Remember when I shared with you Amelie’s magical/flatulent birth story? I’m doing the classy thing by following up with gory details from our hospital stay. This is going to be an uncomfortable post for all of us.
After surgery, I was wheeled into our hospital room…a room I would spend the next four days in, mostly naked. Hubs and Amelie joined me soon after and we had our very first breastfeeding session when Amelie was less than an hour old. I say that as if I had any idea how to do it but how hard could it be? (Really hard). With the help of a nurse, we got Amelie to suckle for a while and then she snoozed on me – skin to skin. It was the best.
It was a busy time. The first day melted by because we were checking in with family, taking an obscene amount of photos of Lil Bit and her blonde-tipped hair, getting checked out by the nurses, doctors, pediatrician, and anesthesiologist, sending out the email birth announcement to anyone that would listen, and breastfeeding again and again and again (and so on). I sat in bed the entire day and filled my catheter bag like a champ.Aren’t you just a tiny bit impressed?
Then night time rolled around. The anesthesia started to wear off. Blech. I itched everywhere, even inside my nose (that’s hard to get to). Between the Mom-Diaper (because even with a c-section, it’s scary down there), the IVs (I had three), the catheter, bloating in my bowels, my temperature fluctuating wildly from sweaty to clammy, the itching, and oh-hey-you’ve-been-sliced-open-and-a-human-taken-out-of-you, I was incredibly uncomfortable. It was the total yucks. At one point I had to ask the nurse for an extra diaper change and it wasn’t for Amelie. To add to the unpleasantness of it all, two women labored on both sides of us (with generous amounts of wailing and screaming) and Amelie cried all night between feeds. It was brutal. How can one sleep anyway worrying over the miracle stirring next to them?
But, we survived – all three of us! I was so stoked.
The next morning (Day 2), I felt energized. I was a Mom! We got flowers and loads of well wishes from friends and family. They took my catheter out (which felt like a strong “pinch”), I slapped on makeup, made a few phone calls, caught up on Facebook, and we even got out for a walk to show off, of course.
But in truth, I was really hurting. That lap around the hospital floor was almost the end of me. I could not get in and out of bed without Hubs help. The incision was not what hurt the most – it was my belly. My abdomen was swollen and my skin was ridiculously tender. I couldn’t twist to grab my phone off the bedside table. I couldn’t lift my jug of water. I couldn’t lift Amelie – she was always handed to me. So I sat in bed. Like an idiot, I had turned down Percoset (for seemingly rational reasons at the time) and was surviving on Ibuprofen alone. My bowels were still massively bloated. My butt hurt from being propped in bed (I feared my booty poppin’ days were over!). Between that and the breastfeeding (OWIE) it was an exceptionally rough day. I ditched that stupid hospital muumuu (so nothing could rub against my sore boobs) and waddled around in only my Mom-Diaper and hospital underwear.
(I had Hubs take a picture of how high the Mom-Diaper went up the back too but I think I’ve shared enough for one day/lifetime.)
My entire day was completely consumed with breastfeeding (which took an army of help each time) and slathering on nipple cream in between feeds. Little Miss Amelie and I were so frustrated with it all. It was hard.
The nurse shift changed at 7pm. I was in a lot of pain and very tired. Our new nurse, Jody, surprised me with a very special gift…a butt donut!
As evening set, Hubs handed Amelie over for another feed. While I tried to get her situated, her skinny arms started to flail, her face contorted and her eyes froze with panic. I realized soon enough, my baby was choking and couldn’t breathe! Her little body was fighting. She was fighting for air right in front of me and I couldn’t save her. I have never ever felt so helpless. (Thinking back on this moment still makes me weep.)
“HELP HER!” I croaked. It took every ounce of strength I had to lift her back to Hubs. He ran around frantically and called our nurse. Nurse Jody scooted in, turned Amelie on her side and suctioned her airway. Amelie gasped a big breath. I know this is dramatic of me but she saved my Amelie. I fell back in my bed and cried.
As an aside: Babies born via c-section often have more amniotic fluid in their lungs because they didn’t take the trip down the birth canal, where much of it gets squeezed out. They can often choke and gag on it and need to be watched carefully.
That night, we opted to let Nurse Jody take Amelie to the nursery so we could get some sleep in between feeds. I felt guilty about it since it was only the second day of Amelie’s life and I was already handing her over. But knowing that Nurse Jody was watching Amelie comforted me. She’d bring her in from the nursery and stand by my bed through each feed, gently nudging Amelie to keep at it.
For me, that night was a breakthrough regarding breastfeeding. When Nurse Jody came to bid farewell at 7am that next morning, I reached out to her from my bed and through snot and tears I thanked her for helping me take care of my baby. She promised she’d be back that night.
Day 3 (omg, are we only on Day 3!?!) came and went all very similar to the day before except for two major differences.
- I started taking the Percoset to help with my pain. Wow, that was a game changer. Finally, I could get out of bed!
- My milk came in that evening. And that was like, WHOA.
It was so exciting to see milk leaking out onto my feet! I was amazed! Our lady bits are truly magnificent! After a short nap though, I woke up to boobs the size of planets. They were rock hard and as you can imagine, they hurt like hell. As if breastfeeding isn’t already painful enough?
That night, Nurse Jody took Amelie to the nursery again and only popped in for feedings or to dole out my meds. Here’s a crappy picture of the three of us. By then, my boobs had swallowed my neck so Hubs did the right thing and cropped me out.
Day 4 arrived shortly there after (duh). Hubs was stir crazy and exhausted so he headed out to make a Target run and to put the nursery back together. Remember we had started on the quarter round the weekend before? As he waited for the last coat of paint to dry on the quarter round, he fell fast asleep.
Meanwhile at the hospital, I chatted on the phone, loved on Amelie and put on real clothes for the first time in days!
Soon enough, I retreated back to the hospital undies because it hurt way too much.
The night of Day 4, I decided to keep Amelie with us instead of sending her to the nursery. I wanted to try the night feedings by myself. We were planning to go home the next morning so I figured I could use the practice. It went well although I was up all night listening to her every breath. Isn’t it cruel that a newborn’s breathing is erratic? It makes for petrified and sleepless moms.
Although our care was excellent, I was fed up with the shift changes and the constant commotion. We only had one set of visitors during our entire stay but I felt like we were never left alone! I yearned to go home and enjoy THE QUIET.
The sun rose on Day 5, along with a pretty fabulous snowstorm. We got our discharge papers and orders, they pulled out my staples (which was painless) and we got ready to go home. FINALLY.
There have been three pivotal moments in my life:
- Making/meeting Amelie. Because ZOMG she is my little lady love.
- Marrying my Hubs. Sappy, I know.
- My first POSTPARTUM POO. That happened on Day 5.
I’ll spare you the details but there was panting and praying that gravity would do its thing because heaven knows I didn’t have the means to push. I have never felt so relieved (literally) and triumphant in my entire life.
The end, thanks for reading.