Nipple cream and other musings

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 WAS A MESS.I’m so sorry, did that just happen? I heard you gasp. I should have warned you.

(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.)

Let’s all take a deep breath and try to move on? This will help.

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.

Amelie was covered in a newborn rash and her eyes were swollen shut from the drops they gave her at birth. Poor thing.

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!

A reenactment of how I felt:It was the best donut I’ve ever had!

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.

  1. I started taking the Percoset to help with my pain. Wow, that was a game changer. Finally, I could get out of bed!
  2. 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.

23 thoughts on “Nipple cream and other musings

  1. God bless you Candace for having the words to describe the experience of those early days… and so eloquently too!!! I only wish I had been more supportive having just been through same. For my penance, going forward, you are welcome to call me any time of day/night should you have any questions, a need to compare notes, or to fret about any and all things baby… I mean it. Hugs to you three!!!

    • Oh, Voke. Thank you, thank you. I may need to take you up on that phone call! How come babies are so complicated!?

  2. The first two nights I couldn’t imagine being on our own with the baby. But by the 3rd and 4th nights, I just couldn’t take the hospital (and constant interruptions) any longer and wanted nothing more than to take my two ladies home.

    I was so impressed by the candace during our hospital stay. Despite all the discomfort and pain from the surgery, she was such a tender, patient and loving mom to our little Amelie from the very first moment.

  3. Love your synopsis of those early moments…funny how they seem kind of far away already! Amelie is so fortunate to have both you and Zack. An incredibly amazing, hard and beautiful experience that you handled with grace and humor too. Thanks for sharing…Although I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t an incision picture… :)

    • Oh, you know me. I have way too much modesty to show off my c-section scar since it’s so “low”, if you can imagine? You can?

  4. Oh, those hospital days. It’s all kind of a blur, so good job putting it all down. I hope you are headed towards weeks 10-12 when things finally start to make a bit more sense, even though you are still questioning every decision. Something miraculous happens at month 3, I think. Wish you had been in MN last week so we could share hurting boob stories and the bliss of gel nipple pads….get some if you haven’t already!

    • You are so right, the 10-12 week mark has been magical! Things are so much better and much more enjoyable. I wish we could have coincided our trips home to MN too – that would be quite the reunion with our little girls!

  5. Moms should just be referred to as super women. Did it make you want to call your mom and thank her for everything? Glad everything turned out great. Oh, and you might start a fashion trend with the Mom-Diapers :)

    • I know, it makes you appreciate your own mom for sure! I have loads of extra “mom panties” that the hospital sent home with me. Think I can sell them on ebay or something?

  6. I don’t know you (other than everything you say on your blog, which is a lot haha) So maybe its more like you just don’t know me. I went to college with Emily and one day stumbled upon your blog and have been hooked ever since. But anyways, I read your blog often because its hilarious and so honest. Both things I appreciate. My little guy is almost 2 but I can’t help but to totally relate to this blog post. It is pretty much identical to my scenario. Ugly and rough and should definitely come with some sort of badge. I can say it gets better every week out from delivery. Here at 2 years its great! Enjoy those baby snuggles while you can. Every though my guy is pretty petite I still can’t fathom him being able to be snuggled like a baby and I swear I only blinked. Congrats on the cute bundle and I will try to not be a stalker who hides as much anymore 😉

    • Melissa! I’m so honored and all blushy from your comment! Seriously, you made my day. Congratulations on your little man, you made it to 2 years already! Please don’t be a stranger. I was sweaty thinking about publishing this post so I’m glad this resonated with you and inspired you to comment.

  7. Oh my goodness. My little modest thecandace in a mom’s diaper on the internet – LOL . How will this look on a resume? You crack me up. Have a grand weekend. lv mamap

    • I KNOW. You have no idea how many times I put that picture in and took it out. I worried that the internet would use it as blackmail sometime down the road but then realized that it’s the truth, so I guess I can’t be too scared?

  8. I love how honest & REAL you are. Having never been in labor, the whole birth/labor thing is a bit of a mystery. And a little scary. I so appreciate how candid you are (and humorous). And yes – Moms ARE SUPERHERO’S (a hundred times over!)

    PS – I can’t believe you put a picture of you in a diaper on the internet! :-)

    • I know! I try not to think about it! I’ve always considered birth and labor a mystery too…still kinda do since I didn’t really labor! And I’ve always been super curious about what a “deflated” baby bump looks like so I figured you folks might be wondering the same? It’s a whole lot of squishy now but not quite as puffy. Sexy, huh?
      Thank you for the sweet sweet comment!

    • It wasn’t overly romantic, that’s for sure. I’m thankful you appreciate my story, it feels good to share it and get such supportive positive feedback.

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  10. Lovely write up Candace…so truthful and so helpful to ALL moms, new and experience.

    PS. I wish I had taken a pic of my momma diaper as mine was different. Mayo gives us pantyhose like undies that are more like men’s boxer briefs and uber thin and stretchy that a gigantic pad that is about 2 1/2 feet long and 8 inches wide is stuck onto…on and then a pack of ice that is wrapped in paper towel like wrapping that is about 8 inches long and 3 inches wide….oh yes…the ice pack feels wonderfully down under 😉 but is very scarry with the mom diaper and panties 😉 Kudos for being brave and sharing your story, truth and all! Love ya girl!

    • I BET that ice pack feels amazing after a vaginal birth! I can only imagine. I held my breath before publishing this post so I’m very thankful that you could relate! How have your hospital stays been different with each of your babies? Or do they all kind of blur together now?

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