Friday, August 15, 2008

Too Many Compromises?

I mentioned the other day that Husband's boss is an asshat. Husband has informed me (last night) that he will only take 2 weeks off due to job pressures. One of my friends who had a C-Section mentioned she didn't think I would really need him there for the few days I'm in the hospital after the surgery so I'm going to have him take off Monday August 25th (day of surgery) and Friday August 29th (my discharge) plus the following 2 weeks at home. He can come join me Tuesday-Thursday at the hospital for dinner/time with the babies after work. I am not going to make him sleep on that horrible stretched out chair. See how nice a Wife I am? I think it is more important he be helping me figure out how to be at home with the kids rather than at the hospital with all the nurses and other help.

We met our baby nurse yesterday in person. She is very nice but definitely opinionated - although "supportive" about breastfeeding she is big on making sure I get rest at night - having one night feeding with formula so I can get more consecutive sleep. I worry about that since I know it is so hard to get a supply established so I need to lay some ground rules about that and make sure Husband backs me up since I hear I'll be an emotional wreck for the first month or so. I don't think she fully understands how committed I am to the breastfeeding. The way I am looking at it is that for the first six weeks (at least) it is MY JOB - that means even if I am not sleeping or I feel like a cow, feeding all the time, it is MY JOB. My "bosses" just have to be managed even more than the ones at my Firm.


Liz Jimenez said...

M took leave when I was in the hospital, but didn't stay there with me. I figured that, with the kids in the NICU and therefore not needing help with them in the middle of the night, there was no sense in him getting bad sleep and me not sleeping because of his snoring. :-) We were both happier and better rested for it.

I would agree, as delicious as that extra bit of overnight sleep is, I don't think it does you any favors in establishing supply... But hey, what do I know?

Bessa said...

Just for a full range of opinions, my c-section was really hard for me and I needed my husband (or mom or someone) there to help me. I couldn't get out of bed easily and get baby out of the bassinet easily. Plus, I had to have someone hold her hands away from my boobs while I tried to get her to latch!

10 lbs of awesome in a 5 lb bag said...

Do you have someone who will be with you in the hospital the whole time? We only have one kid, but after my wife's C section, she couldn't get up at all for the first couple of days, and I did all of the diaper changing and swaddling. I don't know how it works with twins, or if you'll have someone there all the time. If you will, you won't need your husband around so much. If you won't, you will. Also, ask him to think about how much easier it will be to take time off from the day that the kids are born and forward, rather than going back to work then taking time off. If he says that he's taking time off the whole way through, maybe it would be easier for him to rationalize to his boss that he's going to be out. If he goes back in the middle, would his boss see it as an opening to make your husband work more?

Just a thought from a random reader.

T. said...

Hey, I am actually off work on Friday, August 29th and could take off another day that week if I can be of any assistance whatsoever. Just let me know and don't be afraid to 1) lay down the law and 2) ask for help!! Love, T

Rhonda said...

When I was pumping for my NICU twins, the LC's and nurses made it clear that I should pump every 2-3 hours and take have no more than a single 5 hour stretch without pumping at night. Rest is good, but eating and drinking well plus constant nursing is better.

IMHO, your baby nurse is your employee and she needs to realize that your word is final. Of course, depending on where the babies will be sleeping, you may wake up anyway and depending on the situation, you may find it easiest to not allow any formula in the house, then breast is the ONLY option.

What A Card said...

Aside from the breastfeeding issue, the overnights were some of my favorite times with the babies. It was so quiet and peaceful and all felt right with the world. I would have been sad to have missed out on that.

I had a very easy time with my c-section, but still couldn't really get up/lift things while I was in the hospital. That includes babies...I wasn't really up for the constant diaper changes and picking up and down from the bassinet. And the nurses aren't around nearly enough to do it all for you! So make sure you have people scheduled to be with you pretty much always!

Rebecca said...

I think that how you do in the hospital depends on whether your babies are in the NICU or rooming in with you. Mine roomed in with me, and I absolutely needed my husband with me the whole time. I had a good recovery from the C section, but I still couldn't get back in bed with a baby in my arms and when he went home for an afternoon, I had to get my mother-in-law to come in and help me. The nurses are there to give you pain meds but they're not much help otherwise.

As for BFing, I pumped once in the am (you have more milk then) and my husband did the midnight feeding---so that is always an option if you want a bit more sleep. I'd do that over formula if you really want to establish a good milk supply, at least in the first 6 weeks or so.

Krissy said...

This was my experience:

Went in for my C at 10am. Surgery performed at noon. I felt pretty out of it at first, then perked up a bit for visitors, and then felt HORRIBLE. I guess it was just a reaction from all the meds, but I felt very pukey, and just miserable. I had to ask my guests to leave.

The next morning, they removed my catheter, 1 IV (the other stayed in) and I got up for the first time since the surgery. And almost fainted.

I needed help getting out of bed each and every time. My abs were useless, and the pain was a factor. It honestly surprised me how infrequently the nurses were around. They didn't really check on me, just came when I called for them. I even had to remember when my pain meds were due. (And I delivered in the premier Women's hospital in my city.)

Our babies roomed in with us during the day, but at night we sent them to the nursery. The nurses brought them back to breastfeed, and my husband did all the diaper changes and swaddling. With my IV's, incision and sheer exhaustion, I was useless in that arena for the first 36 hours.

Husband Adds:
If there are c-section complications (I had excessive blood loss, which is common for twin deliveries), and even if all goes very smoothly, he thinks it is more critical that your husband be with you day in and day out at the hospital, even if he doesn't stay overnight. He felt most useful the first week, as he excelled at taking care of me so that I could focus on breastfeeding and healing.

I would have been lost with out him in the hospital. He, not the nurses, was the one to help me get the babies latched on. He watched the clock (15-20 minutes each side X 2), and filled up my water glass every 10 minutes! He got me snacks, ordered our food, helped me walk post-c, and handled the phone calls. I wish the fold out beds weren't so awful, but it was a bonding experience! If I were to have more kids, I might send him home if I had a vaginal delivery and one child, but not if I had another C.

But like I said, this was simply our experience. Lots of people have much easier recoveries.

H said...

Tell the asshat that Husband is taking his time, he can take FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), I think the words of these other lovely ladies have shown you that you'll need him with you. From everything I've heard, it's expected that you, not the nurses, are taking care of the kids, and you will be recovering from major surgery. Wish I could be with you:)

Anonymous said...

I think you might want Husband in the hospital with you, even if you are having an easy recovery from the c/s.

And I 100% agree with Rhonda about A) the babynurse being your employee and thus you setting the ground rules and B) not keeping any formula in the house.

Not to get all lactivist (again :-P) but if you're really committed to making the breastfeeding work, in the early weeks you've got to be nursing or pumping for those sweet babies All. The. Time. No, it's not easy to be up at night, or to feel like a milk cow, but it's SOOOO worth it in the end. Formula can be a slippery slope to the end of the breastfeeding relationship. If you want me to lay down the law for the babynurse, I'd be glad to do it!! ;-)

Almostima said...

Is there anyone above the asshat that Husband can go to? It seems like one of those things that might be worth the fight. If husband doesn't set some boundaries now, he never will.

Almostima said...

Oh, and I meant to say that you should look into Vitex/Chasteberry herbal supplement. I took it in Tea form to help me get pregnant, but it's also supposed to be good for increasing your supply.