Supposedly, a mother's milk comes in very quickly after birth and the lactation specialists want you to begin pumping/feeding very quickly after. Okay. I can do this. It has been only 2 hours since I almost coded on the operating table. I love my son more than anything and I want to do everything possible to ensure he is healthy and has a fighting chance. Yuh right. I had 3 IVs; 2 in one arm and 1 in the other. How was going to pump my own bubbies? Que my mother and my husband. Yes, that is right. My mother took the left and my husband took the right. "Massaging the upper part of the bubby helps the milk drop," says the lactation specialist. Great. There I am with my mother and Stephen hold the bubby pumps and massaging my bubbies. Not awkward at all. And if that wasn't enough, Stephen was cracking "milking the cow/cow utters" jokes making my mother laugh and pissing me off in the process. Ahh, the good times.
Stephen was exhausted. He hadn't slept in days, but being the supportive husband I have always known and the new amazing father I have prayed to God for since I was little, he kept up juggling a wife in one building and a newborn in another. I don't know if I could ever be as strong as Stephen was during this chaos. He almost lost his wife, his son, and much more important his sanity. He kept it together for his small family like a true king. I am blessed to call him my best friend, lover, husband, and father of my child. He grew so much during this time not because he had to, but because he felt the call.
Baby Monkey's stats:
Mattox James Walker
Born January 14, 2011
1 lb. 7 oz. 12" long
25 weeks gestational
Stephen kept me updated with Mattox's progress. He was on a ventilator and doing beautifully. He told me how proud the doctors were of his accomplishments being such a small preemie. I later looked up the terminology for Mattox's size. He was a micro-preemie. The smallest of all small preemies. I watched video of my son. I watch footage of my husband beaming from ear to ear as he changed Mattox's first poopy diaper. And I saw the horrible face and funny noise Stephen made when he realized how sticky and black that poop was. His diapers were so small that they didn't even fill up the palm of my hand. I was in love.
I was released back to labor and delivery the following morning. All I could think about was getting a shower, getting pretty, and getting to meet my baby. Walking around 24 hours after a c-section is not advisable. You feel like you are about to rip completely in half so you can image this shower scenario. The nurse and Stephen helped me to the bathroom. At this point so many people have seen your hooha and bubbies that you just don't have any modesty left. Let it all hang out! Nope. Not me. I don't want a sponge bath by some nurse. I can do it. Maybe? Maybe if Stephen helps? I excused the nurse after she placed my bare naked booty in the shower. Okay bath me, Stephen. Now poor Stephen had come straight from the airport (He went to the National Championship! War Eagle!) to the hospital and he was low on clean clothes as it was. It took 10 seconds of him trying to wash my hair before his clothes were drenched. I turned to grab the soap only to turn back around to a naked Stephen. Uh, what in the world? So there I was naked with my naked husband in the shower with NO lock on the door. I am sure if a nurse would have walked in we would have definitely made it in to the Book of Naughty Things that Couples do in Labor and Delivery. Oh the stories we have heard.
I was famous or was I? Walking down the halls of the hospital people would look at me with pity in their eyes and ask if I was okay or how I was feeling. What the hell? I feel fine. Oh, you just saw my scarlet letter. Yes, that is what I had. During my c-section the doctors thought it would be a good idea to install a large tube directly into my jugular and attach it securely to my neck with stitches. Oh, it screamed "Something bad happened to me and yes, you know me as the mother who coded on the table during childbirth." That's one cool thing about this phenomenal hospital. All the nurses hear what everyone is doing through these tampon looking things around their necks called Voceras. Voceras, when they are working correctly, help the staff communicate with each other throughout the hospital. Thank you God for broadcasting my complete run in with the medical law over tampons! I am famous. I hate attention, especially this kind of attention. Where is my rock? Hide my voice.
The emotions I felt when I first saw my baby can not be explained. He was so much smaller than I ever imaged. He grabbed my hand and wrapped his tiny, perfect hand around my pinky. He had my heart. Until you become a mother you really can't understand a mother's love. There are no words to describe it. I wasn't ever going to leave him and I promised I would do whatever I could in my power to make him healthy and safe. It was so much easier when he was inside me. I could protect him. Everything scared me now. His hospital room was full of machines and wires. It was all state of the art, medical and, above all, intimidating.
Time to pump, pump, pump! Did you know that babies have to eat every 2 hours when they are born? That meant I had to pump every two hours 24/7. This was my job. This gave Mattox a fighting chance to build an immune system and I wasn't going to let him down. Oh, and did I mention it hurts to pump? It does. My pump and I became best friends. After spending hours and hours listening to its hum at 3:30 in the morning, I swear it started mooing at me. I am a cow. Stephen said we should just put me on an inversion table and milk me like a cow. Haha. He tasted my milk on his own accord. He said it tasted like sweet water. Men.
The day of my discharge quickly approached. Some say I just didn't want to leave, others call it a freak accident. I call it an extremely stressed, new mother attack. This is how it goes. The doctors came in and removed all the tubes and IVs that had inhabited my body for what felt like a lifetime. The nurse gave me a pain pill and I decided to close my eyes while I waited on my breakfast. NOT a good idea. Once again I wake up to a million doctors and nurses surrounding my bed, an oxygen mask being forced on my face, and another damn IV stuck in the side of my hand. Here come the tears and, as expected, a longer stay en el hospital. Joy. My blood sugar had dropped to below 14. Yes, that is right. 14. This has never happened before. Being a momma is hard work and that is my excuse.
Okay. In this case, fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you!!! Later that evening my blood sugar dropped again. This time Stephen got really angry. Yeah, Stephen angry kind of makes me laugh too. But this time it was the hospitals fault. They shot me full of insulin and then the doctor on call refused to come to my room to check me out and fix it. Oh boy. People got in trouble, We had major heads of departments and important people apologizing aka asking us NOT to sue them. Stephen and I have so much power. Wow!
I was finally discharged the following morning, and believe me I didn't stay around for breakfast. I was out the door to first, see my baby and second, move into my lovely, dated apartment in downtown Birmingham. I told you I wasn't going to leave my baby!