What is it like to give birth and walk out of the hospital 16 hours later empty handed? A little disorienting to say the least. I felt like I was forgetting a major step, piece of paperwork, or important item. We were able to get in a little snuggle time with baby James before being discharged though which was nice. I’m glad we got to do that once we’d both (husband and I) had a nap during the night to rest up a little and be alert for the experience. He is such an adorable baby boy!
I was able to start becoming acquainted with my pump in the hospital and got enough colostrum from three different sessions while there to pass off to the nurses and feed baby James. There are so many beneficial properties to that liquid gold! I am thankful I was able to give him some.
Pumping continued about every 3 hours day and night until my milk came in on Sunday. And boy did it come in like a tsunami! I expected it from my previous experience but it didn’t make the experience any more pleasant. I was engorged to hot rock status for the majority of the day and into the night. We ended up hunting down some remedies for a little comfort until things started to regulate. One good thing about continuing to pump is that it triggered those hard working uterus shrinking contractions every time I hooked up to the moo machine. I have since adjusted my pumping schedule to every 3 hours during the day starting when my swollen chest is demanding relief until late into the evening. I am not getting up during the night to help ensure I get a little sleep.
After I left the hospital on Friday there hasn’t been much down time except for when we were in the car to our next destination. I did get to nap on Sunday in the midst of my milk explosion though which was most welcome. As a result of the “go non-stop” nature of the past two weeks I am exhausted. Physically I feel pretty darn good, jellyfish belly and all, just in need of a small coma.
It has been surreal to have all of the needs of post-partum care without the newborn baby billboard to remind people that I recently gave birth and to help me take it easy. Even some of those close to me with intimate knowledge of birth have acted like my stomach simply changed shape and size, no big deal. I’d like to say I’ll catch up on some healing rest and relaxation once we get home but I don’t know how realistic that statement would be.
On a big positive note, I was able to make the most of my pumping time for baby James. The parents only wanted me to supply them with milk while I was in California and not deal with shipping from Texas. From Sunday (12/20/15 when my milk started to come in) through my first morning pump on Thursday (12/31/15) I was able to supply baby James with 464 ounces of breast milk. We delivered milk twice, on Saturday (12/26/15) and on our way to the airport (12/31/15). The first milk delivery was also a baby visit which my girls soaked up. They were so excited to get to see baby James and give him a little love in his basinet all bundled up in blankets. The mom and her sister were equally excited to see us and thankfully I was able to utilize the linguistic skills of my dear friend to help explain how to handle the milk.