I think one of the most difficult experiences of my life occurred the first night we brought home Nolan from the hospital.
I thought I knew how to handle babies pretty well - I've always been around kids and I have spent a LOT of time with my nephews, Robert and Connor. But the first night Francis & I brought home Nolan, I realized how little I knew about handling a newborn and how unprepared we really were.
At the hospital, there were nurses there every moment of the day to help when you're having any troubles. But once you're home - you're all on your own! Oh, dear god, what did we get ourselves into??
Nolan cried non-stop. We changed him, swaddled him, and I tried over and over to breastfeed him the colostrum. But he never seemed satisfied! At the hospital, the nurses kept assuring us these little drops of colostrum were all he needed, and that I was producing enough to satisfy him. But from his poor little cries, it sure did not seem like it! Nolan's cries seemed so desperate...and we had NO IDEA how to help him!
After hours and hours of trying everything to sooth him, we thought: maybe we just have to let him cry himself to sleep. We googled about getting babies to sleep, and read that you should try this technique of letting the baby cry in their crib for 5 minutes, then just touching and talking to him to comfort him...but *not* taking him out of the crib. Then if they continue to cry, go back after 10 minutes to comfort him. If they continue to cry, go back after 15 minutes....you get the point.
We tried this technique, but he just continued to cry! I kid you not: Nolan cried pretty much continuously the ENTIRE night.
Francis and I looked at each other by around 4am and said: oh god, what have we gotten ourselves into?! We felt so completely INADEQUATE! I cried almost that entire night myself - his cries seemed to rip my heart from my chest.
I can't thank my sister-in-law (Jenn) and her mom (Bev) enough! They came to the rescue the next morning!! I was completely hysterical when they came over - I couldn't get out 2 words without the tears flowing down my cheeks. Luckily they were both well acquainted with hysterical-tired-crazy-new-mom-syndrome! They helped show me some techniques of soothing Nolan and how to help Nolan better latch...but most of all, they helped assure me that everything I was going through was totally normal and I wasnt as crazy as I thought I was :)
Thank god my milk started coming that day. Despite all the difficulty I was having getting Nolan to latch, the little milk that did start coming seemed to satisfy him a bit, and he seemed much less frantic. I KNEW that my poor little man was just starving - all he needed was some milk! The nurses were wrong - the colostrum was NOT enough! My poor little guy was just starving!
At least I know for the future: give the baby some formula if he seems that hungry! Colostrum is not always enough!
So Francis & I made it through Day 3....what will come in these upcoming days?????!!!