Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Our Hospital Stay

So the only reason I want to document our time at the hospital with Clara after she was born, is because it was SO different than how it was with the other two. Sure, there were some similarities- someone coming into our room every few hours to take my blood pressure or give me pain meds, a steady flow of family coming to see the newest family member, breastfeeding or pumping while all these people were coming in and out of the room. You know, the usual things you deal with after having a baby. :)

One of my favorite bloggers to follow (Camp Patton), noted something about her hospital stay after her fourth was born (same day as Jonah). With baby number four, it felt like her time in the hospital was like a little vacation- just soaking in baby snuggles and sleeping when she wasn't feeding her newborn. And I've heard other people talk about how they get the chance to read a book or catch up on some t.v. since they're away from the usual responsibilities of being at home. Which all makes sense!

BUT for both Noelle and Jonah's births, Luke and I could not wait to leave the hospital. I slept horribly being not in my own bed. Both of them cried for hours on one or both nights that we were there, and then of course as soon as we laid down, they would start crying again. With Noelle we had such a complicated system to feed her formula through the breast, which was a two person job, so every time she cried, both of us had to be up and involved. With Jonah, his latch wasn't amazing, and a few hours in to his little life, my nipples were on fire and every attempt at feeding left me in more pain and completely discouraged. Both times, we were SO ready to be back home in our own environment.

We figured things would go similarly this time around- and even contemplated opting out of the second night at the hospital. Since Clara was born in the evening, it worked out that we would end up being at the hospital for less than 48 hours, whereas with Noelle, I labored through a night, and then we spent two nights there, and then with Jonah, he was born just after midnight so we still had another two nights to go.

getting her hearing test done

For whatever reason, breastfeeding started off so much better with Clara than it did with Jonah. She did have to get her blood sugar tested before every feeding because she was small for gestational age, but she wasn't much of a crier, so every three hours or so, we'd call the nurse to come test her, and then I'd feed her. Her numbers never got below what they were looking for, but when it dipped a bit, they had us give her some formula. Thankfully, this worked out perfectly because while I was pregnant I was most stressed about breastfeeding, and we had planned on giving baby formula and a bottle early on. She took to the bottle perfectly, and even though she fought breastfeeding for a few days afterwards, we persisted, and now she's a pro at both. From then on while we were at the hospital, I would nurse her until she fell asleep, which is what usually happened, and then Luke would give her some formula while I pumped.

She fussed a little bit both nights, but she just wanted to be cuddled. The first night, I ended up holding her on my lap while I scrolled through Instagram and read a book, and then we watched the sun come up. The next night, Luke held her for a bit while I slept, and then while she was getting some tests done, we were both able to sleep. It really felt so different from the first nights of Noelle and Jonah  crying, cluster feeding, pain from breastfeeding, and just sheer exhaustion from the first night of laboring through the night. I actually felt like we had some down time that wasn't spent trying to comfort a crying baby.

And maybe part of it was knowing she's our last, and just thinking back to a year ago when we were in the midst of fertility testing and procedures. This baby we'd waited and longed for was here in our arms, and I couldn't help but marvel over that and thank Jesus for His good gifts!

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