Below are photos from the first few days of Clara's life. This was our hospital stay for three days. We had wonderful nurses. They really made the stay a good experience. I can't say enough good things about the nursing staff, which I did cover some of in the blog, Clara's Birth Story. I wish I could say the same about the pediatricians though. We found that the pediatricians were either lacking in knowledge when it came to answering questions for us, responding with "I don't know's" and "I will have to Google that," which is ok, I mean no one knows everything, but some of our concerns were not uncommon concerns. One pediatrician in particular was very pushy, rude, and threatening.
We faced some scares while at the hospital with Clara. She had troubles breathing, choked a lot, and had become jaundiced after we left the hospital. The pediatricians became concerned that she had dropped weight after birth. Which is quite normal for babies and especially with cesarean babies. I refused formula, knowing that my milk would come in within a couple days and that she would be receiving healthy colostrum that is so beneficial to newborns. Thank goodness for the lactation consultants that supported my decision to breastfeed and advocated for me and for Clara when this particular ped dr wouldn't stop hounding me about supplementing Clara with formula. Babies are typically given two weeks to meet their birth weight, because it is a normal occurrence for babies to lose a little weight after birth, and they need time to gain it back.
This same ped dr went on to threaten my husband and I with mediation and social services if we did not have a pediatrician appointment lined up for that upcoming friday! She told us that we would not leave the hospital with our baby! Here it is, Clara was born on a saturday, three, almost four weeks earlier than her due date, which is yes, only an estimate, but still, earlier than expected. I had not chosen a pediatrician yet. I was actually that week planning on making phone calls to a couple peds I thought would be a good fit for our family. So, there it was Sunday, July 3, and this doctor is hounding us about not having a doctor ready for her, and that we had 24 hours to find a doctor and have an appointment made. She came in the next day, again, now Monday, but it's the 4th of July, a holiday, no offices are open, and she is hounding us yet again about getting an appointment made. Tuesday morning she came into our room promptly at 8am to actually ask us if we had an appointment made yet! I mean, give me a break, right? We just had our baby, it was a holiday weekend, and it's 8am. Within an hour I had an appointment made with a doctor, but the fact that she treated us the way she did was uncalled for. She wasn't done there though, no she still had more grief for us.
Clara's right eye was goopy. Her tear duct was clogged. This made this pediatrician very unsettled. She was not happy that I declined the eye ointment after birth. She asked why I declined it. I explained that I didn't find it necessary for a baby born by cesarean to a mother without STD's to need an antibacterial eye ointment used as a protective measure to newborns born vaginally to mom with STDs' or a mom that is unsure of having STDs. This was not the case for Clara. She did not need an antibacterial eye ointment as cesarean birth and I don't have any STD's. She had a clogged tear duct. Totally common in new babies. This was not anything to worry about. All I needed to do was massage her tear duct and eventually it would clear up, which it absolutely did about a week later. Yet this doctor looked me in the face and said if I didn't give my daughter the eye ointment that I would probably cause my daughter to go blind! This is insane! I could not believe this woman. I told her no, again, and she left the room, only to come back and tell me again that she wanted to do the eye ointment. I told her okay to get her off my back, she left the room to retrieve the ointment, and then I took Clara for a walk, and she never came back. I guess she got the not so subtle hint, and Clara never got the eye ointment, and guess what? She isn't blind! Amazing, right. Some people need to learn that no means no, not yes, and not maybe. No means no.
There was another pediatrician, that although was friendly, immediately assumed there may be a genetic mutation with Clara after assessing her for less than a minute. Less than a minute, yeah. He stated her ears did not look like our ears and sort of sat low, which they do not, and said that we must do a blood test for DNA mutations. So aside from the heel pricks she was getting for her PKU test and blood sugar tests they now wanted to draw blood from her tiny little arm to test for mutations?! I mean she looked totally fine to us,and in my gut I knew this was some sort of way to either pad the bill and/or be a scare tactic of some sort. My poor husband though was not prepared for the outpouring of harassment from the pediatricians about vaccines, cps threats, genetic mutations and so on. I totally expected it, and although expecting certain things that are "hospital policy" to take place, it still pissed me off how the doctors so easily scare new parents. We had the blood draw, and that did not go well. A young kid began to draw her blood and nearly collapsed her vein, and luckily a NICU nurse noticed his inexperienced draw, and stopped him, and then she drew from Clara's hand. The test came back negative...of course.
There was then a test they said she needed next for her thyroid. They stated that because I have Hashimoto's, she had probably lost weight because I might have passed my thyroid disease to her. Again, let me reiterate, babies lose weight after birth, it is okay, it is normal to a certain point, and she was within that range that was okay. Which again, that test came back negative. Oh and at around 3am, only about 6 hours after the time of Clara's birth during surgery, the pediatricians thought that would be a great time to come into our room and matter of factly tell us that Clara's shaking was an indication she might have bleeding on the brain because we declined the vitamin k shot.
She didn't shake, it wasn't like that. Clara was sound asleep and the doctor came over and pulled her hands out of her blanket to test her grip, and it startled Clara, so she immediately made it sound like it was life or death if we did not do the vitamin k shot. We were told we were possibly going to kill our daughter if we did not do the shot. So I won't use this blog to go into the research and details of the vitamin k shot, but we declined, and every 10 minutes this doctor was coming back in to tell us that this was necessary, that she strongly urges us to give her the shot. We eventually broke down an hour later and gave Clara the shot. Seriously though, this was not a life or death thing, yet another scare tactic, another hospital policy that they are used to, and we were declining. It makes people uncomfortable. I get it. Still, accusing us of possibly killing our daughter, that is over the top.
Anyways, aside from some of the bs and scares we faced in the hospital, I'll say it again, we had great nurses, and we are so thankful for their kindness and care. We didn't sleep a wink, and were absolutely over the moon having Clara finally in our arms. So with all this said here are some of the hospital pics from her first few days of life. (Including post surgery/post partum body pics, because for those of you that know me, and don't know me, I am all for normalizing body image for women.)
*Click pics to make larger.*