We have had Miss Bailee for almost 6 weeks now. As I sit down to write about our first week with her, it feels like ages ago. She has already grown, developed, and changed so much since that first week. We, as parents, have also changed and I would like to say we have gotten better. Until she throws a curve ball that is….
Soon after the delivery on September 15th, we were transferred to a postpartum room. Usually, we would have left the hospital within 24 hours of giving birth. However, due to my high blood pressure, they wanted to monitor me. During this time, I was exclusively breast feeding and had met with multiple lactation consultants who all said everything was going well. On the evening of September 15th, Bailee was weighed again and was 4% of her birth rate, which was totally normal.
By the next day, we were getting antsy to go home. We had already been at the hospital since Wednesday and we missed our dogs. The only plus side to staying at the hospital was the room service for food. All we had to do was order what we wanted and it arrived in our room within 45 minutes. In addition, the nurses rarely checked my blood pressure, which didn’t make any sense to me since I was being monitored for high blood pressure. And each time it was taken, it was STILL high, which meant I wasn’t very confident we would be going home anytime soon. Although, the antsyness of wanting to go home and being in a hospital probably wasn’t helping.
Sunday morning, we were FINALLY allowed to go home. It felt like we hadn’t been home in ages. Bailee was weighed again that morning and had lost 8% of her birth weight. Once again in the normal range, but the pediatrician on call wanted us to see our doctor the next day.
I was nervous to go home with the dogs, but they completely accepted her as one of their own. Onnie became the protective older sister, Hershey (the one who knew all along I was pregnant) acted like nothing had changed, and Domino just wanted to play with her new sister. While we were home, we set up the pack and play in the living room to prepare for her sleep schedule and diaper changes. Plus, Bailee’s best friend, Genevieve came to visit. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the only positive things to occur that day.
Our first night was horrible. Bailee was screaming and inconsolable. I was attempting to breast feed literally every 15 minutes, switching sides, and doing everything in my power to make her happy. We didn’t get any sleep that night. She wasn’t urinating and barely making bowel movements. Her lips were chapped, and I was overwhelmed with the feeling of helplessness. Eventually, Brett caved and gave her a pacifier and was able to get about an hour of sleep.
At the doctors the next day, Bailee was weighed and had lost 13% of her birth weight. It turned out she was literally starving all night. We were told to supplement with formula and the moment we did, she was a completely different baby. She was happy, able to sleep, urinating, and making bowel movements. Also, because she wasn’t having bowel movements, her bilirubin was extremely high, diagnosing her with jaundice. This meant another night in the hospital for her to get treatment. So, we repacked the hospital bag and lined up people to watch the dogs again.
That night was tough. It was hard seeing Bailee under the lights, but it helped knowing she was getting better. She was getting healthy. It helped to see her so content under the lights. We kept saying she was on vacation in Florida, suntanning.
During this time, I made the hardest decision I have ever had to make – whether or not to continue breast feeding. I obviously wasn’t making enough milk, and my milk STILL hadn’t come in by the fifth day. I tried pumping, and barely any milk came out. I decided to formula feed Bailee with the support of Brett. I cried over my decision. I knew I was doing what was best for Bailee, but part of me felt like a failure. The other part was worried about what “society” would think about me for giving up. I still tear up thinking about the decision I had to make.
The next day, we were discharged to go home.
Unfortunately, right before this, Domino was so fed up with us not being home for a week that she decided to get out of her crate and tear up our office. I couldn’t blame her though. She was fed up with being in her crate all day for a week.
The first week was tough, but things have become our new normal. Bailee is healthy now and gaining weight at a healthy rate. The dogs love their new sister and are loving me being on maternity leave. The Stampers are doing well! ❤