Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hospital #10: Cleared for Re-Entry

Got the official word from on high: Bean and I are headed home tomorrow morning, after the docs give us each a last look-see and we get our discharge papers. The unit coordinator was nice enough to come over and get the birth certificate and social security paperwork out of the way, so all we need is our last checks and we're outta here!

The good news is that we're establishing something of a breastfeeding pattern, but the bad news is that she still lost some weight (not uncommon after birth), but she lost a little more than they like to see, so we're supplementing with some formula, and I'm going to be pumping in order to increase my own milk supply. The LC said mixing in an ounce of formula with 2-3 oz of breastmilk will be fine, so it's a true supplement - just enough to help fill her tummy until I can catch up to her. I think my milk should be coming in fairly soon, and the other nice benefit is that I get a spare set of parts for my personal breastpump.

The bags are packed, the Bean is still down (and isn't due for another feeding for about 3 hours or so, and I'm tired, so I think I'm going to try and get some sleep. Next entry will probably be from home (thank God!) I will have my husband bring the camera back so we can post a few going-home shots, and even though it's the end of the birth journey, it's the start of a life journey for us and our new addition.

I'm so glad you are all along for the ride.

Hospital #9: Recovering

It's hard to believe that Baby Bean is barely 40 hours old. I think that the maternal amnesia is setting in: when you have a baby you immediately forget what life was like "before."

Last night the baby and I were on our own, as my in-laws needed to begin their travels home (a drive of about 900 miles), and we wanted to give them flexibility to leave because the weather here is unpredictable at best in January. Also, he'd been with me the last two nights, and our daughter was lonesome for her Daddy. Understandable. Besides, I have a fleet of nurses and staff at my disposal, at a call button's length away. It's all good, even if it means I have to forego my new year's kiss until this morning. (The baby got hers, though. :) )

I am slowly but surely recovering. Hospital time is slow...very very slow. Yesterday I felt great throughout the day, but the night was a bit of a trial, as I was balancing the baby's needs with my own capabilities in terms of getting in and out of bed. I still hurt and am tender in my abdomen, but once I'm up and going I'm fine and generally pain free. However, if I've been laying down for awhile it takes a fair effort to sit up, and it hurts.

Bean so far is good -- they did her newborn screening yesterday and she passed her hearing test. Her bilirubin came back slightly high, so right now we're just working on breastfeeding so she can get rid of as much of it as possible in the natural way. (Pooping. Babies are very good at that.) I'm not worried about jaundice at this point, because she's been doing well with the breastfeeding, and I think it's just going to take some effort to get things moving and shaking. Besides, we've both had a very busy week.

She's very content -- her social smiles are starting to come through and she's generally laid back. I have a feeling she'll get feisty soon enough, but she sleeps a lot, so much so that I have to violate my cardinal rule of parenting a newborn and wake her up to feed her. At least she doesn't have her days and nights mixed least as far as I can tell.

All signs are pointing to discharge tomorrow, probably in the evening. I hope much as it's nice to be pampered, it will also be nice to be home.

And...I'm being beckoned by Princess Bean over there, busily chewing her fist. Time for second breakfast, I suspect.

Happy New Year, y'all!