My migraine was gone and I was ready to hold my little boy. It still took the nursery about 15 minutes to bring him to me and I was beyond anxious to just hold and touch him. Remember, up until this point I had not touched my baby because I’d had a c-section.
If you are breastfeeding it is recommended that you allow your baby to feed within 2 hours of his life because studies show that newborns who have early contact with their mothers learn to latch on more efficiently than babies who are separated from their mothers in the hour or two following birth. This is also a time when the baby will be in a state of quiet alertness, the optimal behavior state for interaction with you. Her eyes are wide open, she is attentive and is looking for another set of eyes – and for the breast. (source)
I had decided that I would be breastfeeding Emmett so it was important that he and I be able to have some skin-to-skin contact within that two hour window to allow him to learn to latch. Seamus and I were concerned we’d fall outside of this time frame because of my c-section but the hospital did a fantastic job of ensuring he got to me well within that time.
For any soon-to-be moms out there, I want to recommend that you ask the hospital to hold off on bathing your baby (if you’re planning to breastfeed) until after he’s fed for the first time. Once they’ve done that, they will set him under the heated lamps to bring his body temperature back up, which takes a lot of time, this is time away from you and your breast. This is a critical time and not one that your baby needs to be spending under heated lamps, your skin against his will warm him plenty.
When they brought him into the room and handed him over to me, my breath caught in my throat. It hit me, he was mine and no one else would ever be his mother. It was such a moving experience that just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes.
We immediately had our skin to skin contact and worked on his latching skills. It actually went quite well, I needed assistance but Emmett was still alert and ready to nurse
If you’re breastfeeding, after the baby’s birth, all modesty goes out the window, you have nurses and lactation consultants grabbing your boob, showing you how to hold it and then placing it in the baby’s mouth, there’s just no time to be shy. I’d heard this ahead of time but I still figured I’d be slightly uncomfortable with it but truthfully, I wasn’t. I knew what they were doing was teaching me how to feed my baby the perfect food. And in the end, their advice was all VERY helpful!
After we’d had about a half hour with him, they took him back to the nursery. I was still in the labor and delivery unit and needed to be moved to my private room in the Mothers and Baby Unit. So they took Emmett back to get a bath and a few more tests, one being a blood glucose test. He was born with low blood sugar so they had to test it every few hours to see whether it was increasing.
When we got to our new room, the nurse came in and introduced herself and explained some important information to us. After she’d done all that she took my temperature and blood pressure, helped change the pad on the bed and assisted me in putting a pad on myself. If you’ve never had a baby, let me say that the bleeding you experience after a baby is far worse than any period you can even imagine, it’s gross but necessary.
Eventually they brought our baby back to us, we were “rooming in” with the baby. This is something new that the hospitals are suggesting to parents and I was fully on-board. Instead of the baby staying in the nursery, he stays with you (morning and night) so that you can adjust to sleeping together and so that you’re there to feed him as he needs. I’m very glad we did this, I don’t think I’d have wanted my baby down the hall away from me.
Time started to blur together because I was so exhausted. If you remember I hadn’t slept more than an hour or two combined the previous night and I’d just gone through surgery. I needed to rest but I was still riding on the high of my brand new boy.
In case you missed them; Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.