The Hospital Stay Post Cesarean

The labor and delivery is over so now we begin the 4-5 day hospital stay. It’s a little longer for Cesarean vs Vaginal delivery.

I have to admit, I didn’t miss the hospital! Since I was already hospitalized for 40 days prior to having my baby, I wasn’t excited to sleep in that bed again and eat hospital food. The staff quickly recognized both me and my boyfriend. The nurses were all shocked that I made it to my due date. Every one of my nurses from the 40 day hospital bed rest came in to say hi and meet our baby boy while I was there. The cafeteria staff recognized me and so did the cleaning staff.

I don’t really know what I was expecting being a first time mom but it is hard! Sleep deprivation is no joke and breastfeeding is one of the most challenging things I have ever done. No one told me how challenging breastfeeding was going to be. I thought that it was such a beautiful and natural thing and that it would come with ease. I was wrong.

The first night I wanted to keep my baby in the room with us, but my boyfriend thought we should take advantage of the nurses and get some rest. He won that battle the second night because I was in so much pain from my Cesarean (I wasn’t taking pain medication because I was breastfeeding) and was so exhausted already. We couldn’t get in a full nights rest because I was nursing and needed to feed him every couple of hours to help my milk supply come in, but at least we got a couple hours of sleep here and there.

As I mentioned before, breastfeeding was very challenging for me. In the OR my midwife tried to get my baby to latch immediately after he was born. We had the lactation consultant in our room several hours everyday we were there. Unfortunately we struggled with the latch. My nipples were too short for him to latch onto. After several lactation consultants trying to help with different techniques and positions we decided it was best to pump. This was for a couple reasons. One being to pull out my nipples more and then trying to get him to latch right after, the other being that my baby needed food! We pumped and fed him by syringe until we could get him to latch. One of the night nurses suggested to use nipple shields. We did and he latched right away. He was sucking constantly and always wanted to be on my boob. We thought he was getting food. He was up screaming that whole night unless he was attached to my nipple. The next morning the lactation consultant came in and told us that using the nipple shield was bad advice and the baby was not getting any food, he was just comfort sucking. We didn’t know, we’re new at this. Here I am thinking I’m feeding my baby and I’m actually starving him. She said the colostrum is too thick to get through the holes of the nipple shield and you can’t use them until your milk comes in. So back to pumping and the syringe. I then had a emotional breakdown. I thought I was a terrible mom.

After a few days my milk came in and we got him to latch on my left side only right after pumping. This was a step forward. The lactation consultant spend so much time with us helping us. I am so thankful for her. We were then ok to use the nipple shields since my milk came in and although it was still challenging, it was a tiny bit easier now. We decided to stay one extra night for the advice and help of the lactation consultant.

We arrived on Tuesday morning and got discharged on Saturday afternoon.

Now it’s just the three of us and we are heading home as a family to start our parenting journey together…

3 thoughts on “The Hospital Stay Post Cesarean

  1. Oh, it all came flooding back as I read your post. I had two c-sections. My first son weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces and was all head! He too had a hard time latching on. I had so many nurses and consultants hands on my breasts! After 4 days, I signed myself out of the hospital against the advise of the doctors, both mine and his. Once I was home, I called Le Leche League and a volunteer came over to help me, but she could not get him to latch either. Finally, I tried laying down with him by my side and he latched on. After that, I was nursing him every single hour! It was the only thing that got him to stop crying. Talk about sleep deprivation! At one point I actually thought that he was the Chucky doll and he was going to kill me! I actually wrote a novel about my experience with postpartum depression after he was born. But I remember, like you said, feeling like a terrible mother. I guess that feeling is more common than women realize.

    My second baby almost killed us both. I was pressured into trying VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). The doctors left me in labor for 145 hours (yes, more than 6 days). They kept sending me home, saying I wasn’t dilated. I kept telling them that I never dilated with my first baby, but they didn’t listen to me. Finally, I got the feeling that if I didn’t go and insist they do something, the baby and I were not going to make it. When we got to the hospital that time, they took my blood pressure and said they had to deliver the baby immediately, so they gave me petocin and later broke my water and placed a heart monitor on the baby’s head and another monitor on my uterus. My contractions were off the scale! Soon they lost the baby’s heart beat and the whole world was spinning as I was being wheeled in for a c-section. I remember thinking that he was going to be brain damaged, but his apgar scores were good. He latched on right away!

    After all that, I got an infection from the OR. But the doctors didn’t think that was the problem at first. They thought my incision had to drain, so they opened it up! This meant that it could not simply be stitched back together. It had to close up from the inside out. They did not think to check for an infection until my fever spiked at 105 and they packed me in ice. They tried to give me an IV and my veins blew up. 13 times they had to poke me. I was black and blue everywhere. I was in the hospital for 9 days, and then I had to ave a nurse come to my house twice a day for 4 and 1/2 months to change the dressing on my incision. I was on IV antibiotics, oral antibiotics and injections of antibiotics and they assured me that it was safe for me to breastfeed! I believed them 😦 My son quit growing at 3 months old, and he didn’t start growing again until he was 8 months old. I could not get a diagnosis until he was 19 months old. He did not have the enzymes to digest food properly. He only processed protein and fat, and he only processed protein at half the normal rate. I know it was because of the antibiotics, but I could not prove it. He met all his developmental milestones, but I could sense there was something wrong. When he was 3 he was diagnosed as mentally retarded. His IQ measured at 69, (low normal is 70). Later, at age 5 he was reevaluated and his IQ measured at 75. I am sure it is actually higher than that though. He is very wise for his age. He did not do well in college, but he has a full time job and with all his problems, he is a beautiful, hard working wonderful young man. Whatever he does, he gives his all. It amazes me what a good person he is sometimes.

    I didn’t mean to write an entire novel here. I am glad that you got your baby to nurse and I wish you much happiness watching your baby grow.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OMG! Your story is so scary! I’m so glad you and your children made it through everything with good health. I started this blog at 28 weeks when I was hospitalized during my pregnancy! It helps to write about everything so I can see why you wrote a book! It’s good to share your story and that’s why I’ve been sharing mine! Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and Parenting are all challenging in their own ways and everyone experiences something different. ❤️

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