Sweet Baby J’s birth story might have been a little bit off from what I had planned, but it was our hospital stay that was really taxing on this poor momma. Sweet Baby J was almost 9 lbs at birth so he was a very hungry baby. Luckily, I was producing plenty of goodness for him but before my milk came in it was stressful.
First, if anyone tells you that establishing breastfeeding is easy then they’re lying. Secondly, you’ll realize quickly that your baby writes their own birth story in their own way. There are no two stories that are the exact same so don’t expect your story to look anything like mine, and I am no expert.
Sweet Baby J spent his first day mostly skin to skin with mommy. He had high respiration and they wanted me to control his breathing with my own. It was terrifying because his respiration was high, but it was wonderful because I got to spend so much time cuddled up with my baby. He was amazing. The first day went well until the middle of the night when the nurse had to take him to the nursery. I didn’t really know much about what was going on, and they didn’t take us with him at the time. The nurse did ask me to pump though so that they could feed the baby since he was starving. She informed they didn’t expect me to get much though since my milk wasn’t in yet. Early the next morning, they came to get my husband so he could go into the nursery with the baby. I thought they’d both be back quickly but they weren’t. I was literally crying hysterically to anyone who walked into my room. His pediatrician assured me that it looked like he would be returning to the room soon so I tried to remain calm until the lactation consultant came in to the room. She was there to help me learn to breastfeed but there was no baby. I lost it. It was at this point that she took the initiative to help me get to Sweet Baby J. It was so good to finally get to hold him and his respiration started to return to normal. He was allowed back to our room about an hour later.
I was starting to feel better about the hospital stay. They were there to take care of Sweet Baby J when he needed it most, but I was feeling anxious about the hospital stay as well. I was anxious that I didn’t know what was going on with my baby when he was away from me and that anything was wrong in the first place. I tried to relax though as he was back in our room and things appeared to be going better. All day the nurses would praise how much colostrum I had and be pleased with his input and output numbers and then at night things would fall to the nurse claiming he was so hungry. I couldn’t get him fed enough in the evening, and I was getting even more anxious. I wanted him to be able to sleep a few hours but instead I was having to wake him up almost constantly.
The third night, they came into the room and Sweet Baby J was jittering. This wasn’t looking good. I already didn’t like the night nurse and our hospital stay was becoming more and more stressful for me and here he was having an issue. Back to the nursery we went. Sweet Baby J had his blood sugar tested and it was determined it was low. At this point, my exclusively breastfed baby was going to need to be tube fed some formula. I was nervous, but I was glad that they were going to be able to help him. It was at this point that it became obvious we would have to supplement for at least a little while. He had lost 10% of his birth weight and his blood sugar had dropped. I cried so much. I felt like a failure. Why couldn’t I provide enough? Of course I felt worse because everyone was commenting on how great of a supply I had yet Sweet Baby J either refused to latch or he wouldn’t get enough while he was on the breast. It was a steep learning curve for both of us.
Our hospital stay had to be extended an extra day due to this jittering issue. I was so anxious to get out of the hospital, but I was also afraid that something would happen when I was home. The extra day ended up being great for both of us.
Finally we were allowed to come home thus ending our hospital stay and Sweet Baby J had a couple of more visits with lactation consultants including our Bradley instructor, Staci Berrey from Labor of Love Birth Services, and he now latches perfectly almost every time! Plus he’s gained 2 lbs above his birth weight. 6 weeks has made a huge difference.