Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baby Brain, Birth Story: Day 3 at the Hospital

There is so much happeneing so fast. At times I feel totally unprepared and at others I feel so perfectly happy in the moment. I plan on exclusively breastfeeding my Little Cricket for at least six months. Of course it has been difficult, like I knew it would be from my research and from friends. I met with the lactation consultant and she was able to help with a few tips. And of course with every 12 hours I got a new nurse, a nurse with their own battery of helpful hints. I am a pretty modest person but by today I was unperturbed by simply baring my chest and getting hands on help with my technique by a variety of women. They didn’t seem to care and I was so delirious with exhaustion, in pain from the incision and frustrated with the long sessions of trying to get my Little Cricket to latch that my modesty evaporated. Mr. Rogue giggled that I was getting way to much action by so many women but without help my frustration would have gotten the better of me.

Even with all my hard work it wasn’t enough. Every evening around 11pm the nurse comes by to take my Little Cricket to the nursery to check his glucose level, heart and to get weighed. I or Mr. Rogue always went with the nurse. I couldn’t stand that my little helpless baby was being taken away by a virtual stranger and I wanted one of us there to be sure nothing happened. My little guy was born 7 pounds exactly but in the 32 hours since his birth he is now down to
6 pounds 7.8 ounces. A 10% loss of his body weight. Since he hit the 10% loss number I was pressured into giving him some supplementation. I argued, I cried, I was pissed that yet again I wasn’t able to control what I WANTED. But with the nurse, the lactation consultant and the pediatrician all ganging up on me I finally capitulated to supplement with a little bit of formula. If I had been more myself, less in pain, less drugged, had more sleep, less emotionally drained I may have done some research and done things differently however I wasn’t able to do any of that.



So with the next feeding of my son I nursed on one breast, and then supplemented with 10ml of formula, followed by nursing at the other breast. The hope was that the nursing would continue to bring on my milk and that the formula would keep my Little Cricket from losing more precious weight. That first supplementation I cried the entire time, and then I kept crying for a good hour after. I was just too overwrought and emotional and hormonal. By the third supplemental feeding I was less angry, convincing myself that I only had to do this for 24 hours, just enough to get my milk supply to come in. And I kept chanting my mantra that had gotten me through all the little disappointments ‘all that matters is a healthy baby boy’.



There were also a set of tests that the hospitals run on every baby. I had a lovely visit with the hearing doctor. She was fantastic and fun and I loved that she explained all the equipment she was using. Little electrodes were strapped to his head and little ear muffs were placed on his ears. The idea is that a sound would be played in one or both of the muffs and my Little Crickets brainwaves were monitored to make sure that the brain was receiving the right signals that a sound was heard. While the test was running we chatted about kids and family and everything in between. Oh and at the end my Little Cricket passed his test with a 100%. Perfect hearing, just what I wanted to hear.


The hospital also started this week a new procedure. Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of newborns. The state of California is mandating these tests starting in July of this year but my hospital started early. It is called a Pulse Oximetry Screening test and basically they check the blood flowing to the extremities and then back to the heart. I got to hold and snuggle him for this test to keep him quiet. Again he passed as perfectly healthy.


On top of dealing with the nursing trials and the various tests I was also trying to manage my pain. The ‘good medicine’ they were pumping through my IV drip was taken out last night which means that the real pain of my incision finally started to be felt. I was able to get out of bed finally but I was totally unprepared for how much this surgery would hurt. Sure I knew it would hurt but this HURT BAD OMG THE PAIN, THE MISERY KIND OF HURT. Every single move uses your core muscles which rippled in agony from my new scars. The nurse helped me out of bed the first few times and just a trip to the rest room took an epic effort. Over the course of the day Mr. Rogue helped me in and out of bed multiple times and kept encouraging me to keep moving. Apparently the more I walk and move the better I will feel and since the hospital will not release you until they are sure you can get around at least a little bit I made sure to follow their instructions of slow measured motions and getting up often. I didn’t want to take the narcotic they offered but I did take the Motrin. My doctor was ok with me skipping the narcotic as long as I kept up on my Motrin, let it wear off she said and let the pain start to get really bad and it will take a while after the next dose for you to feel better. So I made sure to take it when the nurses came by to ask about my pain levels. So far I have been able to keep the pain at a tolerable level.

Our day today was full, many of our friends wanted to visit and meet the new addition to the family. Since yesterday I wasn’t feeling up to having many people most came today which made for a busy afternoon. Mrs. & Mr. Fruit were first bringing a cute little bird car seat toy and gabbing some snuggles with the baby. Mr. & Mrs. Rico were next bringing two homemade receiving blankets that she made for all her own grandchildren. I feel so blessed to have Mrs. Rico in my life, she has become like family! Finally Mrs. Rambo visited and thankfully brought Subway with her. I simply hate this hospital food and she read my mind when she offered to bring us something to eat!


Visiting with friends and having them meet my Little Cricket was fun but in the chaos I forgot to take my Motrin and for some reason the nurse never reminded me. By the time we said goodbye to Mrs. Rambo I was in a massive amount of pain. I called the nurse thinking that I might have torn my stitches and it was then that she realized it had now been 8 hours since my last dose of Motrin, 3 hours past when I should have taken it. What followed was pain so sever it left me to crying for a straight hour and then when I couldn’t take it anymore begging for the narcotic that I had been able to avoid up until now. It took two hours for the pain to get to a manageable level and by then I was totally wiped out.

Other than the medicine debacle the day was good and Mr. Rogue took a hundred photos of my Little Cricket. Brace yourself for a slew of photos, probably too much maybe, but I know friends and family will appreciate them. And yes this baby will have billions of photos taken of him. With two parents that love photography as much as we do it is just inevitable. And can I just say thank you to the hospital staff for getting us a room that flooded with such beautiful afternoon light. That was an unexpected bonus!














Mrs. Faith my mother-in-law flew in today to help us out. With Mr. Rogue’s spine surgery and my caesarean surgery both of us were going to be pretty out of commission. We cannot lift anything heavier than the baby and basic cooking and cleaning would be impossible without help. Mrs. Faith’s plane landed and she immediately came to visit at the hospital where she got to hold her sixth grandchild. We get to keep her for two weeks and are super grateful that she was able to take off work for so long to help us out.

With my Little Cricket’s birth weight low we were unable to released from the hospital today. Which meant another night sleeping here. Since sleeping conditions at the hospital for Mr. Rogue were less than ideal with his neck injury I told him to go home and get a good night sleep. Mrs. Dancer offered to come and stay with me to give him a break and to make sure that I could still get the help I needed.


Since we are now grownups with husbands and homes of our own we haven’t had a good ole fashioned sleep over in a long long time. Sure this wasn’t a traditional sleepover but we got in plenty of late night girl time.


My ankles were still plump little sausages and since Mrs. Dancer is the queen of ankle fractures and sprains she knows how to set up the perfect pillow setup to elevate feet. Within 6 hours of her five pillow ramp elevation technique my ankles were getting close to their normal size! Still a long way to go but I was so thankful.



1 comment:

paul peggy zeus said...

The baby pics are adorable. He looks so alert in so many of them. That couch totally looks uncomfortable!!

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