035/365-2013 – Transitional Care Day 2

Our first night back in the hospital in the Transitional Care unit was a trial like no other. Every three hours, the alarm would sound – a stark reminder to feed Jelly Bean with expressed breast milk. This routine – bottle-feeding, winding him, then expressing for the next feed – sounds simple in theory. Yet, in the stark, bleary hours of the night, it was anything but. Jelly Bean guzzled the milk so eagerly from the bottle that he soon was covered, along with my bed, his crib, his bandaged arm, and the floor, in a spray of vomit. This chaotic scene replayed at each feed. By 4 am, my spirit crumbled. A raging migraine throbbed unattended, a stark reminder that I wasn’t a patient here. The hours from midnight till then stretched out like a relentless, unending path. Overwhelmed, I finally pressed the bell for the midwife.

Transitional Care

The moment she entered, her eyes brimming with understanding, she gently insisted I get some rest. I surrendered to sleep the instant my head graced the pillow, only stirring when Jelly Bean was returned to my arms at 6:30 am. We slept, cocooned in a brief respite, until 8:30 am. He fussed, signalling it was time to feed again. That morning felt like a fresh start, a new chapter. I was determined – today, I would master breastfeeding with Jelly Bean. Eager and hopeful, I requested the Breastfeeding Consultant’s guidance to ensure a proper latch for Jelly Bean.

Within a mere five minutes, the Breastfeeding Consultant was by my side, her expertise apparent in a single glance. She immediately noted that Jelly Bean’s ability to latch on was hindered by my engorged state – my breasts swollen with an abundance of milk. So, we resorted once again to the breast shields, a familiar yet challenging tool. It wasn’t a straightforward task; it took several patient attempts, but perseverance paid off. Finally, Jelly Bean latched on correctly. Despite the lingering pain from my recently damaged nipples, it was a moment of triumph. Jelly Bean fed contentedly from both sides, a significant accomplishment given our recent struggles.

Transitional Care

Post-feed, a serene 40 to 50 minutes unfolded. Jelly Bean, now satiated and calm, embarked on a quiet exploration of his surroundings. He lay there, gazing curiously around the room, his attention eventually captured by the view outside the window. It was a peaceful, almost reflective time, offering a gentle contrast to the earlier frenzy of feeding. This tranquil scene, with Jelly Bean’s innocent wonder, was a soothing balm to the earlier chaos, hinting at the normalcy and simple joys that lay ahead in our journey.

As the day unfolded, I became increasingly vigilant with our breastfeeding routine. Each feeding session was a deliberate effort to ensure Jelly Bean latched on correctly. With every attempt, we improved, gradually mastering the technique that once seemed so elusive. This progress was not just about feeding; it was about building a bond and understanding each other’s cues and needs.

In tandem with these efforts, I embraced the rhythm of Jelly Bean’s sleep. Whenever he drifted off to his little dreams, I allowed myself the same luxury. This synchrony of rest was not only physical recuperation but also a mental respite, a brief escape from the overwhelming whirl of hospital life.

By evening, as our visitors trickled in, they were greeted with a distinctly brighter atmosphere. My newfound confidence was almost palpable, a stark contrast to the previous days’ uncertainties. Jelly Bean, too, seemed to echo this positive change, faring much better than before. It was as if both of us had reached a silent understanding, a mutual agreement to thrive despite the odds. This shift in mood was not lost on our guests, who could sense the subtle yet significant strides we had made in just a day.

2 thoughts on “035/365-2013 – Transitional Care Day 2”

  1. He is so cute. Breastfeeding is hard work, isn’t it? I managed to breastfeed Olivia for 9 months, and will never forget the tough beginnings… but at the end of the day, i loved the special moments with her. I am glad it worked out well for you and baba xxx

    • I have had such different experiences of breastfeeding with each baby and this has definitely been the hardest. Each day is getting better but it’s still tough and often painful but I won’t give up. There is a really good breastfeeding clinic at the hospital so I’m intending on using it this time until I get it right 🙂 x

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