Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Saga of Baby - The Scary Part

There is absolutely no way I could give every detail about the ensuing days in the hospital because I was sleep deprived and emotionally unstable, so here's a synopsis of the scary shit that happened next.

We ended up in the hospital for essentially three days after baby was born--24 hours is the standard for releasing mommies back into the wild with their newborns. At first it was just that the pediatrician thought she could use some extra recovery time. (I'd had a lot of drugs. Really good drugs.)

Then it turned into something else. She wouldn't freaking eat.

Mr. Clean and I are pigs. Well, that may be a slight over-exaggeration, but not by much. So how this kid came out and would not eat was baffling. I have a feeling it was in large part due to the drugs because she would simply fall asleep at my boob every time I tried to feed her. Most of the time she would latch but then she wouldn't suck. It was the weirdest thing and eventually it became a scary thing because she lost a lot of birth weight. Although it's typical to lose some, she lost too much--at least 10% is when the doctors become concerned. She went from 7lbs 13oz to 7lbs 0.6oz between Monday evening (when she was born) and Wednesday evening, when we were transferred to the pediatric unit of the hospital.

I have never been so emotional. It still makes me tear up and want to cry again just thinking about the whole thing. There were several nurses that were trying to help with breastfeeding from the get go, but all the "help" began to wear on me. Plus, several of the different nurses and lactation consultants were actually giving different instructions or advice, so it was overwhelming and confusing.

Once we'd been transferred to the pediatric unit, we were put on a routine where she had to eat every two hours. This meant I was to try breastfeeding for 30 minutes, then feed her formula if she wouldn't breastfeed (which she wouldn' bottle feeding took about 30 minutes), then I would have to pump for 15 minutes. After that I had to wash the pumping equipment and then maybe pee and get to squeeze in a 30 minute nap. We did that from about 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night to like 12:00 p.m. the next day. I was going out of my mind. However, in the back of my mind was I am NOT letting them put a feeding tube in you. Yes, the nurse and the doctor had mentioned this as a possibility if she wouldn't gain weight. No pressure or anything. Jesus, I was a mess when I heard that...and every time I let the possibility slip into the forefront of my mind.

Finally at some point on Thursday, one of the lactation consultants decided that feeding her every two hours and not getting any sleep was CRAZY and pushed it to every three hours. That may not seem like much, but it was a HUGE relief. I had been going on basically no sleep and so was Mr. Clean. We were EXHAUSTED and VERY EMOTIONAL and the nurses and doctors could tell. I think I got to nap for a whole hour at that point. It was glorious.

Thursday afternoon they weighed Baby again to see if she'd gained anything. We were on pins and needles. We wanted to take her home so badly--to get out of that god forsaken hospital and become real people again. And we desperately wanted to hear that she was healthy. (Doesn't every mom want to hear that?) The results...she'd gained 4.4 ounces in just 12 hours. We were ecstatic. Surely this had to mean we could go home! But we had to wait for the on call pediatrician to tell give us the final word.

Luckily, he agreed that she was ready to go home. Besides that, she needed to be out of his "dirty ward" with all the germs and unhealthy children. She was a healthy baby and didn't belong there anymore. HELL YES! We were going home!

Baby eats plenty now. My milk came in about day five, so we could stop supplementing with formula and give her breast milk. She still would not take the breast so I gave up and we bottle feed. (I have to pump which blows but I am willing to make the sacrifice for her cute little butt.) It's fine with me because it's so convenient, plus it also allows her to bond with Mr. Clean during feedings.  (He is so damn good with her. It's freaking adorable.) As proof of her chunkiness, she was at 8 lbs 6 oz at her two week visit and I am pretty sure she's gained plenty more since then.

And, as if on cue, guess who's hungry?


VandyJ said...

Congrats on surviving that scary time. And hey, as long as she's healthy do what works. I bet she's just too cute.

Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, I can so relate to this! When Sprite was born, everything went fine the first two days so we thought. She didn't eat much, but the doctors and nurses said it was normal. Then we brought her home and noticed that she slept. A LOT. Would not wake up to eat, not crying like we were told newborns should. We supplemented with formula and pumped since she wouldn't latch. The day after we brought her home, we were back in the ER since she was spitting up everything we fed her and still not eating, still sleeping deeply. She ended up back in the peds ward for another 3 days with jaundice. Scariest time since I felt like I wasn't being told everything. Finally, we were let go and she "woke up" and started acting like the baby she was supposed to.
And three weeks later, after a lot of frustration and effort, she finally latched on and I could stop pumping so much. Glad she's okay now!

gretchen said...

Congrats on everything! While we managed to be able to breastfeed, I do identify with all this to some extent, because my son NEVER gained weight as quickly as the doctors thought he should. They worried and worried, and scared me to death. But the truth? He just doesn't have a big appetite. He was a giant baby (8lb.11oz.) because I ATE SO DAMNED MUCH during my pregnancy. And once he was eating according to HIS appetite, he kind of leveled off. He's now 6, and totally healthy, and just doesn't eat much.

Heather said...

Wow, what a welcome to parenthood! It's hard enough in the beginning without adding in what you went through. I'm glad she is ok...feeding tube would've freaked me the hell out too. I'm very impressed that you are pumping...I'm way too lazy and if in a similar situation I probably would've resorted to formula.