Saturday, July 10, 2010

Motherhood Update

I haven't been around here much and I thought I would just post a little update about where we are at right now, since I don't seem to be able to get around to emailing people personally who are so kind as to check in to make sure that I am o.k.

Baby Bean was born on June 17th and that was a wonderful day. I was so proud of myself and the fact that I was able to have a vaginal delivery of such a huge baby. Pk was not an easy delivery (she ended up being a forecep delivery and the entire thing was pretty awful) so to have things go so smoothly had me come away on quite a high. To be honest, it's been kind of downhill from here.

The night he was born (he was born at 6:41 p.m.), I was put in a semi-private room, which was really frustrating because we have private coverage but there weren't any rooms available. That also meant that Dh couldn't stay with me that first night. I was terrified because I had no feeling in my right leg from the epidural and I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to get up and care for Baby Bean. I had a good cry and then steeled myself to deal with things. There ward was incredibly busy and the nurses were, to be honest, useless. I still had an i.v. in and I was told to buzz when I was ready to go to the washroom and someone would come to help me and then I could have the i.v. out. I buzzed and waited over 30 minutes after being told someone was coming and then finally buzzed again and got some help. I got a roommate about half way through the night, just as I had fallen asleep finally. Of course, while Baby Bean actually slept (which Pk had not done the first night in the hospital), the other woman's baby SCREAMED the entire night and I didn't get any sleep.

I was finally moved to a private room at around 5 the next day. I had been told by my o.b. that I would be allowed to leave later than night, pending Baby Bean's bloodwork since all was well but since there were no nurses available to do the testing, I was told I would have to wait until the next morning. I didn't feel that he had been latching well and I called the nurses several times for help but the only nurse who did actually come said that I "obviously knew what I was doing" and that when my milk came in, all would be fine. The next morning was horrible. The nurse we had was a misery and when she came in, Baby Bean was SCREAMING. She took his temp and announced to us that he had a fever and that she would have to get the doctor. She then weighed him and told me that we wouldn't be allowed to leave because he had lost too much. By this time, he had stopped crying and she took him temp and it was fine. I was nearly hysterical - all I wanted was to go home and all of a sudden, I was being told that something was wrong with Baby Bean. She then did calculations and decided that his weight was fine after all but she couldn't get the machine to work on the hearing test. She finally got a pass on the one ear but couldn't get a clear result on the other ear so she angrily told us she would have to do a more in-depth test but we would just have to wait. Finally, about 3 hours later, she came back to do the other test and he passed with flying colours but only after she had us terrified that something was wrong with his hearing and that we weren't going to be able to leave.

That really set me up to be worried about things (and before you say it, Kittenpie, yes, I know, I am a worrier). He didn't nurse well at home until the day before our visit to our doctor so of course, when we got there, his weight was down again. She wasn't terribly worried but I was. We were strictly told that we had to feed him every three hours no matter what and come back later in the week. I was fanatically counting wet and soiled diapers and spending a good portion of each night fighting with him, trying to get him to wake up to feed when he obviously wanted to be sleeping. Latching could take as long as 45 minutes because he just wasn't hungry.

Did I also mention that we came home from the hospital to Pk being sick with a raging cold that she managed to give to both me and Baby Bean? We went back to the doctor on Thursday and he had started to gain his weight back. Then, later that day, he got really sick with the cold. Latching became and even bigger nightmare and by Friday night, in the wee hours, he wouldn't feed at all. I didn't know what to do. I really didn't want to give him formula or a bottle (breastfeeding is really important to me and I didn't want to do anything that might interfere) but I didn't want him to dehydrate. I called Telehealth and was directed to go to emergency, which we did. We had a wonderful doctor who finally told us to give him a spitz of Dristan in each nostril twice a day for three days and that seemed to get us started again.

Of course, though, with several days of poor feeding, when we went back to the doctor, he had only put on four oz. Again, the worry. Latching continued to be a nightmare and I really debated just giving in and giving the bottle of formula. To be honest, by that point, I was really wondering whether I was started a good go with post-partum depression - I couldn't stop crying, I felt like I couldn't cope and all I wanted was to walk away. I kept trying to ask for help but didn't know where to turn.

Finally, we got a break. I emailed my doula for the name of a lactation consultant and I found a wonderful woman who was willing to come out that day. I was scared about doing it - my experience at the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital with Pk had been pretty terrible and I was so afraid of getting a "lactation nazi" as a friend likes to call them. T, the consultant, was sweet, supportive and incredibly helpful. She had also spent 6 years working at Jack Newman's clinic, so I also felt like she knew what she was doing. By the time she left, I felt like we had a game plan and she had largely solved our latch problem - now, other than late at night when he is sleepy, we can get a latch in less than a minute. She also really put pressure on me to get back to taking my vitamins and supplements, which I hadn't been doing and I will say, I do feel better with some iron and vitamin B in my system.

Since then, things have been improving. Baby Bean was just shy of his birthweight at our last appointment and had put on 10 oz that week and is latching well. Sadly, the signs of his being a sleeper were misleading and I am starting to have worries that we are going to go the route we did with his sister. He dozes a lot in the day without being willing to sleep deeply unless we are in the car and he nurses A LOT. Once 7 p.m. arrives, all he wants to do is nurse and we get quite a bit of crying. Some evenings, I can get him down by about 9:30 although last night, he cried off and on from 8 until 11:30 and the only thing that would console him was nursing. He is having longer waking periods after the feeds, too (he used to go right back to sleep) and I am starting to get pretty desperate about my chances to sleep at all. At least I feel like I can cope and he seems to be doing all the growing and bathrooming things he needs to do.

You may not hear much from me - it's hard to type with one hand and/or while breastfeeding and at times, I am feeling pretty sorry for myself. It is getting better, though, and, as I said in my previous post, I am going to try to "bloom where I am planted". This is a hard time but I will feel even more miserable when the time comes to go back to work and leave him behind. I can't have this time back and the one real gift from God is the intense love I manage to feel for Baby Bean, even as I am sleepless and frustrated and overwhelmed. And hey, we should get our first smiles from him fairly soon...

1 comment:

  1. OH, those smiles help A LOT, don't they! Feels like you're getting some small thing back for pouring yourself heart and soul, complete with literal blood, sweat, tears, and milk into the wee thing.

    Those first weeks are so hard, though. The first three months, I find, really. Your body has gone through a major shock, your hormones are recalibrating, you are sleepless and trying to contend with a whole new reality, and getting breastfeeding established can be a nightmare.

    To make it even worse, it all seems so desperately important, and we feel so fraught about it all, because this is our BABY we are talking about. There is lots of worry for any mom, but I know you ratchet it up another notch because you are you. The people who make it look easy, though. are either lucky, or doing their crying behind closed doors. This is, remember, completely normal, and it's not a reflection of your skills, it just takes time to come together. And it will!

    Just take your time, get help where you need it, lean on your people, and don't worry about the blog - I pretty much abandoned mine when I had The Bun, because it's hard to find the time/ energy/ hands with a baby, let alone with two kids.

    Hang in there, lady, and remind yourself you did an excellent job once, and you will again. I have enormous faith in you.