The nurses who take care of my baby girl are apparently mad that she no longer has any milk left so they can’t feed her.
I quickly explain that the doctors told me that I can’t use any of my milk because the antibiotics they are giving me are too strong. One of the older nurses mutters something about “this mama obviously not knowing how important mother’s milk is to her baby” and I get sad (especially being extra sensitive right now) because I do know how important it is for my baby and I try really, really hard to even “produce” any.
As I tear up, another one of the younger nurses turns her back to me whispering loudly (if that makes sense; a “theatre whisper” in Swedish) that it is not like ‘’a lot of the medicine will come in the milk anyways and since the baby really needs the milk I would definitely give it to her ”.
I wish I could speak up and stand up for myself here but my timid side takes over and my mouth goes dry and my heart starts beating faster, I try to clear my throat to explain to these judgmental nurses that I really didn’t know and that the doctors did tell me to throw out my milk, when my favorite nurse Kate swoops in yet again and I don’t have to.
My savior from last night is saying how she can’t believe I’m standing up on my own two feet and that I’m here after seeing me in the state I was in the last time she saw me. She proceeds by telling the other nurses how extremely sick I was and how I’m such a trooper. I look at her hoping that she sees the gratefulness in my eyes- for everything. Then she tells the other two nurses that it is sometimes tricky with medicines; some antibiotics ARE too strong for the babies, even the little amount that actually comes in the milk (now this lady is incredible). Before the stunned nurses (actually giving me apologetic glances now) have a chance to respond, Kate announces that she will go get doctor W (the NICU baby doc) to ask her about the specific medication I am on, and she leaves with a wink to me.
The older nurse busies herself with getting the comfy rocking chair (highly sought after here in the NICU) and some pillows so that I can sit down and hold my baby, while the younger one now mumbles something about “skin to skin also being very important” before she hurries off.
Kate comes back happily sharing that I can stop pumping and dumping (what a waste) and start pumping in order to get baby some milk. She says that Dr. W is outraged that the doctors told me to throw my precious milk out but that it definitely isn’t my fault and she continues to explain that even if my antibiotic is probably the strongest one out there, it is also one they give to premature babies to help them fight off especially bad infections.
All I want to do is to go back up to my room (my new WIC room that is at the Women’s Intensive Care unit) and pump, pump, pump, getting as much milk as possible proving to everyone (childish I know, this is for my baby after all) that I CAN do it and that I DO have my daughter’s best interest, and only her best interest at heart.
But first some much needed snuggle time with my tiny cutie!
My mother comes by in the afternoon with my husband and son in tow. My little boy is satisfied settling in on my bed with SpongeBob and snacks from the vending machine (what? it’s not like we let him eat that crap all the time), knowing how to work the large off-white remote by now (please buddy, not the call button), the nurses swooning over him, the beautiful blonde little “girl” visiting her mommy, while my mom and I head down to the NICU.
We make it as far as the elevator before my husband calls telling me that our son is already “over it” running amok in the sterile room with all the hospital equipment; so not ideal.
My mom advices me to let daddy take care of this one, he could use the training and experience, she is excited to see the baby and to spend some time with both of us making sure we are okay!
As I bite my tongue, I agree with her but can’t help offering my husband some suggestions on what to do with our wild one, like take a walk or come up with a distracting game. I remind him not to let him touch anything in the room or pull the emergency rope in the bathroom (yep, he got very close… twice before).
I can’t help by worry a little but know I have to focus on my other baby and all this worry is exhausting, besides my husband has had a lot of practice lately with me being gone so long (even with all my mom’s help) so he should be able to figure this one out.
Before we are even at the hand-washing station, he texts me a reassuring message that the nurses are entertaining our little troublemaker and giving him cookies (telling him what a good girl he is; which I’m sure is quite confusing since we had the whole “boy or girl speech” not long ago)…
As soon as we are done washing up, and we turn the corner to bed number 13, the normally super calm, cool and collected nurse Kate is frantically patting my baby’s back, shouting for her to start breathing…