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…