After a relatively smooth delivery, and after finally being able to eat something (we ordered pizza obviously) we were moved into a really big recovery room and we had hospital visitors nonstop. I had a nurse, and then some kind of assistant nurse who were waiting on my nonstop. The nurse showed me how to do everything: how to take care of my healing areas, how to do skin to skin with the baby, initial breast feeding, etc. In the hospital breast feeding was pretty easy for us but it turns out that babies don’t eat a ton right away, it’s much harder now. I had a lactation consultant stop by, Harrison’s new pediatrician came to say hello, my OB came in, it was like a revolving door of people answering questions for the next two days. It was really convenient, I had no idea that those doctors would just like stop by the room to chat.
Physical recovery was really hard for me. I think that sitting in bed made it worse, and if I had been up and about a little more than it would have gone better. I’m still in like major recovery mode inhaling Motrin and Tylenol. Most women experience a major hormone shift post birth, and I am no exception to that. I’ve been crying a lot, like imagine what a lot might be and then multiply it by 2 or 3. It’s really hard being a new mom, everything is so overwhelming plus you are physically restricted and the fact that your husband is going back to work much sooner than you is very scary. You really question if you can handle it all on your own. I have no regrets at all, I just don’t think that anyone can be prepared for this kind of life change – or maybe just people like me. You really have no idea what it’s like until you’re going through it.
Another little surprised to me was that I packed a big bag to bring to the hospital, and I only went into it once to grab my toiletries! I wore the standard hospital gowns because they are disposable and I was sort of gross mess with my water leaking all over the place and then later with other stuff leaking. I wasn’t about to put on something that I’d have to bring home and wash. They even give you disposable underwear, which are actually really great because they hold the recovery pads and whatever in really well – I took some home. So I totally over packed because I read all those standard lists of stuff you should bring to the hospital with you…um, my advice is to bring a very small bag. It’s more important that you bring toiletries and a going home outfit for the baby, and that your husband pack changes of clothing.
The day that we were leaving the hospital, Harrison was having a really rough day. He was shrieking and crying a lot and just freaking out and we couldn’t figure out why. We called the nurse like 3 times asking for help and most of the time it was because he had gas or something that we weren’t able to burp out. After that I really had a hard time holding it together, I was crying when I was signing my discharge papers and going over my medication list with the nurse because I had no idea how to take care of him once we got home without the nurse’s help. Everyone is like: oh your mom will help you or someone will help you. That’s actually not true. My mom has only offered advice that is no longer relevant in 2013. For example, these days we do not let newborns cry it out. Like that was her advice to me just two days ago, um, nobody lets a baby under a week old cry and cry. Newborn babies cry for a reason, so you just have to figure out why and solve it. The solving it is the hard part, but doing nothing is not the answer. After that piece of advice, I realized that the only people with good advice are those who have had babies within the past couple years. It’s all really insightful and interesting though!
In the car on the way home, I was sitting in the back seat next to my new son, and I swear to God the entire world looked different to me. We had driven these roads hundreds of times, but every single thing looked different to me somehow. I mentioned this to Abe the next day and he felt the exact same way. I knew that life would be different, but I didn’t realize that it would Feel and Look different as well.
Next up: Being Home with a Newborn Baby