Catching Up

Following straight on from my Birth Story, they brought in some tea and toast (where did this tradition come from?!) but I needed a couple of stitches and the midwife didn’t want me to eat before she did it incase I threw up over her! I had to pass my son to his dad while she did my stitches (I literally had to force myself to let go!)
The midwife told me to take gas and air (finally I got to use it after not getting round to it in actual labour!) and to be honest I’m still not sure I needed it. She had given me local anaesthetic so all I could feel was a bit of tugging. Eventually I was all sewn up and allowed to eat my toast! The gas and air however had given me a tingly feeling down my arms. I mentioned this to the midwife who looked very confused and told me this was not a side effect she knew of. Thinking back I seem to remember getting that feeling after the last time I used it, but at the time there was too much else going on to think about it. Maybe I should steer clear of gas and air in future!

After tea and toast we dressed Jackson and my mum went home to get some sleep. Jacksons dad stayed to look after him while I went to get a shower. It felt amazing, getting clean after three days in hospital and a sweaty labour. It was the first time I had got to properly see my post baby belly as well, and my was that a shock. I still looked about 30 weeks pregnant, but it felt like a semi deflated balloon! Once I was clean and dressed I headed out to see my son again.

Eventually the mornings midwife came in and asked how much I had weed (random) I told her I hadn’t and she then informed me that I had half an hour until it was 6hours after I had given birth and that if I hadn’t weed 200ml in that time I’d have to have a catheter put in. I told her that it wasn’t that I couldn’t wee just that I’d only had a cup of tea since giving birth and that’s not even 200ml in itself! She brought me another jug of water and told me to drink it in half an hour and pee otherwise she wouldn’t have a choice. I spent the next half an hour desperately drinking 2 jugs of water rather than bonding with my son. I still hate the midwife (or atleast the hospital rules) for that. I then went to the toilet and only managed a little. There was no way the water could have gone through me that quickly. The midwife eventually listened to me and allowed me to be transferred to the ward without having weed (I later showed them by doing 700ml and avoiding a catheter)

Before we were transferred the lady came round to check his hearing and everything came back clear (after she had removed a load of gunk from his ears!)

I had been told that I was being transferred to the ward only to allow them to sort out my medication to take home, however I ended up spending 2 days there awaiting a paediatrician to check Jackson over!
As soon as I arrived, and he knew where we were, Jacksons dad left to go get some sleep and I closed the curtains to feed as this seemed to be what everyone else on the ward had done and honestly I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, but before I’d even got started the midwife had pulled the curtains open telling me that curtains were to remain open otherwise it got too hot, ignoring the fact that out of the 6 beds another 4 had theirs shut! So I sat attempting to feed him in plain view of everyone feeling a right fool.
After latching on and feeding so beautifully straight after birth we had a few issues with feeding, not that any of the midwives noticed or helped, despite the curtains being open! It got to the point early the first day that he was screaming and screaming and I assume he just wasn’t getting anything. Eventually a volunteer came round and told me how to hand express some, but not being a midwife she wasn’t allowed to touch me to show me so she demonstrated on a knitted boob. She gave me a syringe to collect it and left me to have a go. Obviously not producing milk yet I wasn’t producing much, but I managed to express four drops which didn’t even reach a measurement mark on the syringe! I felt so silly but she told me to give it to him anyway. Within a few minutes though he had thrown that back up!
A midwife came round and asked when I had last fed him and for how long. No one had told me to remember this so I hadn’t been taking note! I ummed and guessed and she left again, then the next time she walked past I had just finished feeding and she asked in a rather condescending tone whether I had called anyone to tell them he was feeding. Again no one had told me I should, so of course, I hadn’t!
The only other ‘help’ that I got in regards to breastfeeding was a midwife coming round when I was feeding, walking up to me asking if I was feeding (no I have my boob out for no reason) then she glanced at him, said that he was latched on ok and walked off to make a note in my book.

Towards the end of the first day, I was still expecting to go home until the paediatrician came round to do his checks. Everything was going well until he listened to his heart and told me he heard a murmur. Obviously at this I panicked a bit, but he assured me that it was fairly common and would likely disappear in a few hours but he would order a few extra tests just incase, then check again the next day so I would be staying over night.
Later that evening tea arrived just as they prepared to take him to have his tests. The midwives tried to persuade me to stay and eat ‘you need to eat because you’re breastfeeding’ but there was no way I was letting my less than 24hour old baby out of my sight. NO WAY. After two of them had tried to persuade me to stay and eat they realised that was not going to happen so they let me go with him. We were taken to the NICU and left with the nurses there. They checked his blood pressure in all four limbs and his oxygen levels. I talked to the nurses there about Effy-Mae (a subject that always comes up when someone asks if this is my first baby) and grumbled about the midwives trying to get me to let them take him on his own and they totally got it, it’s a shame that not all hospital staff understand that not all mums are comfortable with letting their newborn babies out of their sight! Jackson screamed when they did his blood pressure, but quickly calmed down when I was allowed to cuddle him after. All his results came back perfect and they were pleased and hopeful that they wouldn’t hear the murmur next time he was checked. The midwife was called to take us back and she spent the whole journey back trying to tell me that they would have been back to take my food away by now – we couldn’t have been more than 15 minutes and they normally give an hour or so to eat so I knew she was being stupid (she didn’t know I’d spent 3 days there already and knew how things happened!) as expected my dinner was still there when we returned and she quickly left me alone to eat it.
That evening I had to leave Jackson alone while I went to the toilet and brushed my teeth but I have never tried to be quicker (easier said than done now the anaesthetic had worn off and peeing hurt my stitches!) but it was almost physical pain to leave him on his own. When I got back he didn’t seem to have stirred which made me feel a bit better but the next morning I waited for a visitor to arrive before I ventured to the toilet.

The next day all I was waiting for was for them to recheck his heart and test his thyroid, but I ended up waiting for an entire day! I spent the day with visitors coming at visiting times and the rest of the day feeding and bonding with my son. I noticed that all the other mothers left their baby’s in the cribs by their beds while they read or slept, but I couldn’t put him down, I spent the day cuddling him and just staring at him! Eventually the paediatrician came and checked him at 5pm! They checked him over for symptoms of an overactive thyroid and couldn’t see any, they pointed out that he was slightly jaundiced, but that the midwife would keep an eye on this as it wasn’t too severe. She also listened for a murmur and thankfully reported that she couldn’t hear one so he got the all clear. She booked us in to be checked for thyroid symptoms again in a week, and then she went and told the midwife to discharge us! I was finally going to take my son home!

I spent the entire car journey looking at him, so tiny, in the car seat, feeling the whole time like I was stealing a baby!

The midwife came three times over the next few days and checked my stitches, weighed him a couple of times and did his heel prick test, which he didn’t enjoy. His weight went down from his birth weight of 7lb 9oz to 7lb 3oz on day 3 but by day 5 he was already back up to 7lb 6oz! After day 5 I was asked if I could go to the clinic on day 10 for our last visit, at which he weighed 7lb 13oz. She checked my stitches again and after that we we discharged from the midwife!

When he was a week we returned to the hospital expecting a quick trip to check his thyroid again, but the paediatrician was confused as to why his cord blood hadn’t been collected and tested, so he decided to test his blood. This involved sticking needles in the backs of his hands and squeezing them until he collected 10ml of blood! He hated it and screamed so much. He was given some sugar solution which distracted him for some of the time, and after that he sucked on my knuckle, and my goodness he must have been in pain as he was sucking SO hard! I also pointed out that he had had a gunky eye for a few days so they did a swab of that for us.

I got a phonecall a few days later letting me know that his thyroid levels had been normal and that he was given the all clear, but that he had a ¿staph aureus? infection in his eye that he would need ointment for so I should book in at the doctors, but that it wasn’t dangerous.
Thankfully after a few days of treatment his eye is now clear too.

And here we are up to date with a healthy baby!

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