Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The First Few Days of Motherhood - Part 1

The first few days of motherhood were like a dream and a blur and a whirlwind of emotions.  If you remember, we were told there was something wrong with Baby Girl’s head.  They said it was too small and that it “fused” prematurely.  Hmph.  There were so many emotions during and immediately following her birth that I was completely overwhelmed…so much so that I think I sort of shut down in many ways and totally overreacted in other ways.  It’s hard to put into words but I’m going to try.

In the recovery room I was nauseated and tired.  I had been up most of the night with contractions and stress and then had the emotional let down of having to have a c-section and then the elation of giving birth.  I was all over the place.  BJ and the on call pediatrician came in to see me to talk about what they found while examining the baby.  They found nothing wrong with her.  Not only was her head not too small but it also was not fused.  Everything was as it should be and I could not have been more relieved.  My anger at those technicians has not subsided.  I blame them for the worry and the stress and for basically ruining the last week of my pregnancy.  I also blame them for the urgency my doctor felt to get the baby out instead of giving me a few more days to see if I would go into labor on my own.  I know there is no sense in carrying this anger but right now I just can’t let it go completely.

BJ brought BG to me and I cried but I didn’t cry.  There were no tears.  I was too emotional to cry.  I held her close and looked at her little face in awe.  She had the Vaseline on her eyes and she was a little discolored but she was perfect and her warm little body felt so good in my arms.  I did a little skin to skin and tried to get her to latch and eat but we didn’t have much success on that front at that time.  There is much more on breastfeeding ahead.  I just held her and kissed her.  My sister in law came in and we ooh’ed and ahh’ed over our little bundle.  BJ was starving so he headed down to the cafeteria to get something to eat.  Just after he left the nurse came to take the baby to get her first bath.  I was upset because BJ was going to miss it.  My sister in law said she would take some pictures for us.  I also learned that the Little Guy and his mother had arrived and would be watching as well.

I drifted in and out of sleep until it was time to go to my room.  Everyone converged in our room shortly thereafter and they brought BG to me.  We tried latching again and had a brief moment of success on the right side but the left side was not really working.  I asked if I should use a pump but they said I didn’t need one at that time (early afternoon) and that we would try again later.  Hindsight is 20/20 here ladies.

I was holding the baby in my left arm and there was a nurse standing on my right side.  She said, “oh, does she have a bruise from the birth?” and pointed at a spot on her neck just under her chin.  I saw it and was immediately worried that the stress of the birth had been too much and she was somehow bruised while being taken out of me.  I touched the spot and was horrified to feel a huge lump under her skin.  The nurses touched it and so did BJ.  I was so upset at this new development that I could barely speak.  After all the worrying over her head that we did now we have this new condition to contend with.  The staff told me that BG’s pediatrician would look it over in the morning during his usual rounds and that we’d have some answers then.  Great…more worrying and stressing over the health of my child that was only a few hours old.

Everyone left and BJ and the Little Guy stayed with me for a while.  The Little Guy’s grandfather came for a visit and to take the Little Guy back to his house for the night.  I convinced BJ to go home and get some sleep in our own bed.  He didn’t want to leave but I knew how tired he was and that he’d never sleep in the chairs in the room.  I promised that I would call the nurses if I needed help getting the baby out of the bassinet (I was still confined to my bed).  Just as we were talking the nurse that was checking BG’s vitals told us that her temperature was too low and that she needed to go under the lights in the nursery.  What?  So they took her from me.  I sent BJ to look after her.  She was gone for so long that they had to finger feed her some formula…and I still did not have a pump.  We had 3 semi-failed nursing sessions by now.

She finally came back to me and we tried nursing again with little success.  The nurses promised me that the LC (lactation consultant) would come see me in the morning.  We’ll call her Betty.  BJ went home and I cried…big crocodile tears.  I was afraid to be alone with the baby.  I had never spent the night alone in a hospital.  It had been years since BJ and I slept apart.  I was a mess to say the least.  I made the best of it.  I laid her in the bed with me on her boppy and we dozed and nursed every 2-3 hours.  I was exhausted but running on adrenaline.  It was awesome.  She was so adorable in her little hat that I kept taking pictures of all her cute little faces she was making.  She had the hat on most of the time since she had been born.  I took it off and admired her full head of thick black hair.  No wonder I had heartburn so bad.  J  I put the hat back on to make sure she stayed warm and I went to sleep.


Anonymous said...

Awwww, sweet mama! I've been reading your blog for quite a while now, I'm so happy you have your sweet little miracle girl! I wonder if you may have a little bit of PTSD though, just from everything you had to go through to get where you are now. I've never gone through infertility treatments but they sound quite brutal and draining!

Anyway, be kind to yourself! You seem like a wonderful mom, baby girl is very lucky to have you:)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a lot of big stuff to get emotional about--probably common to most new mamas. Did the nursing eventually work out?