February 10, 2012 by Alicia
So people say there’s an innate maternal gear that just kicks in when you have kids. To some extent, I agree with that. However, I don’t think that would have happened for me so quickly had there not be extenuating circumstances. The first night home with the baby was absolutely awful. Mr. Rockstar ended up sleeping in the glider with the baby for a few hours – though I think Little Miss was the only one sleeping.
Anyway, she was a bit jaundice when they discharged her Saturday so we had to take her to the clinic the next day to check her bilirubin levels. When we took her, she had lost some weight (which is normal) but her jaundice hadn’t gotten better. So they told us we needed to bring her again the next day to check her levels. Well, the next day hubs went back to work so my mom went with me to the clinic. I still couldn’t drive because of the pain meds I was taking from my c-section. So we went, and Little Miss had lost so much weight (20% of her birth weight) that the pediatrician sent us straight to the hospital to admit her.
It’s quite terrifying when a doctor tells you not even to stop and get gas – that you need to drive straight to the hospital to admit your 4-day-old because something is wrong. I can typically play it cool in most situations- this was not one of them. I was an absolute basket case. I started crying as my mom and I hustled out of the clinic and headed to the hospital. I called Mr. Rockstar when we got in the car and he said, “how was the appointment?” to which I was just crying and said “we’re on our way to the hospital.” He didn’t ask what was wrong and just replied with, “I’m leaving work, I’ll call you when I get in the car.”
Hubs got to the hospital while we were still in the waiting room. They finally took us to the peds wing. Two super nice nurses came in to do an initial exam on Little Miss. They walked in and said to us “so you’re mom and dad?” I looked at my mom and then back at hubs and said “oh yeah, that’s us.” It was a very weird moment — we are the parents. We are the parents and we are in the hospital because something is wrong with our baby. We were terrified. And there they were – the maternal instincts, BAM! They stuck my baby with a zillion needles to draw blood for labs and then they tried to get a vein in each foot and each hand. They blew every vein they tried and eventually put an IV in her head. When they brought her back looking like this… well words really cant describe how awful I felt.
When they came back saying they needed to take her again to draw more blood, I was ready to start swingin’. But what could I do? They were just trying to help her. And for all I knew at that time, I was the reason she was in the hospital. It turns out she was severely dehydrated, which is why her jaundice was worse. So they told us we had to force feed her every 2-3 hours around the clock. We also had to record how much we fed her and at what time. We also had to weigh all her diapers and record if it was wet and/or poopy, what time and how much it weighed. Imagine two deliriously exhausted parents high fiving over heavy weighted diapers at all hours of the night. It was quite the marriage builder. The only perk was that hubs got to feed her, which he was really excited about. I had to pump and bottle feed breastmilk instead of nursing because they had to know exactly how much she was consuming. Basically it was sleep for an hour, feed the baby, change the baby, pump. Repeat. Needless to say, it was a long 48 hours. They pumped her full of fluids by hooking her up to an IV for about 24 hours and us force feeding her. She gained 8 ounces over night. It was amazing. They then decided to unhook her from the IV but we had to keep feeding her every 2-3 hours and they were going to keep us another night. After that night, she only gained an ounce, but that was still progress all on her own without any fluids being pumped through her. They decided to discharge her that day.
It turns out everything was working properly in her little body. She just wasn’t eating enough and got dehydrated to the point where she got lethargic. Once lethargic, she didn’t want to eat and so the vicious cycle continued. On this side of it all, we are so so so grateful that it wasn’t something more serious. She is completely fine and eats like a champ – just check out these cheeks!
This little story is really my story of how I became a mom. I am still not an overly maternal personality, I don’t worry a whole lot about her. I tend to take everything with her in stride. But- you can’t sit on the sidelines or “play it cool” when the life you carried is in distress. You realize just how much they need you and depend on you. You gotta step up and make decisions that are best for them – even though most of the time you don’t even know what that is. It is your responsibility to make everything ok in their world. Wow, what a job… so thankful I don’t have to depend on my own strength the make it through.
And yes – I’ve jumped on the bandwagon attitude of “it’s all worth it.” After 3 months, I finally agree with that statement.
*Baby’s Age: 3 Months
*Baby’s Weight: Approx. 12 lbs
*Coolest Thing: Her smiles 🙂
*Funniest Thing: Her giggles
*Hardest Thing: Leaving her at daycare 10 hours a week.
*Lessons Learned: Motherhood grows on you.