After Jolee was delivered, we had to spend 2 1/2 days in the hospital.
Day 1 was essentially great.
I got to meet Jolee.
After I gave birth, we did immediate skin to skin. I had a second degree tear so they went straight to sewing me up. Let me tell you, this is not comfortable at all. Even though I had just given birth with no medication, the pain of being sewed up is awful. I felt like I could not fully enjoy skin to skin with Jolee until she was finished sewing me up. As soon as she was done, she congratulated us and went about her business.
Right after she was done sewing me up, I got her to latch on. That was the quickest I had ever gotten a baby to latch after birth. She ate really good. I was so happy.
I am not sure how much time had passed, but it was already time for us to go to our room where we would spent the duration of our time in the hospital. I was dreading getting out of bed, even though all I had to do was walk like 3 steps to a wheelchair. It was rough and painful.
When we got to our room it was about lunch time and I was ready to eat and I was ready for a nap! I, of course, only ate. No way in hell was I about to take a nap.
Overall we had an uneventful day 1.
We didn’t have any visitors until that night. It was Scott’s parents, the girls, and my close friend. I was glad that was all we had because I was exhausted.
It was time for bed before we knew it and I was ready. We put Jolee in the little crib/bassinet they provide for you and went to sleep. We both got 4 hours of sleep! I couldn’t believe it. I felt like a new person.
My pain level on day 1 was actually pretty awful.
I felt like my pelvic region was splitting in half.
I could barely walk. I could not get out of the bed by myself. It was pretty unbearable. I had to rely on Scott for a lot. I’m very independent in general, so having to rely on someone just hurts my soul. I’m really bad at asking for help when I need it.
On day 2, we actually expected to go home. The doctor even told us that as long as everything was fine, there should be no issue with us being released. She was nursing well. She was having appropriate wet and dirty diapers; I was SURE we would be able to home today.
At some point, they checked her bilirubin levels for janudice. She was a little yellow, but my other kids probably had a touch of this too. It’s very common in breastfed babies. Day 2 is kind of the in between for your milk. The first day is the rich colostrum, but then on Day 2, it’s like the baby is ready for milk, and my milk always comes in on Day 3.
Overnight on Day 2, they always cluster feed to help your milk come in and I wanted to be home for this, in my bed, not in the hospital bed.
Her bilirubin levels came back on the borderline of jaundice.
They kept telling me that it wasn’t enough to put her under the lamp, but it was enough to retest and keep an eye on it. I immediately asked if we would have to stay another night, and they said yes.
Basically in order for their bilirubin levels to regulate, they have to poop it out. Again, she was meeting her wet and dirty diaper count, so I wasn’t concerned. I knew when my milk come in, she would be perfectly fine.
The nurse suggested I supplement with formula to help.
I immediately declined.
It wasn’t something I was interested in. I didn’t feel I was putting her in danger by not supplementing. I knew when my milk came in everything would regulate. In the meantime, I made it a point to nurse every 1 1/2 – 2 hours to help increase her chances of having more wet and dirty diapers. She was still getting the colostrum that her body needed.
During all our hospital stay, my pain level continued to worsen.
I basically had to beg for some pain medicine for some relief. It was still localized in my pelvic region. In today’s world with the opioid epidemic, they do everything in their power not to give you pain medicine. I had been taking norco every 4 hours, but I was asking for percocets overnight on day 2. They had to call my doctor and get it approved for me to take the percocets. I only took two the whole time I was in the hospital.
Scott was still having to help me do everything.
I literally couldn’t walk, it was more of a shuffle. If my legs came apart or I took a wrong step, pain would shoot through my pelvic area.
We settled in for the night and I was prepared to nurse all night long. Before we went to bed that night the nurse came in and told me they would need to come in and draw my blood and take her down to the nursery to do her labs and check her bilirubin levels…at 4:00 a.m.
That night she nursed from 12:00 a.m. – 4:00 .am.
I was becoming increasingly tired and I was counting down the minutes until 4:00 a.m. came so they could take her to the nursery and I could get like 30 minutes of sleep. They didn’t end up coming until 4:30 a.m. and I was more than ready. They drew my blood, and they took her, I lowered my bed, and went to sleep.
I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and she wasn’t in the room yet. About 15 minutes later, they wheeled her in. The nurse explained to me they didn’t have the results of her bilirubin yet, but while she was down there, they did check her blood sugar and it was low. It was 43. The nurse said she was going to check it again in the room to make sure the reading was accurate. When she checked it again, it was 45.
She explained to me this was too low and I needed to consider supplementing with formula.
I declined yet again.
I feel like we live in a world where they push breastfeeding on you so incredibly much, and then the moment something goes wrong, they want you to supplement? It makes no sense to me.
The nurse exited and explained she would be back in the room soon because it was shift change.
I began to cry a lot. I felt helpless.
During all of this Scott was snoring his little heart out in the bed next to me. He didn’t hear any of this.
When they came back in the room I was still crying, but trying to keep it together. They pleaded with me to supplement with formula and I said no.
About 5 minutes later, they brought in a neonatal doctor.
Scott woke up at this time. The neonatal doctor began explaining to me the dangers of her blood sugar being low. He said at 44 hours old, they expected to see her blood sugar at 50. And it was at a 45. He said this could have lasting effects on her brain and cause brain damage.
He gave me an ultimatum, essentially, either give her formula or they were going to stick an IV in her.
I really lost it then.
I didn’t feel that either were necessary.
The doctor kept asking me why I was crying. He kept reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. But he told me I needed to make a decision.
I obviously opted for formula.
Some people may wonder why I was so hell bent on not giving her formula.
My personal stance on formula is, I know it’s necessary in some cases to feed a baby. If I was not producing any milk, I know that formula is there to save my baby’s life and feed her and help her grow. BUT, I was making colostrum and milk and I KNEW that formula was not necessary in this case. It was just so frustrating. I felt backed into a corner. I did not like the feeling of being giving an ultimatum when it came to my child when I felt it was a very unnecessary ultimatum.
From there, in order to get out of the hospital, we had to have 3 good blood sugar tests and 1 good bilirubin test.
I felt so defeated.
I just wanted to go home with my new baby.
The nurse brought in formula for us to feed her. After I nursed her, the nurse fed her 20 ml’s which = .6 of an ounce. At this time, my milk had come in, so she was getting milk now and not colostrum anymore.
They tested her sugar and it was 53. I whole heartedly believe the formula did not make it go up that much.
The next two times I nursed her, Scott fed her and only gave her 10 ml’s which equated to another .6 ounces…which totaled a whopping 1.2 ounces of formula.
Her next two blood sugars were 58 and 63.
When they tested her the last time for the blood sugar, they also took enough blood to test her bilirubin. Unfortunately, this was not a fast test. They had to take it to the lab and they said it could take an hour or two, sometimes more or less depending on how busy they were. From what we gathered, they were pretty busy.
I pretty much cried the entire day.
I wasn’t really sure why. Everything was fine. Jolee was fine. I think my emotions just kinda overcame me. I had a 2 day old that they took blood from about 6 times in the past 10 hours, I was still in pretty bad pain from delivering her, I felt overwhelmed with all of the information they were feeding me, I felt like my voice didn’t matter when it came to some important decisions involving my newborn, I’m sure my hormones were out of control.
I would be okay, and then I would just start crying again. I told Scott that I didn’t know what was going on, but I just needed to get through today and get home and then I would be okay. But for the moment, I couldn’t control the crying or emotions.
We waited about 3 hours and the nurse came in and told us that her results were fine and we could go home. She already had all of our discharge paperwork ready for us.
Scott had to go down and get the car seat from the car and when he did the nurse stayed back and talked to me.
She was concerned because of my emotions and crying and my chart had noted that I suffered with severe postpartum depression and anxiety in the past.
She basically just wanted to make sure I was okay.
I told her I was okay but I was just feeling overwhelmed and I felt like I was given an ultimatum that I wasn’t comfortable with. She was the same nurse who had recommended I supplement with formula.
In the moment, she truly did empathize with me.
We exchanged some similar stories and it made me realize she was just doing her job. And inside, I knew that all along.
She wished me well and exited the room. Scott came back in about that time along with another nurse who had a wheelchair to cart me down to the truck.
I was so happy to be going home with Scott and Jolee.