Something wasn't right. I hadn't been a parent for more than 48 hours but as I held my screaming son, I knew in my gut something was wrong.
"He's just a baby. Babies scream"
"He's latching fine. He'll get what he needs".
"Don't give him a bottle, it will doom your nursing relationship forever."
I'm sure those people were right. They were long time parents, professionals with degrees and people who had been in my shoes before. What did I know? I listened to them while ignoring that voice in my head that kept repeating "This is not working".
The voice got louder a few hours later when my neighbor, a retired RN, stopped by to meet Max. On her first glance she stated "He's looking a little yellow. Keep an eye on that".
The night came. Max continued to latch, hang out there for a few minutes, pull off and start screaming again. All night long he screamed and screamed. We rocked, bounced, shushed, and swaddled. We called my mother in law at 1AM to help. I couldn't do much more than cry, feeling like I was failing him.
The next morning was his 3 day pediatrician visit. While we were getting ready, I suggested taking Max's temperature. He felt warm but I wasn't sure what was warm for a newborn. He had a mild fever. I actually felt some relief. At least I knew that was part of the problem. I didn't know a low fever in a newborn meant an automatic hospital admission until we told the nurse at the pedi's office. I sat in shock as she wrote up orders and gave us directions on how to get to the pediatric unit.
I remained in shock at the hospital as they repeatedly poked my son, trying to find a vein for an antibiotic IV. Multiple veins were blown. Finally they gave him Pedialyte which he rapidly drank and then promptly fell asleep for the first time in hours. I started to put the pieces together.
We settled in our room and I met the lactation consultant. I tried pumping for the first time. Not a drop. I was devastated but I was also relieved. Things started to fall into place. My milk hadn't come in. Max wasn't even getting colostrum to sustain him. He was dehydrated, causing the jaundice, fever and constant screaming. I finally had the answers needed to make him better. A rush of relief swept over me.
It was at that point, 72 hours into parenthood I realized the "experts" were full of crud. Their degrees and experience couldn't replace a mothers intuition. The voice in the back of my head screamed "I told you so!". It was right. Since then, when it comes to Max, I always listen.