Understanding what it meant...
Understanding what it meant when I would see a post of a new mom or parents who just brought their baby home on Facebook, I wondered how are they walking and smiling after giving birth? It seemed so big to me. So scary. So painful. I now know why they say labor is one of the most intense pains a woman could experience.I also understand now how it's hard for women to recall that pain and not even be able to describe it. I went through the start of labor to the end for 14 hours. I was able to go through the birth process without any medication with the assistance of my doula Kaleen Collins, family support, and a very patient nurse, Bini, who had experience as a midwife in her country. From the moment babe touched my chest and I saw his mouth start to quiver and his skin bursting from purple to red with oxygen my heart has exploded.
My son was born:
August 4th 2017, 5pm on the hour
20 & 3/4 inches long
7 lbs 10.4 ounces
"...watch a feeding tube put down their throat after hours of the most intense marathon shattered me."
We had skin to skin for about 2 hours before more and more nurses came in with that look no parent wants to see someone give hovering over your child. Eventually a nurse named Cathy came in and told me that after our 14 hour labor, babe wasn't breathing like they wanted him to and he was going to need oxygen. My face broke. I held him as they wheeled him down to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit.) They put him on oxygen as I half stood half sat by his bed side. Mind you this was after delivering a child. Watching your baby have to wear a mask and then watch a feeding tube put down their throat after hours of the most intense marathon shattered me. The nurses told me he would be cared for and that I needed rest and to go home. No way was I going to go home without him...my sister Daisy and I went back up to my room where I slept for a few minutes while my mom stayed by him before going back down to his side. From 8pm to 4am he was on oxygen before I got a call he was coming off and back to my room. We slept for a few hours before morning. In the morning the doctor came in and told me we needed to do some tests because they were suspicious of something else being wrong.
I walked down with him to the nursery where they had to gather smiles of his blood to test for an infection. Watching him get poked was hard to bear and he was so patient and so strong through the multiple IV vein searches. After several failed attempts of his veins collapsing, they told me the best spot was in his head. This is where I needed to sit down, I’ve never fainted in my life and I started to see black. My heart melted and the tears came down my face hot, as they stuck the needle in his scalp to gather a blood sample. He didn’t even cry once. They gathered the blood sample and we returned to our room. We had to wait a day for the blood results to come in.
I spent time feeding him via pumped collsterone breast milk through a syringe throughout the day and night.The next day the doctor came in and told me my son has an infection in his blood My son would be staying and moving to the intensive care. I felt sick to my stomach. You will be discharged and he will be staying. The nurses were very nice however and explained I can stay with babe in the intensive care I just couldn't sleep there. This was the start of his treatment, August 6, in NICU. They told me he had an infection and was going to be treated for antibiotics until his CRP count, that signified an infection, came down. It seems like something such as antibiotics is so second nature to us big people, but they are essential for little babes. That night I was again advised to go home. Instead Julia and I slept in the car while grandma stayed watch. I am so lucky to have my tribe. Babe was watched by one of us at all times and I could kiss the earth with how thankful I am for all of them: Daisy, Julia, Kaleen, Gordon, Haizley, My mom was a champ, Scott, Starr, my Aunt Korene and Uncle John, The Pompeys, My Grandma, I had such a huge support team and I literally couldn't have done it alone.
Over the week babe kept getting stronger, eating more, sleeping more, getting his coloring, getting longer, and his CRP kept dropping. Everyday I met a new nurse and I have separate stories for all of them. They were incredible and I learned so much from them I never would have learned had we went straight home. Most of them had kids and were so intelligent and had different and similar opinions on sleeping patterns, scheduling for sick babies eating patterns, vaccinations, skin to skin time, snuggling, and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I've ever had to learn. Babe and I were trying but between his sickness and my awkward handling, fullness and swelling, and just it being not as easy as it looks, we struggled the first week. After several consultations we were not able to latch while I was still staying in the hospital.