For 48 hours, my life was a blur of ice pads, water bottle douches, skin to skin cuddles, visitors, light sleeping, breastfeeding, tests, doctors, hospital food, more ice pads, and crazy looks from my nurse every time I turned down pain meds. “Are you sure you don’t want any pain meds?” each nurse would begin her shift with the same question. “Nope! I’m good!” I’d answer every time and they would all side eye me as they slowly left the room. After birth, I felt fine. Yes, I was a little sore and after birth you continue to have contractions, or cramps really, because your uterus is returning back to normal size, but I just had a baby with no pain meds. This was nothing in comparison! (In hindsight, I was still on my super woman high. 1 week after birth, I felt like a train crashed into my vagina! haha) I also barely slept. Because I was breastfeeding, I was feeding him every 2 hours. Not to mention, any little noise he made, woke me up; my boyfriend on the other hand, was KO’d on the couch bed, snoring.
After 2 days, we were finally free to go home.We were entrusted to take this tiny little human being home. My mom planned to stay with us for a couple weeks before returning to Michigan, so we had a little extra help. While I was in the hospital, my boyfriend came home to get the house baby ready. Because he was almost a month We were not only not prepared for the baby, we DEFINITELY were’t prepared for my mom to stay at our place! We came home to a beautifully cleaned apartment and immediately sorted through all his baby clothes and washed anything newborn size. We received 2 baby swings from our friends and family, so we took out both, figured out which one didn’t need batteries, and set it up. It felt good to finally be home!
2 days before going into labor, we went on a tour of a pediatrician’s office, and I loved it. Thank God we went on that tour, because that first night home was a doozy! Newborn babies eat, soil diapers, and sleep. I was determined to breastfeed, and he was latching like a pro, so every 2 hours or so, my boyfriend would bring the baby to me to eat while I tried to get some rest. Each time he brought him to me, he would seem fussier and fussier. We actually called the emergency line because we found blood in his stool. The doctor on call told us he should be fine and to follow up at his scheduled appointment. We spent most of our night trying to soothe an extremely upset baby. I cried the first night because he wouldn’t stop crying, I was exhausted, and my nipples were hurting!! OMG! This can’t be life.
I scheduled his first doctor’s appointment to be the morning after we got home, at 8 AM. Best decision ever. At 3 days old, we got to his doctors appointment sleep deprived, stressed, and hopeless with a list of questions and a feeding schedule looking like true first time parents. The pediatrician’s office has a lactation nurse on staff, so I scheduled an appointment with her as well. We had his regular appointment first. They weighed him and checked all his vitals. He weighed 5 lbs 8oz. Now it is normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight within the first few days, but our little one had lost more. He was crying so much because he was dehydrated. I was crushed! Due to his early arrival, my mature milk hadn’t come in yet, and I wasn’t producing enough colostrum for my little guy. I actually cried in my doctor’s appointment. She comforted me that I will be able to feed my child the way I want to, we just need to jump start the process and supplement with some formula. She then answered all our questions and reassured us that we had a healthy baby. The lactation nurse put me on a nursing, supplement, and pumping schedule. Every 2-3 hours during the day I would nurse on each side for 5 min, supplement with 30-45ml of formula (he wouldn’t always take the whole serving), and pump for 15 min. Oer night the schedule was a little different. I fed him every 3-4 hours and I nursed one time, and pumped and supplemented the next feeding. My first few pumps yielded nothing, but it signaled my body to start producing milk.
A couple days later we had a follow up appointment to do a weighted feeding. He had gained about 5 oz in 2 days, and we were very excited. When you do a weighted feeding, the doctor weighs the baby, you nurse for about 10-15min, then they weigh your baby again. It lets you know how much they are taking in. He was getting about an ounce and a half from me. My milk still hadn’t completely come in, but we were getting there. She revised my schedule so that I would nurse more, and supplement less. Now that our baby boy was being fed, he was a dream. So perfect! He only cried when he was hungry. A day or so later my milk came in completely and we were off on our breast feeding journey!