he was having trouble breathing and that he probably had fluid in his lungs as this is common for c-section babies. Then they said he needed to go to the NICU for them to take a look. They said he’d be there for a couple of hours most likely. DW went with them to the NICU while the doctor finished putting me back together.
When I got to recovery, I had them send in my mom and MiL. That part is kind of a blur as I was so doped up, but I was concerned that I hadn’t heard anything yet about how baby was doing. MiL went to the NICU to meet the baby, my mom left to pick up Monkey from school, and I got wheeled to my room. I was lying there with no visitors, no baby, and all doped up on pain meds. It was really lonely and I was so worried about the baby. After several hours, I got to go the NICU (in my hospital bed) to finally see my baby and DW.
Baby F was hooked up to monitors, had an IV in his hand, a tube down his throat, and oxygen tubes in his nose. It was so sad. I asked DW how he was doing and when he would be released. She said he was doing well but they were keeping him overnight. My heart dropped. I couldn’t hold him or nurse him. All I could do was put my hand into the isolette and rub him and talk to him. It felt awful to go back to my room without my baby.
I told DW to just go home and sleep that night since there was no baby to care for. The NICU nurse told me that I should pump for him and they’d give him bottles. I said that was fine but I’d really prefer to get him on the breast. I was so worried nursing would be a problem and I so didn’t want to give that up. She said I was welcome to come for any feeding (in a wheelchair), so that’s what I did (after strong-arming my nurse, who was like, “We’ll see” when I told her I wanted to do that for the overnight feedings – I was like, “Oh hell no. We’re going!”). I ended up going down several times overnight and baby would latch on, but he wouldn’t eat. I wasn’t overly concerned because BFing is a challenge to get going with any infant, let alone one that had the day poor baby F had.
The next day, DW came back and we went to the NICU to check in. They said all of the items they were monitoring for were normal, but they wanted him to nurse properly (or have us supplement with formula) before they’d release him. It ended up being an excruciating 5-6 hours of us trying to get him to eat and being totally pissed off that they wouldn’t let me work on it in my room. I was sure it would happen if they’d just get him off the wires and let me keep him at the breast. I have never felt so helpless.
My doctor came to see me that afternoon and was just as livid as I was that he still wasn’t released. She called up to let them know this but they quickly said he was being prepped to be released right then. He was finally in my room around 3PM that day. Within a few hours he was latching on and eating. I can’t explain just how effed up the communication (or lack thereof) was between the maternity unit and the NICU. It was so frustrating and I told several people who came and asked how my experience was that it was a big problem. I feel so awful for people with preemies who are in the NICU for long periods of time. My experience was terrible and my healthy 9 pounder was just there overnight.
The final days in the hospital were pretty non-eventful, thankfully, and we were released on Thursday morning. Aside from the sleepless nights, everything has been going smoothly. I finally brought baby to bed with me last night and he slept soundly and nursed like a champ all night, so I’m feeling pretty good today.
I leave you with one of my fave recent baby pics of my beautiful baby boy. He has Monkey’s nose and his dimples, too! This may be the last pic I don’t password-protect, so let me know if you need my password.