In my previous post, I told Lola's birth story and wanted to continue the story by sharing our hospital experience. It was a beautiful crazy time that I will cherish always.
Holding Lola in my arms was the strangest wave of emotions that I have ever felt. I was relieved, scared, and in complete awe of God’s craftsmanship. I had never felt closer to God than in that moment. Watching and feeling life grow inside of you is a wild ride of watching His creation take place, but the actual process of birth is literally a miracle beyond understanding. As I looked at her face, I was overwhelmed by my sense of strength as well as my weakness. I felt so strong as a woman as I had just physically and mentally fought for my child, pushing her out of a portal between my legs like a friggin magical unicorn warrior. Girl power is an ACTUAL thing. However, I still felt the weakness that came with it as they kneaded out my placenta and sewed me back up. That part hurt the worst, honestly. I had decided to capsulate my placenta for the health benefits so I tried my best to focus on the prize.
They took her from me to weigh her and check her vitals and Johnny sprang into his new Dad role and followed her every move. Everything was a blur. Even thinking back on the experience to write this post it is all a bit shaky. I remember thanking the doctor and nurses and that is really about it. Suddenly, I was in a wheelchair being led to our room around 7:30. Basically that makes a whole 2 hours that are completely blank in my memory. I suppose that is to be expected after pushing a bolder out of your hooha.
We got settled into the new room and I met the nurse that would help navigate me through this new tragic world of healing. She woke me up every couple of hours to check my vitals and walk me to the restroom. I am not about to sugar-coat it, that first night of changing dressings and ice packs was absolutely terrible. I honestly commend the nurses that have to do all that because it is quite gnarly, haha. The makeshift diaper ice packs that they give you in the hospital were LITERALLY my saving grace. So much so that I made sure to leave there knowing how to make them myself. Here is a good video on how to make them (click here)
That night, we fell asleep with the TV on. I woke up to sounds of Lola cooing and Family Feud playing on the screen. I looked over at her to see she was awake watching it by herself - so content and fixated. That was the beginning of her strange love for Steve Harvey that she still holds today haha. There is really no point to sharing that other than it is just a cute memory I’ll always remember. I just couldnt believe how alert she was from the jump!
The next morning, we started allowing family members to come in one at a time to meet Lola. This is something that I do NOT recommend. I am not sure if it is because of movies or other people's expectations but society tends to believe that it is normal to have visitors in the hospital after having a baby. I am here to support the opposite idea. The time in the hospital is about you and your new little family. THAT IS IT. It is way too stressful and exhausting having all of these visitors come in and visit your baby. You literally just put your body through the craziest thing it has ever gone through you do not need to worry about having the energy to appease other people. Tell them they can wait until you get home to meet the little one. Literally, by the end of that day, I was in tears because I was so tired and moody from having no time to nap between all the nurses coming in plus all of the visitors.
To add to the craziness of that first day, we decided that night to move rooms because of a creepy mold-looking stain that was on the ceiling. We were moved to a corner room with much more space and large beautiful windows overlooking the ocean, so it ended up being a nice upgrade!
That first full day of feeding was extremely difficult for me. I never expected breastfeeding would be so painful, but, unfortunately, I suppose I was one of the lucky ones with a difficult journey ahead. Lola wasn’t latching properly and also came with a very hard suck, something I could hear her do in the womb, and immediately gave me raspberries. To make matter worse, the “very educated” lactation nurses gave me the wrong size nipple shields that I continued to use for months later, which worsened the injuries over time. I highly recommend that you see a lactation specialist outside of the hospital for continued education. The specialist I saw revealed to me that I was using a shield 2 sizes too big that entire time. I will talk more about that experience in a later post. I really wished I wouldn’t have waited until she was 2 months old to make the visit.
The next morning came quickly. The nurses came in to check her vitals and mentioned that they were concerned about the levels of bilirubin in Lola’s belly. Johnny had Jaundice when he was a baby so I wasn’t shocked to hear the doctors thought Lola might have the same thing. They had Lola under the lamp most of that day, only bringing her back for feedings. It was my first day in 9 months away from her and I remember we both missed her so much that day. I think Johnny left the room to check on her at least once an hour, haha. The lactation nurse brought in a pump for me to try and get my milk going so Lola could cleanse her belly, otherwise they were going to have to give her formula. At that time, I really did not want to give her formula. In my mind, I planned on breastfeeding and wanted so badly to be able to provide for her myself, but my body just wan’t there yet. The pump was so excruciating…I cried and cried the entire time while also fighting my first sense of “mom guilt”. Good times! We were hoping to get released that day but, even after giving her some soy formula, she still needed more “tanning sessions” the following day. So, we bunkered down and tried to be patient.
In the middle of the night, the heater went out on our floor so the entire wing was freezing. It began to snow that night so “cold” doesn’t even describe it. Poor Lola woke us up screaming and shivering. Needless to say, Johnny and I were pissed at the circumstances. The three of us bundled together in my bed and waited it out. I woke up a few hours later with a sour throat and a tickle in my throat. I did everything in my power to keep from coughing as it was obviously painful to do while healing. This is an important detail to remember for the next post.
Lola was picked up early for more testing and tanning. By this time, Johnny and I were absolutely done being there after the night we had just dealt with. I was eating and drinking everything they recommended would help things along, but her Jaundice was budging at a slow pace. So, we napped and waited.
Longest day ever. Every time they brought her back to me to feed it was like Christmas morning. She was like a ray of sunshine that entered the room and it was so hard to hand her back each time. It was around 4 PM that we were told that we were allowed to stay one more night as guests but we would not be considered patients, so we would not have nurses available to us because we had stayed our maximum days. I thought this sounded pretty absurd considering it was the doctors asking us to stay not us. We asked the nurse if there was anyway that we could continue her tanning sessions at home if we rented one of the lights. I had heard that some people were able to do that. Unfortunately, we were not given that option. We were past antsy by that point.
7PM….Lola’s last session for the day. We begged the nurse that took her to see if we could PLEASE get released and bring her home for her remaining needs. She felt bad for us and tried her best to see what they could do. She brought her back around 10 and said that if we promised to take her out in the sun that we could get discharged that night. We were so ecstatic that we didn’t even care that we were going to realistically be leaving the hospital around midnight. Part of me was too tired and sore to even think about making it work, but the other part of me just wanted to be in my own bed. So, we packed up our way too many bags, loaded up on hospital supplies, and got the heck out of there with a new little bundle of sunshine.
Thanks for sticking around to take interest in Lola and our experience it means the world! Stay tuned for more stories on my journey with breastfeeding and maneuvering around new motherhood! I hope that sharing my experiences will bring perspective and sharing what I have learned will help someone else!