Nurse, Bring Me a Guiness Please
I was asked could I write more about "the baby years"?
Sure, I said confidently.
I remember thinking, during that brief moment in time when all three of my boys were under two, that someday I would have to write about this stuff, because it was so crazy it was (almost) funny.
But now, a few (six) years later, I can barely remember what it really felt like to go though those days. My remaining memories are of the hardest moments, my most desperate moments as a new Mom, and a few really funny moments like this one:
After the twins arrived, I wanted to get out of the hospital as fast as I could. I was trying to prove to the post-partum nurses (who I think were actually trolls in disguise) that:
1) I could successfully breastfeed my babies.
2) I could go #1 and #2 on my own again (yes, me, not the babies)
So, remembering the advice of a lactation consultant when I was in the hospital after my first child, I told my husband to bring me a Guinness (yes, that would be beer. Stout to be precise). This had helped my milk "let down" with my first son. IT WORKED. Coincidence, maybe, but I was ready to give it another shot. Typically, after a c-section, it takes a bit longer for a woman's body to recover and kick-in to Mommy-mode, so let-down can take a few days. The problem with that, is the hospital wasn't going to let my babies go home with me unless they started gaining weight. We were at a bit of a stale-mate, because I didn't want the hospital to bottle-feed (supplement) the babies until I was successfully breastfeeding. I had been down this road with my first son, and knew that all I needed to do was rest, relax and have a small mug of stout. Now, I know the facts and the research, and I know that too much alcohol consumption while breastfeeding can lower milk production and interfere with baby's growth, but I am talking one Guinness beer, one time, to relax and encourage let-down.
Woman have been doing it in Europe for centuries.
Lactation consultants seem to differ in opinion about it, but it is fact that hops and barley do encourage milk production, and a drink does encourage relaxation. This time, I needed to get things moving double-time, so, ready to try anything to get us all home, my awesome husband returned to the hospital with a coffee go-mug full of beer, and some fruit for me.
What happened next is a little foggy, due to the years that have passed, and the medley of painkillers that the anesthesiologist had pumped into me during surgery...anyhoo...oh dear, I know what you are thinking now. Off to a good start with a pain-killer/booze combo.
So, I reached out to grab the go-mug, containing my "hops-rich power drink", and somehow managed to push it off the tray, sending it splashing all over the hospital room floor, and my bed (including those nasty (but awesome) leg-compression pump thingies). Luckily none got on the babies (not this time anyway...) Suddenly my room smelled like a pub. As I sat in my hospital bed, tubes coming out of (um, many places), and with a pink baby under each arm, laughing, I barked out instructions to my bootlegger:
GET SOME PAPER TOWEL!
SHUT THE DOOR TO THE HALL!
CHECK IF THE NURSE IS COMING!
GO FIND A MOP! (which, he actually did!)
While he was gone looking for a mop, I had the brilliant idea to peel an orange to hide the beer smell. I was panicking, and medicated, so I started squeezing orange on the floor over the side of the bed.
My husband returned with a mop, attached to a custodian, who came into my room and proceeded to mop up the remaining "Irish Power Aid" that was on my floor. I avoided eye contact, and hoped that the bleach he had been breathing in had fried his sense of smell. My husband mumbled something about apple juice.
As the cleaner was leaving, he told me he would get the nurse to bring me more apple juice. I think I saw a slight smirk at the corner of his mouth.
Afterwards, alone in the room with two babies sleeping peacefully beside me, velcro air-tubes pumping my legs quietly, a fresh glass of apple juice on my tray, and the faint smell of "old pub" lingering in the air, my husband and I laughed for a long time. It really hurt to laugh, but it felt good!
My milk did come in that day. In turns out the Guinness had worked its wonders one more time...