My baby is eighteen months old now and she has been successfully weaned into solid diet. The journey so far has been exciting and filled with heartbreaks, insights, blunders, triumphs and what not.
My daughter was born in September 2014 through C-section. I still remember the nurse bringing a frowning pink angel and doctor joking about her being so angry for being taken out of mom’s cozy tummy. I cried.
I hardly started feeling the pain due to subsiding anesthesia effect when she came, wrapped in a blue towel, wearing the old faded soft clothes borrowed from a friend. The pain vanished, and yes you are right I again cried. Next thing I remember my hubby running for sweets, parents for baby clothes. Soon the room was filled with everything pink. In between, I could also hear daddy scolding my hubby and brother in law for taking picture with flash on.
Then an attendant came and lapped the baby to my breast. Her tiny pink lips rolled and she sucked the first drop of colostrum. It was an amazing feeling. Later, the doctor came and told me to rest and against my will suggested formula milk for the baby. My weakness and anesthesia effect made me surrender against the pursuance of doctor. I slept like i had not slept since ages.
Ah! The sweet morning came, and I opened my eyes with a deep smile. Instantly, I pulled the cradle close to me, to touch her, to feel her, to hug her and to shower my love. But a shock was awaiting me. She wasn’t there. I froze. It was like the life was taken out from me. Horror stuck, I could not even call my husband. I just burst into tears
My husband came running and made me sit on the bed, consoled me and the unfolded the story. Last night, the nurse along with my husband tried to feed the newborn and she threw up all the formulae milk. The doctor thought that there is some problem in digestion. So my daughter had been shifted to Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) under observation for four hours. I felt helpless and the next thing I did was to stare the clock relentlessly.
To my greatest fear, the four hours became eight first, then sixteen. Even the day passed but she did not come, only the hourly report came through my husband. I was dying to visit her but even my will power could not win the frailty of my body. My helplessness made me cry, cry and cry.
Next day morning, a nurse came to assist me in walking and I literally begged her to take me to NICU. Perhaps her womanhood made her help me. Unable to stand straight, I reached NICU in a wheel chair. I saw her. She was there sleeping, with all sort of tubes running through her. She was still frowning at me as was asking that for all this pain I had bought her into this world. I felt devastated. I begged the on duty doctor to discharge her. All he did was to smirk at my tears. He told me he had no authority to discharge. Only senior doctors can take decision and to my greatest adversary, due to public holidays the hospital was closed for three days.
I could not sleep the whole night. Mother in me was dying to feel those small pink lips again. My breast had become hard and aching badly. Next morning my husband took me to NICU again. Doctor reported that she was on the formulae milk and continuously throwing. I was totally helpless. My gut-feeling was telling me the indigestion is somehow related to the top feed.
Then I took a bold decision. I asked the doctor to immediately stop the artificial diet and replace it with my breast feed for that he reluctantly agreed. An attendant nurse squeezed the feed out and gave it to doctor. I sat near baby’s bed and made sure she was fed with my feed.
The process started. In every three hours I called attendant to relieve the milk. Then I and my husband ran up to the NICU with tiny containers filled with light yellow droplets. I quietly sat close to her watching my milk entering in her body. And then there was a dramatic improvement. My mother instinct was right, she did not throw up. I wanted to shout upon the doctor, “See! The magic of the breast feed you degree holders fool”. After twelve hours, she did not throw anything and her appetite was building. Now I was ready to erupt. What words came I don’t know but my husband told me that I offered the doctor to take all the money they were making from this fake NICU bill and give me back my baby. Till today I don’t regret that emotional outburst.
On fourth day, the senior doctor came. I remember speaking to him for 20 minutes, telling him what colostrum is and its importance. I felt like I was Vidya Balan, doing and ad on Jachha-Baccha viewers of Doordarshan. But when I finished, he smiled and said, “Madam what you are doing is very correct and we appreciate it, but let us do our job.
This was the end of my tolerance. I immediately called my obstetrician, told her the story that they have taken my baby and fed her formula which caused her indigestion. She is doing fine with breast milk and I am fortunate enough to have it in abundance. Please intervene and give me my baby. I don’t want her to be treated here. Within an hour my baby was discharged after I signed a declaration that we are taking her at our own risk.
My baby came to my arms and I fed her properly for the first time. It is a feeling I can’t describe in words. Importantly she wasn’t frowning any more in my arms. And Yes! Yes! I cried again now please get over it.
PS: Within half an hour she threw up. I started shouting that she is still not able to digest it someone please call the doctor. My mother shushed me and said,” Shhhh!!! Babies always throw up if u don’t make them burp stupid! We both winked and smiled. We came back home and she kept throwing up till I excelled the art of burping her.