I'm most likely delivering via c-section...no matter what I've tried, baby A just doesn't want to turn it around. Some people have told us to definitely send the kids to the nursery so we can sleep and some say keeping the babies in the room with us is best. I want to exclusively breast feed and am concerned that it might just be easier for a well-meaning nurse to give a kid a bottle in the middle of the night as opposed to bringing them to me to nurse in the middle of the night.
FWIW, we plan on having the kids sleep in our room when we bring them home so I don't see why we would send them to the nursery when they're born. I assumed we'd have the babies stay with us but a few co-workers mentioned to DH that they sent their kids to the nursery and they were able to get some good sleep; so now we're researching this a little more.
What did you guys do?
I definitely vote for rooming in. I like having my babies nearby. That being said, when my twins were born they did spend time in the nursery because I was not able to care for them (emergency c-section and needed a blood transfusion) and dh was at home with our older dc's but as soon as I was able to they spent all their time with me. It probably depends on the hospital and the nursing staff but they are usually very helpful. My nurses were always very happy to help me position the babies for nursing, get me pain relief, help diaper a baby if needed, etc... We were in the hospital for 5 days.
As soon as I was out of recovery, DD was with us our entire stay. DS spent two nights in the NICU, but after that was with either DH or me for the 5 days we were in the hospital. I even made DH go with the twins when the nurses took them for their nightly check-ups. The twins are our oldest, so DH was able to stay with me the entire time. It would have been impossible for me to solely care for DD the first 24 hrs, because they leave a catheter in that long, so I couldn't get out of bed. As for sleep, that's pretty much all my twins did, when they weren't nursing, and five days of living in a 12 X 12 room leaves few options for the parents! We were very well rested when we were discharged, and my only lack of sleep complaint came from sleeping on the hospital bed.
Good luck! I know families for one reason or another whose babies went to the nursery for periods of time, and today all are healthy, well-adjusted preschoolers!!
I too had a c-section (darn these breech babies). I wasn't able to care for the babies at first since I couldn't even get out of bed. The meds just made me too dizzy and I was in too much pain. So...if you can get someone to stay with you, even overnight, it is extremely helpful for rooming in. Either way, the nurses should respect your decision to not use bottles and bring the babies to you for feeding. I did find it depended on teh hospital. DD1 was delivered at a hospital where the nurses were extremely slow responding at night. Thus, by the time they came to take DD to the nursery, it was practically time to feed her again, so we kept her with us. With the twins, the nurses were better. I did use the nursery more because a) the recovery was harder and I just didn't care about diaper changes at that time.
and b) DS was in the NICU, so I was dividing time between them. I'd feed DD2 then send her to the nursery so I could walk to the NICU to feed/visit DS and then we'd start again. I hardly changed any diapers at all that time, but I did do all the feedings. Good luck!
I think this is one of those things that I'd want to play by ear.
I had a vaginal birth with DS, and he spent almost no time in the nursery. I had an emergency section with DD, and she went straight to the NICU, and then, because I'd lost a fair bit of blood, I was just exhausted - I'd wake up, feel great, and then half an hour later I would be completely unable to stay awake, barely able to drag myself back to bed from the NICU before passing out. My point is, it's hard to say now how you will feel after surgery, how much you will be able to do yourself. If may be that the help is really vital to have, and if that's the case, use it!
And by all means, be crystal clear with the nurses about feeding and when they should bring the babies to you.
I was concerned about the same thing...I had baby a naturally, but then needed a c-sec to get baby b out and I have to say it was very hard to recover from both without any rest because we did room in. I wish that we had taken some time and allowed them to go to the nursery because once we got home there was no rest to be had for months. It made things much harder, especially when recovering from major surgery and a huge life transition. So just keep that in mind- you have to allow yourself some time to recover otherwise you will only extend your healing time. It also depends on how much help you have afterwards, because if you will have that time for healing and rest once you get home you can weigh that as well.
Most of the time- the nursing staff is aware of your requests and will just bring the babies to you when they want to be fed. At our hospital there were signs on the bassinet that stated how they needed to be fed.
We roomed in except for a two hour break on the second night. I felt more comfortable with them in the room with me. I did have my husband there, too, which made it possible. Without him, I'm not sure I could have done it, and not certain the hospital would have let me, since I'd had a c-section.
For me, it helped me get to know their noises. My babies have all been noisey breathers, with squeeks and other little sounds. It was still weird that first night at home with them, but at least it wasn't my first night ever with them.
I also had a c-section with my boys and was in hospital for almost a week. I had one baby in the NICU and one baby rooming in. Two points:
1. In the hospital I delivered at there was a policy that all babies had to be in the nursery by shift change at 11 pm which was good in a way. They got their baths and it gave me a break.
2. There was a sticker on the bassinets that said ABSOLUTELY NO FORMULA. The nurses were very respectful of that and because I had a c-section they brought the babies in to me when it was time to nurse. For the baby in the NICU, I would spend all day with both of them in the same bassinet (siblings of NICU babies are allowed in and they were very accomadating). So I would pump for the NICU baby so he would get bottles at night. As I got stronger I was called to the NICU to feed.
It was a very positive nursing experience and the nurses really helped with that.
I had a c-section with the twins and they roomed in the entire time. Since they were so tiny, I just laid them both between my legs to sleep. There was no way I was going to be able to sleep in the hospital (lights, noises, nurses coming in to check vital signs every two hours) it didn't matter that the babies were there.
I felt like having the babies up on me 24-7 might have made up for whatever peaceful birth bonding we missed out on by having a non-peaceful birth. Also, I was concerned about my milk coming in and I wanted to be able to nurse them constantly. By the time they were 12 hours old I had colostrum shooting across the room and by 24 hours the babies were already having real (non-meconium) poops. I really think that is because of the frequent nursing.
That said, if you feel awful and exhausted, you need to take care of yourself. I felt really great after my c-section (probably because major abdominal surgery feels SUPER compared by being 36 weeks pregnant with twins...also because I was taking generous amounts of painkillers...) so if you feel terrible you'll obviously have a different experience.
I had a c-section because of HELLP syndrome (toxemia). The meds I was on for 2 days prevented me from nursing right away.
DH stayed in my room the first night, and got up with the babies all night - like Julia'smom, I couldn't even get out of bed. For the next 4 nights, he went home to sleep, because we realized that when I got home, he was going to replace the entire hospital staff, so he needed his sleep.
Our nurses were incredible. They made sure I tried pumping regularly (I wasn't really successful, but it got my uterus contracting), and they kept the babies in the nursery at night. They would rock and sooth and comfort the boys as long as they could, until both were awake and hungry, before bring them to me to nurse, so I could sleep as long as I could. The boys were very much on the same schedule, so it's not like one was screaming while the other slept. Once I started nursing, no one at the hospital even considered giving them formula.
I just had to say I'm so jealous of all your rooming in experiences. My babies were being monitored almost the entire time, and when one of them was finally allowed to room in with me, the nurses were not helpful with coming to me at night to nurse.
Shuli, where did you have your babies?! You had a much better experience than I did, it sounds.
ETA: Also, they forced me to use formula the entire time, even when my milk came in. And while they sort of told me to pump, no one would help when I asked for help doing it, and the first day I was stuck in bed (blood pressure kept dropping), they wouldn't let me have a pump there with me, or give me info on renting one.
I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I had to get it out a bit. Still mad and upset about it, even though it was three months ago.
You may now carry on with your discussion, lol.
ETA: I forgot to actually answer the OP! Sorry. I vote for rooming in!
If they let you, do it, as I can tell you for me personally, I could not rest not having my babies next to me. It drove me crazy.
Much like Rachel pointed out how "safe" it is to room out depends on your hospital. If it were me, I'd keep them with me whenever possible. I don't trust nurses to not give formula. I just don't. Especially to twins. But the hospitals here are NOT breastfeeding friendly. If I'd have had a section with my twins in Dallas where they were born the hospital we were planning to transport to was quite mother-baby friendly and I'd have felt a lot more comfortable.
With my second baby, I didn't room in and I regret it now. I had too much time to "detach" but I was already struggling with depression so YMMV. In my very humble opinion babies should be with their mothers whenever possible. Playing it by ear and determining how well you feel afterward sounds like good advice.
GoodUserNamesTaken - I'm sorry your experience was so sucky. But thank you for sharing your story bc that's the kind of info I'm looking for.
So far I've been handling this pg like a champ, if I do say so myself. Tomorrow I'll be 39 weeks and would love to be able to push these kids out when it's time but after all of my attempts to turn baby A around, the kid has decided he/she is calling the shots. I've never had surgery so I don't know how well or not well I will handle the c-section but I think I'll play the rooming in situation by ear.
Thanks girls. Now we're just waiting for these kids to jump out.
We roomed in. The first night was a blur because I had a section and was on mag. Dh stayed the first two nights because I couldn't get around very well. The third night, dh went home to be with our son and it was soooo hard rooming in. I felt very isolated because one baby had a bili blanket and I couldn't get out of the room. I was pumping and finger feeding because they were late pre-termers so I would have to call for the nurse to come get my milk for the fridge and then call again when I needed it. I felt like a total PIA but really would have liked some company. Longest night ever. If you do room in, have your dh stay if at all possible
Good luck with your delivery.
I say play it by ear, see how things progress and how tired/sore you are. You never know how you're going to react to the anesthesia, pain killers etc.
I also had a c- Section and lost a fair amount of blood. I roomed in with the babies and tried nursing them as I could, mind you I did have my DH and my mom there with me most of the time.
We sent them to the nursery two times, the first just after arriving post c-section we were all knocked out after 2 nights w/out sleep and we got some good sleep.
The second time was when they gave me a blood transfusion, although my hemoglobin level wasn't critical, I just could hardly get up out of bed for lack of red blood cells and also colostrum just want coming in. They said probably because of my anemia. So they gave me a transfusion on the second night. I was hooked up to the thing and couldn't hold the babies for nursing.
But even then between bags f blood I ventured sloooowly out to the nurser 'cause I just HAD to make sure my babies were doing well. They were fast asleep!