I guess this isn’t really his birth story anymore, since he’s been born and all already, but I wanted to write down what happened in the hospital after his birth, mostly to remember it for myself later on.
Once Charlie was born, and I was appropriately medically stable, the doctor left and the nurses cleaned up a bit. The nurse on duty at the time, Connie, told me that I could take as long as I needed in the labor and delivery room before I’d be moved to the mother and baby side of the floor (with a comfortable bed!). They took Charlie from me after a few minutes of skin-to-skin to check his Apgars and such and then gave him back to me for awhile.
Since it was around 9 o’clock at night and I was starving from not eating for almost 24 hours, we decided that we would send Charlie to the nursery for awhile to get fully checked out while Tim went to get food for us. (Steak and Shake. And yes, I got the shake, and it was amazing.)
So we ate, and called all the relevant parties. Then the nurse came in with a bag full of super amazing supplies and took me to the bathroom. I remember that she wanted to pee, but I couldn’t because everything was so swollen. Oddly enough, she thought that the remedy for this was peppermint essential oils dripped in the toilet, but, it didn’t work. I really loved the hospital’s policies on being fairly crunchy and the like, but this one was a head-scratcher. I just wanted to get moved over to the other side of the floor so I could see Charlie again and get some sleep…not sniff peppermint oil out of a bloody toilet. But I digress.
Eventually we agreed that peeing wouldn’t happen right then, so we made up a giant happiness pad sandwich (mesh underwear, puppy pee pad, regular pad, ice pack pad, Tucks pads, EpiFoam) and were on our way to the other side of the birthing center to get settled in our new room.
Tim and I don’t totally remember what went on in what order at that point, but they brought Charlie back to me all clean and dressed and we started breastfeeding at that point. Obviously, he wasn’t getting much, but he latched well and right away. We spent some time taking pictures of him, but at that point it was after midnight and we were all exhausted. We decided to send Charlie to the nursery for the night so we could both recover, which was a great choice. That night, I THINK they brought him to me twice to breastfeed.
Since Charlie was born on Tuesday night, if all went well (and it did) we would be discharged Thursday. Wednesday is all a bit of a blur to me, honestly. It was so lovely just having that day just the three of us together. We met Charlie’s pediatrician, who confirmed he’s perfect, and my OB came to check up on everything. I also had nurses checking our vitals off and on all day. That night, some sweet friends brought us dinner in the hospital and we got to visit with them.
On Thursday, we both got one final check and were able to go home. (Yes, the car seat strap LOOKS loose in that picture but I assure you it was just a bad angle. They wouldn’t have let us go if it was.)
As far as MY physical recovery, it hasn’t been bad at all. I’m sore, but it gets better every day. The first night in the hospital, I took Tylenol + Codeine and Motrin for swelling. The second night, I took Norco and Motrin. After that, I’ve just been on a steady diet of Motrin for swelling and now, to relieve the pain of engorgement. Every night I soak my stitches in a warm bath, too. Bleeding has slowed but is still kind of nasty.
Honestly, the worst part of recovery has been my emotions—I have been a complete and utter basketcase. I go wildly from being completely fine to sobbing. I feel elated and happy one minute, and completely overwhelmed and anxious another. I worry about weird things about whether visiting family members are enjoying themselves, or whether my body will ever look and feel normal again, According to the follow-up visit nurse, this is totally normal, but if it continues past two weeks I’ll be talking to my doctor about post-partum depression and/or anxiety. It’s not exactly a pretty topic, but I am definitely aware it’s out there and if it does become an issue for me I want to get help sooner rather than later.
The pets are adjusting well and don’t seem to even really notice the changes. Buckley kind of has his hackles up, but that’s normal whenever there’s a lot of activity and strangers around.
Thus far, Charlie has been great. He sleeps a lot, seems to love breastfeeding, and really only gets fussy in the evenings. I don’t really have much of a parenting strategy at this point other than to cuddle him and let him nurse for comfort as much as possible. It’s not bad.
I don’t know how much I’ll be around in the coming weeks, since Charlie is #1 and we have a lot of visitors trickling through. Just FYI if I go missing!
All in all, the last week has easily been the most significant of my entire life. I get overwhelmed thinking about just how…big…this whole parenthood deal is. I am so madly in love with Charlie, and seeing Tim become a father just makes me want to explode with happiness. I can’t wait to see what the next weeks and months bring!