I put Ella on the breast and was so pleased when she managed to latch quite quickly!
After about an hour and a half in the labour room, I got moved to the female ward. The rooms are semi-private and actually have two patients per room – but the nurse told me that they’re so pleased that I managed natural birth and I was so brave and did so well with Ella’s birth that I get a room to myself. Yay!
Just before 3pm the nurse told me I can get up and have a shower. Luckily Wyn was with me, I felt a little bit unsteady on my feet and it was very reassuring to have him be nearby. While I was getting dressed after the shower, my visitors arrived – my in-laws brought Mia, and my mom came too. Wyn went to the baby nursery to fetch Ella, and there were lots of “ooooh’s” and “aaaah’s” as he wheeled her in.
I couldn’t stop the tears when Mia got her first look at her baby sister! She touched her head gently and said “I love you!” Be still my heart.
After everyone left, a nurse bathed Ella, and I had supper.
At 7pm everyone came to visit again – I loved that my mom, in-laws and Mia came for every visiting session, was nice to let everyone cuddle the new little bundle, and the advantage of having a room to myself meant Mia could clamber all over the extra bed, pretend to be sick, and talk as loudly as she liked. ;-)
That night I had planned to keep Ella with me in the room, but a nurse came and told me that no, they’re keeping her in the baby nursery, and they’re going to give me a sleeping pill so that I can get a few hours of proper sleep. I realised that that sounded quite good, and was very glad for it – this time the sleeping pill worked wonderfully, I can’t help but wonder if it was the same pill as the night before when I really couldn’t get much sleep. They brought Mia to me around 2am for a feed, and then I slept again til they brought her to me at 6am, and then after that feed I kept her in bed with me and we dozed on and off.
The gynea checked in on me, said all is fine, and the paed checked in on Ella, said they need to check her bilirubin count to check for jaundice. The paed congratulated me on such a great birth experience, she said, “so inspiring, you did so great!” I think they don’t get a lot of natural births at this hospital!! Ella’s bilirubin count was 134, which is a bit high, but no need for treatment yet – they will check it again the next day.
The second day passed in a blur of visitors, dozing on and off, feeding baby girl, having salt baths, taking pain medication, having blood pressure checked, and staring at the new little person in wonder. That night the hospital gave Wyn and I a celebratory dinner – a salad, a chicken cordon bleu meal, and a yummy marshmallow desert, complete with champagne for Wyn and Appletizer for me, and a vase of flowers and a candle. Sweet!
I’m not in any pain at all – granted I’m on strong pain meds, but what a difference if I look at the patients who had C-sections and seem to experience lots more discomfort than I’m feeling.
The nurses are all mostly very friendly and helpful. I did my best to always thank them for their care – I think they work so hard and often don’t get the recognition they deserve. They really appreciated my thanks, one nurse was so sweet telling me how nice it is to have such a friendly face in the ward.
On both Thursday and Friday I had some laser therapy done on my nipples – they were feeling very tender and sometimes even painful when Ella latched on. I’m a little bit sceptical as to how much the laser treatment really worked, but I wanted to feel like I was being proactive in treating the pain!
Friday morning my doc stopped by and said we can go home – yay! But then – the paed had another check done of Ella’s bilirubin count, and it was 204 – just over the border line that requires treatment. We had two options – stay in hospital another night so that she could lie under the UV light, or hire a mobile unit of the UV light and have it set up at home – of course we chose the option of the mobile unit!
The rest of the checking-out paperwork went quite fast – I filled in the forms for Ella’s birth certificate, the nurse did Ella’s vaccinations and a last weight check – she weighed 2.8 at birth and 2.9 on discharge – which hardly ever happens, usually babies lose weight during the first few days. Yay, a sign that she’s definitely getting some breast milk in!
I had fun dressing her up in a pretty frilly outfit to go home in – although she was so wrapped in blankets the whole time nobody even got to see how cute she looked, haha.
She’s so teeny tiny in the car seat.
Let’s go home, baby girl!