I can’t believe how quickly time is going now that K has arrived. I want to document every second, but there is a baby, household duties, a baby, insurance coverage to take care of, a baby, visitors galore, a baby, sleeping, a baby!
K’s first two weeks were largely successful and wonderful. Let’s recap them, shall we? 🙂
Overall, I enjoyed my hospital stay. C and I both felt like we could have left after the first night, but when the second night was super difficult with a constantly crying baby who did not seem to be able to be soothed, our awesome nurse who double swaddled her and got her to sleep for a few precious hours made the second night stay totally worth it. Our hospital was super mother-baby relationship building friendly and the nurses did a great job of coming in only when they needed to (at times it felt like we were hanging out in a hotel room). C took care of me every minute, grabbing ice water, fielding phone calls and texts from family and friends, and taking care of diaper changes and other baby needs.
Because we birthed the baby in the afternoon, we had family visits the entire first evening (almost as soon as we were in the room) and throughout the next day. I can definitely understand why people recommend keeping visitors at bay (and thought I would feel the same way) as it was very tiring and we got little sleep, but seeing the love and excitement for our baby and getting the support from our families (all of the local grandparents visited, two more than once, along with the local siblings and our friend) was wonderful and re-energizing. My mom also brought us a homemade Italian cold-cut, something I’d been wanting for ten months, to celebrate, as well as a beautiful card that makes me cry every time I read it (still). We also received balloons and flowers and general congratulations.
One downside to the hospital was the food, for sure. My meals were provided and were okay, but the cafeteria had some strange hours and the food was… interesting.. at best. Neither C nor I really ate the day of labor until dinner time and by midnight, we were super hungry. We ended up with very expensive, very stale tacos from the cafeteria, bonding over the grossness of it all (and eating them anyway). We very much appreciated the food brought by others, but were also very excited to get to our own food.
The other downside was the staff (outside of nursing). I was having woozy feelings when I would leave the bed and ended up with an OB resident who, it being the end of July, was brand new, and who felt the need (or needed to for her attending) to ask 7,000 questions and also wake me up the second morning after I had just fallen asleep. She was trying to help, so that was okay, I guess. What was NOT okay was the records staff who came to fill out the birth certificate (first at 9:40 pm, again as we were falling asleep) and who had no idea about having both moms on the birth certificate despite edicts from the state that they should do so and despite me completing the same-sex worksheet in advance for my midwives. The first lady (the 9:40 pm lady), pretty much backed out of our room when I refused to sign her form and the next day I argued with her supervisor, who told me they could fill out the paperwork regardless of me signing it. They eventually agreed to submit both pieces of paperwork (still a cop out) and she did pseudo-apologize when I e-mailed her the letter from the state. Lots of undue stress, though.
K, meanwhile, did great in the hospital (except for her crying spell the second night, which isn’t not great, it just wasn’t spectacular). We ended up going with all of the typical interventions and they all went fine. Her bili levels were a little bit high, but were still in a range in which additional intervention was not required. She also took somewhat well to nursing, though we did work with the lactation consultants three different times so that we could learn as much as possible. C was fabulous with the consultants, getting hands on (haha) and learning the techniques right alongside me so that she could coach me later on. I couldn’t have asked for more involvement on her part and it definitely came in handy when the LCs were not there.
My healing also seemed to be going well. I committed myself to going to the bathroom as soon as possible after delivery (at the suggestion of the midwife) and was fortunate that things were in working order very quickly (I was also determined to avoid a catheter if at all possible). I was in very little pain and only took a pain reliever once – and that was because of a headache. The nurses and the midwife who checked me seemed constantly surprised that I did not want more in the way of pain relief – and looked at me doubtfully once or twice – but I was really okay. I made sure to keep up with fluids (wasn’t hard as nursing seems to have a insatiable thirst kind of effect on me) and ate like it was my job (hunger more intense than I ever felt during pregnancy).
We were discharged a little over 48 hours after we arrived at the hospital, and probably would have left sooner had I not been nursing the first time they came to check on K. C went to get the car while I was pushed out of the hospital in a wheelchair, baby in my arms. I guess it was like the movies; in any case, it was definitely surreal (and fast – it was like they were throwing me out with as fast as I was pushed). I marveled at the fact that I was holding this tiny being who was all mine (ours) and also took a good look at the reception area where I had been in labor just two days earlier. The person who pushed me to the door left me (with my permission) while C was bringing the car around and I got to hang out as people walked by admiring the baby. A valet person pushed me outside when C arrived, we loaded the baby into her carseat (surreal again!) and waited for a good fifteen minutes for a tow truck to get out of the way. And then we were on our way home!
The first night
… was definitely about 15 kinds of interesting. We stopped to get prescriptions filled and fast food purchased (yeah, more food greatness) before coming home (to “It’s a girl” lawn signs courtesy of my family) and introducing K to Wonderdog. He took it well enough, sniffing the baby and going outside. We took a nap, enjoying the AC that we paid for and had been left on for three days, and woke up super hungry. Cue my mom, who we called and within half an hour was at our house making us delicious food. After she left, we were on track to settle in and spend our first night at home when I noticed the smell of natural gas… and sure enough, our stove had not been turned off and had been leaking natural gas into the house for several hours. So we ended up on our front porch with the newborn, calling poison control, who, despite C’s emphasis on TWO-DAY-OLD-CHILD assured us that as long as we didn’t light any fires, we should be fine. Right. We smelled gas throughout the house and we weren’t taking any chances. So we abandoned Wonderdog and spent the night in our friend’s house, who was thankfully awake when we called close to 11 pm and graciously invited us over. Poor Wonderdog. Poor us (definitely not the good introduction to home we wanted). Poor niece, who woke up the next morning and came downstairs to a baby that she “knew” was coming as much as an almost-three-year-old can.
We spent the remainder of that day going to the pediatrician’s office – LOVE HER, she was SO good with the baby – and then going to not one, but two different labs with our three-day-old to get her blood drawn for bili levels since the first lab (where we waited for half an hour) told us after our wait that they could not serve us because it was a “STAT” order. And after I had promised C a nap, too. So across town we went, got the blood drawn (heartbreaking to watch) and came back home. I don’t know that we had any visitors that day – we might have – and I hope we napped, but I’m not sure that happened either. It was definitely a hectic first couple of days!
… that’s about all I have time to write right now; will add more later!