Monday, July 18, 2011

My Breastfeeding Adventure Part 2 NICU


This is a picture of my second born child minutes after his birth and before he was taken away to live his first week of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Kaiser Walnut Creek. Sonny was born at thirty-five weeks gestation.  I'm sure this happens with all pregnant women, the doctors advise you take note of how often your baby moves in two hours. Well my baby stopped moving. I was monitored twelve hours and after talking to my doctor we decided it would be in Sonny's best interest to induce.

Sonny was born bright blue and not breathing. They handed him off to me long enough to to take the photo above before rushing him off to the NICU. My husband recorded his first weak cry on his cell phone an hour after his birth. I was finally reunited with him several hours later when Warren expressed to the doctor we were missing out on valuable bonding time. I was examined and shown  the way to see my baby. I didn't leave him longer than to let the nurses change shifts. At first he was feed nothing but liquid through an IV. I was given a pump. I feed my baby the colostrum drops with an eyedropper at first. I wasn't getting much of anything and had my husband bring my pump from home. The lactation nurse gave me to new tubing and cups. The first day or so I produced maybe 4 ounces. I was getting stressed out and the nurse offered my baby a bottle of formula. Once he was taken off the breathing tubes it was my turn.

Every time before I nursed Sonny I changed his diaper and had it weighed. I took his temp and then I had my chair positioned just so if he moved the alarms from his monitors wouldn't go off. Sonny lost over a pound his first week. However we knew he was getting milk since his diaper weight was increasing even after the IV came out. The next time they had me pump was before they put him in the light box for his jaundis. I pumped more into Sonny's bottle than he could eat. At the end of day five in the NICU we got to go home. I kept Sonny in the bassinet next to my bed. I woke every 45 minutes to feed him. When he got a little bigger he came into our bed.

I was very lucky with Sonny. The laws changed since I had his sister six years earlier. I was given time off to bond with my baby. I stayed home and nursed on demand.  It wasn't until after Sonny's first birthday I went back to work. The laws protecting nursing mother's got much better. I was provided a room with a lock to use my pump in. I could go over my break and lunch up to fifteen minutes in order to relax and pump paid. Sonny's daycare was close to work and I would go to his school on my lunch and nurse him into his nap.

This was great. Then I found out I was pregnant again a month after returning to work. The pregnancy made me very sick and I was home a lot with Sonny nursing away. Sonny never took a bottle during this time. Only sippy cups of breast milk or Mama. I wouldn't have traded this bonding with my baby for anything.

To be continued .....

No comments: