At this time, 1 year ago, (6/27/2016) I sat on my hospital bed holding my newborn baby (who had just finished treatment for Jaundice) and listening to my delivery doctor talk. At this point in the conversation, she was an adult on a Charlie Brown cartoon , a muffled sound that I couldn’t make out. She had just gave us the okay to go home that day and all I could think was, “I’m not ready to take her home!”
I was terrified.
Up until now, I had been so ready. The room was ready, there were more than enough diapers, wipes, powder, butt cream and burp clothes to bring home triplets. But for some reason as soon as the doctor said “Okay, let’s get you out of here today!” I wasn’t ready.
It was 6:30 in the morning, I knew my mom was catching up on sleep so I text her. “We’re going home today! Yay!”
But that “Yay!” was just to cover how truly terrified I was.
At that time, Jairo was working two jobs and was only home for about 2 hours a day, and slept during that time. He would have time off from one job for two weeks, but would still be working nights. I had just given birth to a diva who started screaming the moment her mouth was free and had done a lot more screaming in the last 36 hours, and now I had to take her home and be alone every.single.night.
Nothing prepares you for that feeling.
You can take as many classes as you want, read as many books, talk to as many experienced mothers as you can, but nothing will prepare you for the moment you give birth to a baby that the whole hospital can hear screaming.
Now, I was going to take her home, and my neighbors would hear her screaming. Their surely going to think I’m abusing my child. Right? I mean if I had heard this scream, I would only assume the worst. My Mother In Law is going to think I’m a terrible mother because she screams so loud. I’ll never be able to go anywhere in public with her.
I sat there and a thousand scenarios played through my head while Jackalynn was, what I thought was breastfeeding, and Jairo was sleeping on the pull put bed.
When Jairo woke up we talked about going home. We were equally terrified and we agreed it would be best to have family come home with us. So they did. We had dinner and then my mom ended up staying the night with us. Thank God she did because Jackalynn’s first night home was no picture perfect event.
She went to sleep easily, but then would wake up screaming. I was breastfeeding and didn’t want to use any plastic for atleast 2 weeks. This meant no pacifiers. I kept feeding her. I thought she would latch, but she would always end up screaming a short time later. There was milk on her face, so we were sure she was eating. Finally around 2AM, my mom convinced me to give her a pacifier and she took her to sleep with her for a while.
The next day we had a doctor’s appointment to check her Jaundice and the levels were back up. She was immediately admitted and we were sent to Palomar Medical Center for treatment.
When we arrived, the doctor immediately explained to me what caused something like this.
She wasn’t getting enough milk to flush out the bilirubin because I have flat nipples and she wasn’t latching correctly.
48 hours I was in the hospital with a screaming child, 6 nurses, 2 doctors and a lactation consultant saw my child and no one until now realized that I had flat nipples and needed a nipple shield?! (I actually stayed in the hospital an extra day to be able to see an LC before I went home.)
I’m a new mom, who has never breastfed. How was I to know this? They told me she was latching. So we all thought that I just had a screaming, diva baby.
I still didnt want to use plastics or formula, I really wanted to give breastfeeding the best chance I could and I didn’t feel that I had done all I could do yet.
So the nurses brought me a pump and that’s what I did for about 19 hours, the same amount of time it took me to give birth. (For the record, I would rather give birth than pump for 19 hours).
At the first pump, I pumped 25ml and the nurses were over the moon. Jackalynn drank her very first bottle and I immediately had a different child. My screaming, emotional diva, was a sweet sleepy angel who just wanted to cuddle. I cried, and I cried hard. I cried all night and most of the morning. It was Tuesday and my baby had not had a good meal since she was born on Saturday. My heart shattered and I felt like the worst person ever.
Wednesday Morning, after a night of pumping, crying, weighing diapers, more crying and no sleep, the LC came to see us.
She was the nicest woman who really wanted to help. She could see my desire to breastfeed my child and instead of telling me to just give up, She educated and encouraged me to keep going. She spent more than 4 hours with us that day. Just watching Jackalynn feed, talking to me, helping me understand things that my body would need and do, and what Jackalynn would need. She answered all the questions in the world. From what foods I should eat, to how long I should let her feed. Thanks to her, I ended up breastfeeding for 7 months and 28 days.
Fast forward to 365 days after I sat there terrified to take her home and I sit here terrified to ever lose her.
It was a hard first week. Harder than we imagined it would be, but easier than it could have been and we are so grateful for that. That one tough week we had, led to a year of amazing growth and milestones.
365 days of love and laughter and I wouldn’t change a single moment.