Sorry for the delay! My power cord broke after I finished writing part four and I had to wait to get a new one in the mail.
The next morning, Joe needed to go to work. He had to leave around 10, so before he left, he went up to the nursery to see Jace and find out how he was doing. I was in the bathroom trying to re-train my bladder to work when he came back down to the room. He told me that the neonatologist had been up there and he had gotten to talk to her. She told him that Jace was doing amazingly well. He was off of the oxygen completely and the fluid was gone. His levels were good, and he was staying stable. She said that they normally want to observe them for 24-48 hours after something like this happens, but that because he was doing so well, she didn’t see why he wouldn’t be released from Special Care the following morning.
Talk about relief. I couldn’t believe how different this report was from what that nurse had told us the night before. I still can’t figure out why she said what she said. But I chose to forget about it for the time being, because Jace was finally going to be with us!
And then Joe said, “Oh uh, there was a slight issue. But don’t worry, I took care of it.” He said it quickly, and I knew he was trying to keep me from getting upset.
“They didn’t give him the breast milk we gave them last night. The nurse this morning gave him formula.”
Now, let me say that I have nothing against formula… Summer and Camryn both had formula after the first few weeks they were born, and they are brilliant, healthy kids. But I was determined to breastfeed Jace successfully. I had pumped quite a bit of colostrum for him, something that all babies need the first days of their lives. The neonatologist that had taken care of him right after he was born had said that they would only give him what I pumped, and the card on his nursery bassinet clearly said Breastfed. And now I was hearing that the nurse in charge of my baby, who only had ONE other baby besides him to care for, gave him formula instead of the nutrient rich, immune system boosting colostrum that was in the refrigerator with mine and Jace’s name on it ten feet away from her.
I was REALLY mad. Joe said that as soon as she mentioned giving him formula, he looked at her and said, “You gave him what?!” and told her Jace had breast milk in the refrigerator from the night before. She acted surprised and said, “Oh, well usually you can’t get much colostrum this soon and I didn’t know it was there. But I’ll give it to him as soon as I can.” He said he could tell she was trying to play it off and keep him from getting mad. She knew she had messed up big time. He said he made it very clear to her that I was pumping and he was to be breast fed, and he should not get any more formula.
If Jace had been in our room like a normal baby, he would only be eating what I could produce. Why this nurse, a supposed health care professional, would give a newborn formula when his mother was ready and willing to provide “the perfect food” for him instead, is insane. Especially a newborn who was in a delicate state. We were helpless in the situation, having to trust these strangers to care for our baby.
Joe reassured me that he had taken care of it and Jace would only be getting breast milk from now on. All I could do was hope he was right, because I was in no shape to deal with the situation myself.
After Joe left for work, I got in the shower, and then my mom arrived. It felt great to be nice and clean. My aunt Angie got there after I was dressed and they pushed me in a wheelchair upstairs to see Jace.
He looked so much better when I saw him this time. He was laying on his back, instead of his stomach like before. There was no oxygen cannula in his nose or feeding tubes. Just an oxygen monitor and IV.
I held him first, and then my mom and Angie took turns with him. This was the first time my mom had gotten to hold him.
My cousin Emily showed up as well.
Angie and Emily left after a bit, and my mom stayed with me while I tried breastfeeding Jace for the first time. He latched on right away!
I nursed him for a few minutes on each side, and then it was time to let him sleep and go back down stairs. Before we left, I got to change his diaper for the first time!
The rest of the day I tried to rest and looked forward to the next day. I was trying not to get my hopes up in case Jace wasn’t released like they said he probably would be.