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Sunday, December 6, 2015

48hrs Of Postpartum Care

So after 19 hours of labor, 1 hour in surgery and a couple of hours in recovery we were finally taken to our new room in postpartum care; wheeled there on a gurney, still heavily drugged with baby strapped to my chest. Honestly, it wasn't until we left the hospital a couple of days later when I figured out where they had brought us because I was so out of it... and it was just down the hall!

Generally speaking they took pretty good care of us... for the first night anyhow. Constantly checking my sugar levels, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature made it a little hard to get a good night of sleep, but I got what I could. Baby girl was pretty sleepy too so she was quiet; nothing a quick touch of her cheek couldn't remedy. They would have discharged us the next day actually had I given birth naturally! But, thanks to the c-section we needed another day.

And that's when things took a turn; on our second day, or night to be more specific, they pushed us too far!

I had struggled to get more than a drop of colostrum to feed baby with all day long (this is what you produce before your milk comes in to breastfeed). I mentioned this to anyone who would listen and they all said it was perfectly normal based on being a first time mom, having a c-section and other health factors that work against me and that she was completely fine and getting everything she needed from me and not to worry about it. I even asked to see a lactation specialist and was told that it wasnt necessary. Ok, how would I know, right? Wrong! By early evening her shrieks (which have earned her the nickname "Gremlin") were so horrid that we instinctively knew she was hungry, plain and simple; and that's when their so-called "care" became scripted and extremely counterproductive! To make things worse, it started when DH's side of the family were visiting so the stress levels were spiking!

The hospital is pro-breastfeeding, as are we, but there's a point where your needs simply outweigh your wants. We were asking for help to feed our child. More specifically, we asked them for some formula to put an end to her cries and instead they made us jump through hoops based on protocol in an attempt not to give us any! First they told us this was a typical "second night" situation and offered us a pamphlet to read (which they never actually showed us I realize now). Fine, maybe part of it was "second night", but starving was still a factor. Next they had me try their breast pump hoping I could get something to feed her with... hah! I got a tiny little drop which couldn't feed a sparrow. Next they told us to wait it out again, but after hearing her scream from about 8pm until 2am I was done. They weren't even coming to check on us anymore which was infuriating! 

Still a little wobbily, but on a mission, I found my way to the nurses station at 3am. Our nurse was on her break so I spoke to the only nurse I could find, explained our situation and asked her for formula? Her response? It's her "second night", it's normal, don't worry about it. Yeah, great way to get a new mom to go from 0 to 100 in a second! I said "look, I'm the last person who wants to give my baby formula. I want to breastfeed in the worst way, but I can't right now so I am asking for help. Second night or not, my kid is starving! She needs 1tbsp of SOMETHING and I am begging you for formula! Will you help or do we need to find a 24hr pharmacy?" and she caved... finally! She gave me 1tsp to try at first and we got a solid 40 minutes of peace. She left the formula bedside so I took it upon myself to give her 2tsp more. And that did it, she slept for close to 3 hours! Second night!?! BS!

Seriously, always trust your gut and be the advocate your child needs! Ironically, a friend of mine had formula issues a month prior at the same hospital and because of her story I told myself to pack some ready-made bottles incase. I am not sure if I forgot or just assumed it wouldn't happen to us, but from now on I will advise anyone I know expecting a child to throw a bottle in their hospital bag!

First thing in the morning someone who I believe was the head nurse came in to let us know our nurse for the day was running late. I asked if I could speak to her out in the hallway whily baby girl and DH slept. I told her what had happened the previous night and she was very apologetic. I told her I was supposed to be discharged by the afternoon but I refused to go without seeing someone about the breastfeeding trouble. She agreed and immediately put in a request to see the specialist. Finally we were getting somewhere!

The specialist showed up a couple of hours later and totally supported our actions from the previous night. In fact, she herself went and got a bottle of formula to show us some tips on how to feed her while waiting for my milk to come in! She told us some more information about formula itself, tricks on how to prepare it better and she reassured us that formula feeding is perfectly ok in the event I can't breastfeed. I felt much better after talking with her.

Our nurse for the day arrived around the same time and she was wonderful. They have such heavy rotations you never get the same nurse twice, but anyone who has her is in good hands. I needed another RHogam shot (because baby got DH's positive blood) and it hadn't been processed correctly; she chased after it. I needed prescriptions and someone had forgotten to sign; she hunted them down. She knew we were ready to get out of there and she did everything she could to make it happen faster.

Finally, after a quick look at my incision, we were discharged just before 4pm on November 24th!