Who Should You Invite to the Hospital?
Everyone, no one or just certain people. It is completely up to you and your significant other to decide who you want to invite to the hospital. Whether or not you want friends or family or anyone to visit you after your baby is born. Labour and delivery are not easy or pretty by any means, and it is frankly exhausting. In addition to being exhausted, I was in pain from the stitches, medicated and nauseous and just feeling extra hormonal.
My husband and I decided, during one of the many talks leading up to my induction, that we didn’t want to have anyone except for our immediate families come visit us after our son was born. This is a personal decision and you should not feel bad about it.
We wanted our first 24 hours to be spent as a new family of three and for our parents and siblings to be the only ones visiting us and sharing this special time with us.
As soon as we settled in at my in-laws place, we invited our friends and family over. It was so nice but my emotions were all over the place and everytime I stood up, I literally had to brace myself as my uterus continued to contract and decontract.
After you have had the privilege of holding your little baby in your arms and doing skin to skin and perhaps even getting a few hours of sleep the time will come when you’ve been checked and cleared to leave.
Once you are discharged from the hospital and you’re no longer surrounded by nurses and doctors, who are checking in on you and your baby, reality starts to set in. You are now responsible for this tiny human and life that you have created and birthed.
My family came to visit us and we shared some quality time together. They were so excited to meet our son. It was unreal how raw the pain was just hours after giving birth (a feeling that I will never forget).
Pregnancy and giving birth was the most exhilarating and terrifying experience rolled into one. The moment the pregnancy test turned positive, the worry began. All throughout pregnancy then labour then birth and every single second after.
I was on some anti-nauseants and IV’s to make sure I wasn’t getting dehydrated. I couldn’t eat for more than 24 hours after giving birth…which made me nauseous and dizzy and a tad annoyed on top of being pretty hormonal.
Can I just say, it was like night and day; the nurses in the Labour and Delivery Unit were AMAZING BEYOND WORDS, the nurses in the Mother and Baby Unit were the total opposite! It was upsetting but I just lay in my bed staring at my son pressing the page button over and over again, in hopes that at least one nurse would be able to tend to me. Whenever we did get a nurse, they weren’t very helpful. One nurse, in particular, was quite rude. She was too lazy to change my IVs so she tried to take a shortcut and instead of inserting another needle to add the IV she tried to add more tubes to the existing fluids. I was so exhausted and so out of it that I rested when my baby did. I felt something cold on my side and woke up to find that my gown was soaked. I was confused and didn’t know what was happening. I lifted my hand up to page the nurse and realized that two of the IV tubes were leaking all over me. Although we were lucky enough to get the last room in the Mother and Baby unit, we were put into a semi-private room with a couple who had given birth several hours before me. Exhausted and looking forward to getting some rest, we realized that the other couple had taken our pillows (luckily I had brought my own), table and chair and added it to their side.
There was a stiff chair that didn’t recline properly and no bed, and so I sent my husband home to get some sleep. He was laying next to me as I was screaming in pain from the nonstop contractions I experienced for about 13 hours after being induced. We were discharged the next morning and off to my in-law’s house.
The first night was rough, my husband and I were in awe, super excited but also exhausted. My milk hadn’t come in yet so we fed Isaac with the formula that the hospital provided. My sister who had her daughter about 4.5 months prior had frozen some of her breastmilk so we supplemented with that along with the formula.
The next morning we had an appointment at the Mother and Baby Follow Up Unit to get tips on breastfeeding and to make sure baby was latching correctly. I confidently showed the nurses how I breastfed my son and they were happy with me and told me to just continue to do that. They explained that if I wanted to improve the breastfeeding to supplement with a tube feeding and finger tube feeding. Let’s just say they made it look so easy. ‘So you just take a piece of tape stick it on the wall, pour in the milk/formula, line the holes up to baby’s mouth, either on your finger or your breast and tada…he will start sucking and getting milk/formula. The thing with newborns is their stomachs are so tiny that they need to feed every 1.5 to 2 hours and when they aren’t eating they are most likely sleeping or getting ready to eat again. So I proudly went home and did my thing. I fed him like a champ from bottle and boob.
Until one day my baby wasn’t eating, he wasn’t latching, and he was super gassy and cranky. I tried to use the feeding tube on my breast, so that he could latch. I don’t know what it was, maybe the lack of sleep and the raging hormones but it was so frustrating. Sometimes my baby would swing his little hand against the tube and the milk tube would fall off the wall and all the milk in it. Other times, I would hit the tube and the holes would never line up properly so my baby would have a tube in his mouth but not be getting any milk. It was a miserable cycle and I took to breastfeeding horribly. I cried most nights, along with my son; feeling defeated because I couldn’t get him to eat.
When the midwife came over for his 6-day checkup she told me that he wasn’t gaining enough weight and hadn’t reached his birth weight yet. This made me sad and I had a small case of baby blues. Postpartum blues and/or depression is real and it sucks! I was so happy because my son was finally here but I was so sad because I felt like I was already failing as a mother.
Things I never knew about Breastfeeding
- Your breast/boob changes shape as colostrum and milk comes in
- Engorged boobs can be painful
- It takes a few days for supplements to adjust – I took Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle supplements
- Breastfeeding clinics For the Win – I went three different times and I walked out each time feeling more confident than the last
- Nursing pads are a must – I tried the Johnson and Lansinoh brands – there are pros and cons to both
- You can have multiple letdowns and this is good for pumping – I purchased an electric breast pump and a manual one – I prefer the manual one
- Drinking a lot of water helps your supply – breastfeeding makes you thirsty
- I could physically feel my stomach emptying when my son nurses – like my nutrients are being given to him – it’s weird yet amazing
- You will be hungry so make sure you eat relatively healthy and eat enough
- There are certain foods that help increase your milk supply and ones that decrease it.
Stay tuned for my next post where I cover the first month with our baby boy!
Stay strong and beautiful!