I had the baby on Wednesday afternoon, and stayed in the hospital until Sunday around noon. I've had to stay 4 days for all of my c-sections. Kyle was able to stay with me the whole time except for one day. He had to leave Thursday night and didn't come back until Friday night, as he worked a full day on Friday. So my second night in the hospital I spent alone.
What I didn't know is that the hosptial I stayed at was "Baby Friendly," which I guess is a sort of program they implemented to get more money from the government. What it meant to me was that they DIDN'T HAVE A NURSERY, and DIDN'T PROVIDE PACIFIERS or formula. I obviously didn't know this beforehand, because if I did, I would've insisted Kyle take work off on Friday.
This was only my second night recovering from my c-section, and I could barely walk to the bathroom. I could barely sit up and get the baby out of the bassinet by myself. So when I asked if the baby could go in the nursery for the night since my husband wasn't there, and they told me they didn't have a nursery, I knew there was a chance that I could be in big trouble.
(Side note: Kyle and I also had never had a baby "room in" with us before. The twins were in the nicu the entire time. Joslyn didn't go into the nicu until her second day on earth, but the first night we had her sleep in the nursery so I could sleep after going through labor and THEN a c-section. So Wednesday night, her first night, was a first for Kyle and I as she slept in our room. It was the next night, Thursday, that I was alone.)
And it turns out I WAS in big trouble. It was one of the worst nights I've had in a long time. My evening nurse came in and wrapped her up tight and rocked her for a few minutes until she fell asleep. So that was nice of her. She slept for about a half hour, and then she woke up crying pretty hard. And that's how the next 3 hours went. I've really only heard this baby cry a handful of times in her short life, but this night, she cried for 3 hours straight. Straight crying. And I couldn't stand up and bounce around with her. I couldn't really effectively rock her even in my bed. She would only stop crying if she was nursing. But it's not like I had my milk in yet and she was getting fed. She really just wanted something to suck on. Or someone to rock her who wasn't her mom with boobs, you know? So I would put her to nurse, she'd fall asleep for 5 minutes, I'd take her off, she'd wake up and cry. I couldn't just keep her on my chest continuously because it was making me really sore and she wasn't especially latching on great (because she wasn't trying to eat, she just wanted to suck). If Kyle was there he could've just rocked her for 5 minutes until she was in a deep sleep and that would've been that. But when I held her she'd smell me and want to nurse. Plus I couldn't really rock her anyway. I also knew that if I just had a pacifier she'd also be asleep in 5 minutes.
It was so frustrating. I had never felt so helpless and hopeless in regards to watching babies before, and I'VE HAD TWINS.
I've always had SOME kind of option, some plan b. But I was held hostage here, without a person to help, a formula to supplement, a nutsie to suck, a separate room for a baby to cry in, a car to drive away in, a person to call to come over. Nothing. No option. Plus I was hormonal, just had a baby, just had a major operation, had NO sleep, and was sleep deprived. Baby friendly= mother unfriendly.
At one point, around 1 am, I finally got her to fall asleep, and literally 5 minutes later a nurse came in and woke her up to take her temperature before I was able to stop her. And then she continued to cry again straight until 3 am. I felt so bad for her. She just needed someone besides me to rock her or a freaking pacifier. I seriously would've KISSED A HOMELESS MAN for a pacifier that night. With tongue even.
So finally at 3 am my nurse came in. "Still crying huh?" she said to me. And then I started bawling. Sobbing. haha. I was just so tired. And so embarrassed to be crying. I told her that I just felt helpless and didn't know what to do. She told me she could maybe sneak me a pacifier from the Nicu! I said "yes!" but then she told me she really didn't want to get in trouble. I know in the future I can just say, "GET ME ONE- I'll sign any waiver you need me to." But I'm not a rule breaker by nature and I was alone and emotional so I wasn't aggressive about it (just pathetic- you would think that would be equally effective). (SIDENOTE- you are allowed to bring your own pacifier. They just don't provide one.) Then she said, "Well, I could maybe take your baby out in the hallway and just keep her by the nurse's station for a couple hours so you can get some sleep..." and I said, "Yes. I think that would be good. As long as she's with me she just wants to be sucking and I can't do that anymore." Then she's like, "It's kind of looked down upon..." and I was like, "Okay... so I guess not?" (In my head shouting "IF IT'S NOT AN OPTION DON'T OFFER!!!) But then she said she'd do it anyway if I wanted so I said "great!" and handed her the baby. After she left I BAWLED for a good 5 minutes. haha I just needed to get it out. Then I slept for 3 hours.
Just before 6 am she brought Lucy back into me. I was so grateful for those 3 hours. In the meanwhile they had given Lucy the hearing test and a few others that were necessary before she left so that was good. Then my new nurse checked Lucy and actually called the Nicu nurse to come to our room to check her out. Turns out she was breathing way too fast, and then her lips turned blue... While we waited for the nurse I nursed her and then she fell sound asleep for the first time all night. By the time the Nicu nurse finally came and checked on her they decided she was totally okay and that she was probably just so tired and worked up from being upset all night. While she was there, I asked her about their "no pacifier" policy and proceeded to tell her about my horrible night. At the end of my story, she actually said to me, "You know, it doesn't sound like you needed a pacifier. It sounds like you needed a DOULA (long pause and look of confusion from me) or husband, or mother. Someone to help you." YEAH. NO DUH. DO YOU PROVIDE THOSE?? So absurd.
Poor sweet Lucy slept most of the day after that. So did I. After work Kyle headed back up to the hospital. He stopped at Target on his way there and bought 3 different types of pacifiers. Lucy slept like a champ the rest of our stay at the hospital. I had several nurses afterwards who told me, "Oh if I was your nurse I would've snuck you a pacifier for sure! It should be your choice! You're the mom!" I overall enjoyed my hospital stay and thought I was pretty well taken care of, but I think it was ABSURD that I was put in that situation ONE NIGHT AFTER HAVING A C-SECTION. Hospitals should have nurserys. And should warn mother's about this crazy "baby friendly" policy before they go to the hospital so they can get pacifiers or a freaking doula if they want. Because seriously, I never felt so helpless. I plan on sharing my feedback with the hospital. Not to complain, but to give them feedback on their policies. The nurses that agreed with me said, "Please make sure you let the hospital know. Because we try to say something and we sound like disgruntled employees, but they need to know how moms feel." Absurd.