Things that don't make the hospital brochure

Aug 12 2011 Published by under [Et Al], [Life Trajectories]

Hospitals stays are always interesting and generally have some curveballs you weren't expecting. Each nurse you get is different and opinions on things can change substantially with each shift. You never know what is going to happen in the wing you are staying in and sometimes not even in your own room.

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Our first night here was a bit of a rough one, with not a lot of sleep to be had. We were beat and a little frustrated with how feedings were going, as was the Weer One. Just as things were getting settled after a loooong stretch of being up, we heard yelling in the hall. The yelling got closer and closer until it was in the room next door and we thought for sure we were in trouble. In this hospital labor and delivery is on the same floor as recovery. In fact, you stay in the same room throughout. We figured we had a yeller as our new neighbor and were going to be listening to full blown screaming for the next few hours.

However, to our relief, and probably hers as well, there was only about 3 minutes of screaming before we heard the rather distinct cry of a newborn instead. Apparently this was one of those cases where they barely made it to the room before the baby was there, going from water breaking to baby in 11 minutes. This is why people have babies in cars just trying to get to the hospital.

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Our stay has been relatively uneventful. Other than having the baby and the associated stress of major surgery, we've known what to expect this time around and that has made it much easier. The one exception was last night.

Much like with our first child, there have been some milk supply issues that have forced us to supplement with formula. While a little disappointing, this hasn't been a surprise. We have been going through the ritual of breast feeding, then my wife pumps while I feed the baby formula. At 3:30 am I had just finished feeding, burped the kid, burrito wrapped her and laid her down. I turned away for a second and turned back to my child vomiting blood. Semi-lucid, my brain lept to my child is hemorrhaging for a solid count of three before a couple of neurons rubbed together and I realized that it was the result of my wife bleeding slightly from a cracked nipple, but I was about two heartbeats away from needing to change my scrubs.

And so it goes. We're heading home today and into our new life as a family of four. The big sister is beaming with excitement and will probably need to be forcibly removed from her little sister about a dozen times a day. Should be interesting.

17 responses so far

  • PUI Prof says:

    Blessings on your new life together. And may the the weer (clever!) one turn out to be a good sleeper!

  • Alyssa says:

    Glad your stay was (relatively) uneventful, and I hope you all settle in to your new roles at home quickly!

  • Dr. O says:

    Semi-lucid, my brain lept to my child is hemorrhaging for a solid count of three before a couple of neurons rubbed together and I realized that it was the result of my wife bleeding slightly from a cracked nipple, but I was about two heartbeats away from needing to change my scrubs.

    Even in the absence of sleep, I still suffer heart palpitations at the slightest hint of a rash or whatever. I'm so glad to hear it's been (mostly) uneventful and smoother sailing.

  • GMP says:

    How do you know there are milk-supply issues so soon? It takes about 3 days for the milk to come in, and babies should do fine on colostrum alone in that time. I wonder if they are pushing formula on you a bit over-zealously...

  • Dr. Dad, PhD says:

    Hope you get some sleep soon!

    It's fun to say that, especially when I know better... 😛

    And by the way, one of the coolest thing about having two kids is watching how the first one changes.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    I wonder if they are pushing formula on you a bit over-zealously...

    I wonder if you are pushing your opinion too zealously, given that you know nothing about the birth weight, weight loss, state of jaundice or anything else about the child or the history of the mother other than a vague one sentence statement....

  • proflikesubstance says:

    So far so good. One evening down and many more to go.

  • Ohh sucks about the milk issue - I'm being forced to drink fennel milk every night as both the MIL and mother listen to old indian wives tails about it bringing in more milk (I can't be bothered to argue and I have to admit my boobs are always fuller the next morning......I'm guessing you tried everything the first time around

  • ecogeofemme says:

    Congratulations! Good luck settling in!

  • gerty-z says:

    glad everyone is healthy and headed home to settle into the new family. congrats! 🙂

  • Zuska says:

    Congrats all around! Welcome to the world, Weer One! Glad to hear that neither you nor your hall-mate were born in a car. You wouldn't have minded so much, but it's not a lot of fun for your mom. Just ask Z-Mom.

    And congrats to Wee One, who now takes on the important job of Older Sibling. Good luck & have fun!

  • CoR says:

    Congrats! I hope Prof-Like Wife doesn't worry too much about the supply issues--been there, done that, and the kids seem to come out just fine either way!

  • brooksphd says:

    Oh god... I'm not ready for this...and I don't even have to actually, physically *do* anything...

    (thankfully have timed a conference in SF for birth week! heheheheh)

  • Dr. O says:

    Oh god... I'm not ready for this...and I don't even have to actually, physically *do* anything...

    (thankfully have timed a conference in SF for birth week! heheheheh)

    Heh - good luck with that one, Tiddles. 😉

  • proflikesubstance says:

    srsly, dude. If you think you're making that trip, there is a lot you're about to find out about being a parent.

  • Zee says:

    My experience with breast feeding was that every family member, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles etc were convinced that I was starving the baby and that I was not making enough milk and that formula was better. They were all a product of that 1950's mentality. They had no idea how often a baby has to breast feed compared to bottle feed and I had to trot out all of those studies and statistics and websites to convince them that I was NOT harming the baby and was actually probably helping the baby.

    My family are all college educated middle-class folks who totally BELIEVED that breast feeding was bad for the baby. Every time she didn't sleep, or spit up, or cried everyone thought it was because I was breast feeding... it was amazing/annoying to see, but an important lesson for me in why breast feeding gets pushed as hard as it does in the media and by hospitals, doctors, etc.

  • NewMomProf says:

    Thank you for this and your later post acknowledging breastfeeding difficulties. We recently had our first child and I have been unable to exclusively breastfeed, despite tons of pumping, herbs, and now prescription medicine. I was devastated when this happened. I wish it were more widely acknowledged that this did sometimes happen. If it were, I would have learned that in my extensive pre-baby reading, and not been blindsided.

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