The night shift nurse who cared for me in the maternity ward was an absolute angel. She was comforting and reassuring and compassionate. She gave me answers without having to ask questions. She asked if I wanted to try and pump, then aim to feed my baby around 6:00am.
6:00am. That was the best gift I could have hoped for at the time. It wasn’t going to be days (as I had feared) before I could see my baby. It was going to be hours. I was able to rest more easily, knowing that I was gathering strength to make my trip in the morning.
She came in at 2:00am to help me set up pump. She told me that it was completely normal to only pump 1-2 milliliters of colostrum. I pumped 11mL. H had just come back from visiting the baby around that time and I sent him right out to feed W. If I wasn’t able to give my child his first feeding directly, then it wasn’t going to be a nurse when his father was available.
My nurse had me out of bed less than 7 hours after having my abdominal muscles rendered apart. She helped me get up out of bed and helped me walk the short distance to the restroom. Knowing that I was strong enough to get out of bed and walk that short distance did wonders for my morale. If I could make it out of bed to the bathroom, I could surely make it into a wheelchair.
At 6:00am, she came back. She helped me dress and called for a wheelchair to take me down to NICU while H slept on the couch.
After so many long months of waiting and hours of uncertainty, I finally met my son. I finally held my son.
I took a photo at that first meeting. The sun is shining through the window behind us and everything has a soft, ethereal glow. More than just being the first photo of us, the image captures the sense of joy and relief and peace I felt as I sat in that rocking chair in the quiet hours of the early morning, bonding with this new little person as we began our new lives together.