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During the hospital stay, it seemed as though they were taking Baby Girl every 10 minutes. She was trying to breastfeed her, but it wasn’t going well. Baby Girl couldn’t latch on. She felt like a failure. No one could explain why Baby Girl wasn’t able to nurse; lactation consultants and nurses and everyone was trying to make it work. It wasn’t making it any easier that they were constantly taking Baby Girl for this or that and the constant stream of visitors. Finally they decided that She would pump and try and feed it to Baby Girl that way. It worked better than breastfeeding, but Baby Girl still wasn’t sucking very well and couldn’t eat very much at a time. She was so confused. Did they always take newborns away from you this often? Did newborns always have this much trouble eating?
And then there was Baby Girl’s cry. It sounded beautiful to her; it sounded like life. But everyone kept commenting on how different it sounded. Sure, She could tell when it was Baby Girl crying coming down the hallway…but wasn’t that just a mother’s instinct? Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be…that you’re supposed to be able to pick out your baby’s cry out of a sea of others?
She didn’t put Baby Girl in the nursery when She was there…but it didn’t matter because they were constantly taking her away for this or that. What were they doing? Why wasn’t anyone talking to Her or telling Her anything? Was something wrong? This pediatrician She had picked out sucked. At least She thought so…but what did She know? She didn’t know anything. She’d never done this before. She felt like She was being swallowed whole by the unknown.
The first full day in the hospital, after a feeding, Baby Girl started choking and turned gray. They rang the nurse right away and they whisked Baby Girl off to the nursery. After that, They had to constantly watch over Baby Girl because it seemed she was having difficulty swallowing.
They were exhausted. Between the never-ending onslaught of exhaustion from being new parents, the visits, the doctors in and out and now this scare, they were beside themselves. Was it supposed to be this hard? They clearly were not prepared for all of this. She was scared to take Baby Girl home. They were supposed to leave the following morning.
The rest of the day passed by fairly uneventfully with pumping and feeding and changing and attempting to close their eyes in the midst of it all. Before they knew it, it was morning time. It was time to go home. Were they really going to send Them home with Baby Girl? They had no clue what they were doing. She still wasn’t eating well and would not breastfeed. The doctors also seemed to still be very interested in her baby as they were still examining her often. How could they send Them home? What was going on? She felt like She was in the middle of a universe where no one spoke the same language and She was screaming at the top of her lungs to be heard.
Before they knew it, They were headed home. Baby Girl had lost more weight than normal while at the hospital so They had an appointment in 4 days with their pediatrician. She was thinking of switching pediatricians already…but She would give her a chance. They sent Her home with a hospital-grade breast pump so Her milk would be sure to come in. They gave Her a dozen tiny little bottles to feed Baby Girl; she wasn’t able to use regular ones yet. What they forgot to give Her was confidence, peace of mind and the sense that She and Baby Girl would be ok.
How were they going to survive at home…alone?