By the time I had my fourth baby, I thought I knew what to expect at the hospital. It wasn't our first rodeo, and my husband and I thought we had a pretty good grasp on what would occur during delivery and recovery.
Well things went as expected for the delivery part. We were very excited to welcome our fourth boy. However, since my baby was considered to be larger than average (at 8 lbs 9 oz), the hospital did a routine check on his blood sugar levels. They pricked his tiny little foot and assessed where it was at.
I didn't think anything abnormal would come up, but the nurse's were concerned with his numbers. They indicated he had low blood glucose levels so they continued to monitor him. And since the numbers were not looking good, they continued to prick him.
I know the hospital staff was doing what they felt was best and were trained to do, but I have to admit my mama bear instincts kicked in and I was pretty ticked off that they kept making my newborn bleed and cry. And to make it worse, they informed me that if his numbers didn't improve, they would have to take them to the NICU. WHAT?? I couldn't believe it. What was happening?
Since my milk had not yet come in, they suggested supplementing with high calorie formula to hopefully avoid a NICU stay.
And fortunately, I brought my skin-to-skin friendly Rest Dress with me. I had done a lot of research on the benefits of skin-to-skin time, and I recalled that research showed it could help regulate blood sugar. So that is exactly what my son and I did. Every moment we could, we were skin-to-skin.
We were told that we had only one last chance of testing. If he failed, he would be sent to the NICU.
Gratefully, the skin-to-skin worked!! His numbers finally got to a normal range. We were able to avoid the NICU and were able to leave the hospital and take our sweet baby boy home right on schedule.
I learned, yet again through experience, the power of a mother's touch.