Saturday, August 26, 2006

Hospital Stay

Day 1 (Tuesday)

There is not much that I can really remember of the first day. What I do remember is Tim saying that he was going home to get some sleep and that he would be back in the afternoon, but then he turns up after breakfast and a shower. Then next thing I remember is seeing Tim just cuddling JJ. I was naturally dozing throughout the whole morning and afternoon.

We did have a number of visitors that day and I was grateful for all the gifts we received, what I was really grateful for was my husband with me the whole day.

The catheter was removed that night and I was able to get up and move around, I know only 12 hours after surgery I was up and moving with a lot of pain but I did it.

That night JJ stayed with me and we had a few goes on the breast and a few nappy changes, but I don’t remember too much of that night.

Day 2 (Wednesday)

First shower on my own….boy there is nothing like having a shower to make you feel more normal. This was the first day where I distinctly remember falling in love with my new little man. It was after a feed and he was all dopey eyed looking at my face…it was the first time I clearly saw his beautiful blue eyes.

I could not believe that he was mine and that we had created him. It was also the day that the drain tube was removed, I hated carrying that thing around with me.

The breast feeding thing was not going too well, but slowly we were both learning how to deal with each other. Thank God for the night time midwifes at one stage A checked up on me (A was the lady who hosted the breastfeeding class and I felt that I already ‘knew’ her), and asked how I was going. I remember telling her that I was sick of breast feeding, as at that point JJ was on my left breast for almost an hour without settling. She convinced me to offer JJ my finger for him to suck on and pat his bum in the rhythm of a heart beat.

After half an hour, nothing too much had changed and she then convinced me to trust her with my baby and leave him with her whilst I slept. God bless A for this as I was able to sleep for 4 hours straight and my baby was very well looked after.

Day 3 (Thursday)

This was the first day I wore ‘normal’ clothes and received a room mate for the morning. In the afternoon I was moved to a private room with a double bed, the room was more like hotel room than a hospital room.

It was a day that I was a little worried about, the third day blues and my breast milk coming in…or as it was supposed to. But it was a walk in the park no baby blues and no milk. At this point I was a little worried and my JJ was very yellow…a slight case of jaundice.

It was a day full of stress though, a visit from my in laws saw me telling my MIL to back off and leave my milk supply (or lack there of) alone. JJ at this point had decided to crack it big time and I was struggling to attach him with my MIL and FIL (yes breast hanging out and my FIL is in the room with my boy screaming his head off) in the room.

A visit from the Pediatric Doctor to confirm that JJ did have a slight case of jaundice and that my milk supply may not be helping him. It was prescribed that I breast feed him 15 minutes on each breast then ‘top him up’ with 20ml’s of formula then I was to go onto the breast pump to express. I was to do this every three hours.

It was torture, it was horrendous and it was down right devastating doing this every three hours. I was not able to express more than a tea spoon from both breasts combined….yes that’s right a tea spoon.

That night JJ was again taken away from me to the nursery where in between a feed he was given an extra 30ml’s of formula because he was screaming.

Day 4 (Friday)

With more sleep I woke in the morning full of confidence that all my efforts would help me breast feed and bring on my milk supply. All the midwives were convinced that it would come in. I did get used to all the strange women poking my breasts to feel if they were harder…but no nothing different.

Feeding every three hours did take it’s toll on me and I was so grateful for Tim being there in the afternoon to help…the pump kept on getting worse and the ‘top up’s’ kept on getting larger in volume.

The jaundice test result showed that JJ was not getting better and this was the third day where his poor little heel was pricked for the blood test. A complication with my private health insurance determined that JJ was not covered and to have JJ put under the UV light he would need to be admitted into the hospital as a patient….and I would possibly out of pocket…the Pediatrician determined not to admit him due to the insurance complication.

I was a mess that day, blubbering on the phone to the insurance company begging them to try to fix the problem….in the end it was resolved but it was too late to have JJ put under the UV light.

This was the day I felt like a failure as a mother, my milk was not in and I really wanted to give up on the whole breast feeding thing. But the midwives convinced me to preserver….so I did and finally worked out a position where the attachment didn’t hurt.

Day 5 (Saturday)

A whole day with Tim there to support me with looking after JJ. Tim was worked Wednesday to Friday, so I only really had his help in the evenings, this was the situation as Tim had only just started working with the company.

Not much really happened this day that is of note…although I was stressing about the whole feeding situation and I hated waking JJ up every three hours to feed, it wore on both of us.

I can’t remember which day it was but I did feel and over whelming feeling of guilt. Yes guilt, I could not get over the fact that I was a little disappointed that JJ was a boy…I don’t think that I can bring myself to forgive that disappointment…here was this precious little boy that was so tiny and small and Tim and I had created…how could I have been anyway disappointed.

That night I was caught sobbing over my child whilst ‘topping him up’ the midwife A was on again and she caught me having a mushy moment…The over whelming love I felt for this child blew me away…it continues to do so…

Most afternoon’s you can catch me sitting next to him whilst he is sleeping and I will be sobbing….just because I love this child so much.

Day 6 (Sunday)

I was woken but a Midwife that took a while to get to know…she said something that got me thinking…she mentioned that my hormone levels would change in the next few days and that my milk would most likely come in then. First thing that I thought was “Since when does my body ever deal with hormones properly”.

A very long discussion started and I mentioned my medical history of PCOS and fertility treatment to conceive JJ. The room became very quiet and you heard they giant penny drop. Midwife (M) jumps up and screams hallelujah. …well not really but with PCOS there is a potential of difficulties with breast feeding and by this stage JJ was being topped up with 50ml’s of formula after being on the both breast for half an hour.
The relief was instantaneous…there was a medical reason why I could not sustain my son. I was not a ‘failure’ as a mother, I was encouraged to continue with breast feeding and topping him up, but I secretly stopped putting JJ on my breasts that day.

It was the first day where I enjoyed feeding my baby and it was also the first day that I had a ‘happy’ baby who slept properly and we loved being together. It was also my last full day in the hospital.

Day 7 (Monday)

Home day and relief day…I was looking forward to starting my life at home with my new little family. It took us longer to leave the hospital than we wanted to but in the end we arrived home.

All in all I suppose I’m painting my hospital stay as a bit grim but honestly it was not as bad as I’ve made out. The whole breast feeding thing now over shadows my stay and I do not feel at all disappointed with giving up the breast. It was not getting us anywhere, JJ and I were both unhappy with the situation. I also know that I gave it my best shot and till this day I have not been able to express more than a tea spoon, before or after a feed.

The midwives at this hospital are a very special bunch and I’m grateful for all the support and help that was provided, after being away and home now for 6 days, I should’ve taken advantage of their support more, but I hated not having JJ with me.

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