Wife, Mummy, Nurse: May 16: The Day My Son Had Formula

01 August 2014

May 16: The Day My Son Had Formula

After Charis was born, I was so tired and exhausted from staying up all night long the first few nights that I secretly wanted to grab the Similac {a free sample sent to us in the mail} out of the cupboard and give it to her. Thankfully, we did not have any bottles or nipples.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy with Justin I told my husband, "Hide the formula from me and do NOT get it for me. No matter how desperate I seem." He did as I requested.

On May 16, I call Drew, crying, and tell him, "You need to come get the formula and feed Justin." Needless to say, my husband was shocked, and asked, "Why?"

One of the few moments where he and I were actually sleeping.
"He hasn't peed in almost 24 hours. I called the pediatrician, and he told me to continue nursing, but also to give him at least an ounce of formula every two hours over the next six hours."

This time around, I was so tired. The previous 2 nights, I had been up all night with my son. He was crying ALL NIGHT LONG. I'd tried putting him on my breast, but he would either fall asleep after being on for two minutes or he cried so much I put him back to an upright position, where he did not cry. We continued this until daylight, when he finally fell asleep for about 45 minutes. When Lil' J slept during the day, I thanked God and slept too, not thinking about his urinary output or lack thereof.  It wasn't until 3 PM on the 16h that I realized the last time he had a wet or dirty diaper was around 7:30 the night before.

After being in contact with our son's pediatrician at least four times over the course of the next 6 hours, he instructed us to head to the ER. He had just seen our son the day before and didn't think anything was wrong, but at the same time he was worried that our son had not urinated even after getting 3 bottles of formula and breastfeeding twice. Thankfully, he called ahead to let them know a 5 day old baby was coming.

Once we got to the ER, I registered, and he was seen to immediately. The nurse asked, "What brought you to the ER?" I told her, "He has not urinated in over 24 hours." "Has he had any dirty diapers today?" "No." She was appalled, and I felt so humiliated. She was competent. But, she was too businesslike and task oriented.

The nurse told us, "I need to get his weight." As soon as we put him on the scale, he had a blue line on his diaper, and it got thicker and thicker. Already feeling humiliated-both as a mother who felt like she should have paid better attention to her son, and as a nurse since part of my job working in ICU involved paying attention to my patients' intakes and outputs at least every 1-2 hours-I was then made to feel like we had wasted her time. Thankfully, all the other medical staff who saw my son were warm and friendly.

Thankfully, in the end, we found out he was not getting enough breast milk and everything was fine with him. I'm also grateful, I was not instructed to keep giving him formula. I love breastfeeding my son, but we also need to be careful that we do not look down on mamas who chose to give formula to their babies, either by choice or because they weren't able to nurse. What matters most is that a baby is loved and cared, not how they're fed. Tomorrow you will find out what I did or continued to do to help increase my milk supply and prevent supplementing him anymore with formula.

1 comment:

  1. So hard. It took before my third child before I was able to make enough milk to exclusively breastfeed.