I remember the weeks leading to delivery day, a number of people have asked if I was “ready”, if I was prepared for what’s to come, etc…If you recall from my previous posts, I tried my best to arm myself with enough information, but not too much that I would stress out and become overwhelmed. In retrospect, I found that no matter how much you try to educate yourself, you will never be “ready”. G and I did go to an “expecting multiples class” and retained some useful info. Obviously, what we learned was not enough, and that’s fine by me.
After the babies were born, I was super exhausted (duh!). As soon as we came back to the recovery room from the operating room, we tried breastfeeding tandem style. It was clear that my milk did not come in and after a few attempts and the boys getting restless, I gave the go signal to the nurses to give the boys formula so they wouldn’t drop weight.
At some point, all the tubes (epidural and IV) got disconnected. I also remember the boys nestled together in a bassinet about 6 feet from me. I could see them but I was too tired to get up. In a haze, I recall a number of different doctors, nurses and specialists coming every so often, in and out of the room just checking on them and me. It was surreal. I also remember being concerned about Rocky and how they said he has a cleft lip scar that healed in utero. The doctors had to come in to check his palate, but luckily his palate was closed. Rocky’s my little Joaquin Phoenix.
We were in the hospital for 5 days before going home. As much as I wanted to go home, I found it very helpful to stay in the hospital. I miss all the assistance, especially from the nurses. God bless them!
The entire time was spent trying to feed the babies, sleeping and changing diapers, all while also recovering “down there”. It wasn’t too bad for me. Just took the pain relievers, stool softeners, used the pressure bottle thingy and whatever the hospital supplied like them big girl pads etc haha.
After the second day, the doctors still wanted to keep the boys in, and it was nice that they didn’t send me home. I continued to take full advantage of the freebies in the kitchen, on top of the food they served which wasn’t all bad. I remember going into the kitchen at 2am one night, and you can see new dads all zombified walking towards the kitchen with big water bottles to fill and bring water to the moms. They were zoned out it was hilarious, I should have brought my phone and taken a video.
Then another day passed and Axl had jaundice. So we stayed an extra day so the doctors can monitor him. Then both had jaundice. At this point, I wasn’t in a super rush to go home. I just missed my bed though.
The last day at the hospital was spent testing out the car seats and going to a breastfeeding clinic session with the lactation consultant. At day 5, I had produced some colostrum/milk. However, it clearly wasn’t enough just yet so we were suggested to get the ready made formula (Similac Advance), which was super expensive!!! I did keep with breastfeeding (for almost a year! Not exclusively but with formula supplementing of course…but that’s a different story for later).
We had limited our visitors to immediate family and plus ones. I didn’t post on social media. I also didn’t want to be THAT MOM and make people other than immediate family to fully sanitize themselves before coming near the babies. I am so grateful for our families to come in and help out and give G and I little break every now and then. G’s cousin also works in the hospital so he popped in whenever he had a quick break. My mom’s sister and her family came in for just a second to take a peek and dropped off fresh fruit…which was super duper bonus points! A tip: if you’re visiting new parents in the hospital, bring food for the parents! No need for stuffed toys, flowers, gifts or cards. That’s extra stuff new parents would have to take in the car going home.
What I found helpful that got me through the hospital stay:
- Family – If you have them and are in good terms with your family, keep them close. They will get you through the toughest of times
- Having group chats for support with my fellow girlfriends/fellow new moms…love you ladies!
- Eat well and drink clear liquids. Nourishment and hydration is key, kept me from stressing out
- Positive outlook despite the new challenges that await you day by day
- Taking pictures for every moment, even the bad ones – bring a camera and charger
- Music. There was no free WiFi at the hospital, but luckily I had pre-loaded my Spotify to work offline.
- Bringing things that reflect me as me and not just as a mother. In my case, I brought all my good bath stuff and hair and makeup. I do this to make me feel good.
Some things I was not ready for:
- Breastfeeding pressure: Okay as much as breastfeeding/breast milk has so many advantages (nourishment for babies, healing properties, save money on expensive formula + more), I clearly could not produce enough for both. At first I felt defeated, but I wanted to make sure they ate and maintained their sugar levels. I tried different methods such as having them close to boob to latch, use a lactation aid (messy AF), pump milk to a bottle…nada until the 5th day.
- The boys, especially Axl, did not develop their sucking abilities a.k.a. they did not know how to eat. So on top of breastfeeding challenges, we had this to deal with. We had to hold the bottle a certain way and teach them how to drink/eat. This was so challenging and since they were preemies, we had to get up every 2 hours to feed them 10mls (which would take 15-20 mins for them to finish)…and then burp them and change them and put them to sleep.
- Every damn 2 hours for the first 48 hours went like this: wake them up by changing their diaper, feed at breast whatever I could, top up with formula, put them to sleep.
- Hourly blood work/foot poking: I had no idea this was a thing until I talked to my sister and other girlfriends that this was standard. The boys screamed every time. All I heard was *click* then a loud cry. Then the nurses got the blood sample to put to a reader. I felt so helpless. As much as it pains me, I knew it was for the boys’ benefit to test sugar levels. Apparently there is no other way.
- Axl’s 24hr NICU stay: after his 6th foot poke test, Axl’s sugar level dropped, so he had to go to the NICU. I know it was only just for a day. I could not help but cry at the time. My in-laws first time seeing the boys, and within 10 minutes of their visit, Axl had to go to the NICU. It broke my heart to see Axl get tubed up, and him and Rocky would be separated for a day. I requested my mom to stay with me the night, with Rocky with me in the maternity ward, and G with Axl in the NICU. The NICU was on the level below us and way on the other side of the building. I walked back and forth almost every 2 hours. I was a zombie.
- The Other Mom in the room and her overly shrieking hungry baby: I opted for a 3-person room since we didn’t have insurance. The room was huge though so it made great for space, even though we would knew we would share. Luckily it was just one other mom and baby. However, she delivered her baby at 43 weeks via C Section. Her baby was 10 lbs. The mom was in so much pain, she walked inch by inch whenever she had to use the toilet, I felt so bad for her! I think there was a language barrier between her and the nurses. She sounded eastern European. From what I gathered, after her daughter’s first foot blood work, she did not want the nurses to do it ever again. A doctor came in at some point but it didn’t help. She tried breastfeeding and nothing produced, hence her daughter was shrieking every hour because she was hungry. The nurses offered formula, but the mother strictly refused and was determined to try breastfeeding. She was a nice lady, but damn! Baby would not calm down…for the next 3 days. Her husband was crazy exhausted too. I had the curtains to separate for the most part and all I can hear other than crying baby was the nurses trying to reason with the mother and the mother getting frantic with the nurses. Of course all this affected my babies sleeping pattern as well. IT. WAS. HELLA. LOUD.
- The drama back at the condo. Without getting into detail, things were unexpectedly not going well with our neighbour. I did not anticipate staying at the hospital for 5 days, so I did not pack enough clean clothes in my hospital bag. G went back and forth from the hospital to our condo to bring some stuff, and also for him to have a bit of a break and watch TV and use the shower as it was more comfortable for him than to use the ones at the hospital. Anyhow, he filled me in with what was going on and that added a bit of stress. I’ll explain more about it later.
Having reminisced all this kind of makes me miss it. I don’t know why. After they were born, I began to miss seeing the doctors and OB every week to get an ultrasound. I did not miss being pregnant, but I missed the movement. If that made any sense.
After 5 days, we got to go home. It was an exciting and nervous time.
Til next post!