Rio's first night

After she was wisked out of my delivery room Bear went to take a picture of her so I could see what she looked like. I was so amazed that I had actually had a baby I was in more than mild shock. I assumed that I would have a C section at the last minute and I almost did but natural delivery hopped up on drugs was definitely the way to go.

Bear ambled back into the room where the doctor was still sewing me up. He showed me her little face on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. "Wow" was all I could say. "How much does she weigh? How long is she?" I was concerned with her being 3 weeks early and all. Bear just gave me a blank stare and ambled back out to go find out some pertinent facts.


After they cleaned me up I was transferred to my room. They came to see if I wanted to go to the NICU to see my baby. Of course. Could I walk? Of course! So I careened to the NICU on numb legs, carried by sheer anxiety. Was she alright? Did I really see a big purple bump on her head? Did the nurses respect my wish to soley breast feed or had they started undermining my decisions?

I got there and she was so tiny. She was pink, which was great because she was gray/blue the last time I had seen her. Her hair was cleaned up a bit but she was still bloody in a lot of places with vernix in all of her folds. She grabbed my finger and all the fears I had about whether she would know me disappeared. I stood, my finger in hers, tears streaming, for about half an hour. When I felt faint I asked to go back to my room. She had to stay. Precautionary, they explained.


People kept arriving and grandparents were allowed to see her so when each set arrived, Bear escorted them to the NICU and they all came back to say what a good job I had done with such a beautiful baby. I was still in shock.

We had planned to 'room in'. That means that Rio stays in my room with me and I feed her and change her for the 2 days until we are discharged. Change in plans. By dinner time it was apparent that she would be spending the night in the NICU. It was just down the hall so I could see her whenever I felt like it so that was good. I sent Bear home because the flipout in my room was crazy small for him. With no baby there was no reason for him to stay with me. I sent everyone home and paced back and forth to the NICU in my pink pajamas.


By 4 am I had attempted to breast feed Rio 8 times. Every 2 hours. There was absolutely nothing to be had and she was starting to show it. A kindly nurse said, "Honey, you're going to have to consider formula."

That simple. We were so sure breastfeeding was going to work that we hadn't even bought bottles. So, standing in a dimly lit hall at 4:30 in the morning with fear, guilt, disappointment and shame all vying for top bidding, I made the decision. "Give her a bottle."