The moment we had all been waiting for was here. Our little Peanut had finally made his grand entrance into the world and we were just in love.
As soon as they sewed me back up from the C section, they wheeled me in the bed to a recovery room of some sorts. I could see Cedrik holding our little guy as they examined him and whatever else. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on him! He was so little and gray and wasn’t making a peep.
The nurse was asking me questions (I think) but all I could do was stare in amazement. What just happened? A tiny human being – like a future businessman or police officer or actor or Patriots quarterback – just came out of me. Whoa.
Finally, the moment of truth.
“Are you ready to hold your baby and try to nurse?” – I don’t know who said it.
I was ready. 9 months of YouTube had prepared me for this moment. I already knew what to do: football hold, bring baby to nipple, stay calm, stare forever. The nurse tried to do her job and instruct me but I was steps ahead of her.
“You’ve done this before I see!”
“Nope. YouTube.” I said, proudly.
I was prepared for the “how to” portion of nursing. What I wasn’t prepared for was the bursting of emotions that would occur from it. You know that high pitched noise in movies when they pull all the sound out for a key moment and you see people’s mouths moving in slow motion but there’s no audible? It was like that. Tears. Just more tears. And more tears. Nurses were talking, but all I could zero in on was my little Noah.
He was just there, nursing as if he had been training for it in the womb. His little cheeks and mouth moving like he hadn’t eaten since he was conceived. I was aware that all babies don’t latch right away and that it might take some work. I was aware that breastfeeding wasn’t for everyone and that I might not be able to do it. I was aware that with a little persistence, a difficult latch could be fixed. I was NOT aware of the fact that a newborn baby had the sucking power of a fresh-out-the-box Hoover vacuum cleaner. Now THAT was definitely a surprise. A little grit of the teeth and it wasn’t that bad. *sheds tear*
Cedrik and I were just staring with tears in our eyes. At him, at each other. It was very surreal. After who knows how long, I asked Cedrik if he could tag out and send mom in for a few minutes. At first he didn’t want to leave so I just let him stay and enjoy the moment for as long as he wanted.
“Ok, I’ll send her in”, he said.
As soon as he left, I looked up and realized I was in another “bullpen” type room where I also realized there were other mothers recovering. Low and behold, someone left the curtain a little open in front of me. There she was…… Gypsie lady and her new gypsie baby (see Chapter 5). Instead of wanting to strangle her this time, I just smiled at her. She didn’t see me, but I was happy for her.
After a few moments, I heard my mom basically sprint down the hall and come into the recovery room. “Oh my God he is so little and looks like a tiny squirrel!”
We burst out laughing together with tears rolling down our faces. I don’t think I had ever seen that type of joy in her. The nurse then asked her to hold him while they checked both of our vitals. Of course she was overjoyed and was extremely eager to do so.
It was during this time two nurses wrapped me up in this big white velcro band. I was still numb from the morphine but I could feel the pressure from it. It felt like all my guts and insides were being held in place by a lovely hug. It was really nice.
Finally, they were ready to move us to our own room and they gave me Noah back. Mom and Cedrik tagged out again and we were all off to the private room together.
At this point, everyone was starving and I was informed to just eat juice and crackers because anything I ate post surgery would surely make me vomit. Obviously, they didn’t know they were dealing with ole Iron Gut (no one has ever called me that btw). Juice and crackers? Puh-lease. I sent Cedrik to get me a giant cheeseburger from McDonald’s and a Sprite. I ate the juice and crackers while I waited for him to return.
We enjoyed a few hours of family, baby and cheeseburgers and then it was time for everyone to leave around 6pm. It was just me, Cedrik and Noah again. Cedrik passed out because of all the hard work he just went through *wipes sarcasm off that last sentence*. So now it was just me and baby.
Now what? He’s here and I have no idea what to do. He was supposed to sleep in a little rolling bed/shelf/box thingy but I couldn’t seem to let go of him. The first night I just sat there in the hospital bed, holding him and staring at him. The night nurse came in and refilled my ice water like a thousand times. No one tells you how thirsty you get after having a baby! She checked mine and the baby’s vitals every 2 hours so even if I wanted to sleep, it would have been for nothing. Peanut pretty much slept the whole time (a trait I wish he would have kept) only waking for feedings every once in a while *RIP nipples*
I spent my first night as a mom having a staring contest with a little version of me, except I was the only one playing.
When the shift changed and a new nurse came in the next morning, she asked me how many diapers I had changed. SHIT! I guess I DO have to do that now. Cedrik and I looked at each other like OOPS and then I said, “Umm, none?” She just looked at me funny and said, “Yeah you may need to do that every once in a while.”
What I wanted to say was “Bitch, don’t you antagonise me, I just had a human sliced out of me like an avocado pit and all you can do is judge me for forgetting I needed to change diapers?!” But what I actually said was, “We’ll remember from now on.”
At my next vitals check, the nurse was checking my little hug wrap thingy and apparently I had bled all the way through bandages and the wrap so she took it off me and bandaged me back up, but didn’t put my wrap back on. I didn’t ask any questions because everything moves in fast forward when you’re in a hospital and I felt totally clueless. The next day when my doctor came in to check my wounds and when she noticed that my wrap wasn’t on, she turned into a nicer version of Maleficent.
“WHERE IS YOUR BINDER?!”
“My what?” – I said in a stoner voice
“YOUR BINDER! THE WRAP THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ON AND HELPING YOU HEAL! IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT YOU WEAR THAT THING 24/7 FOR THE NEXT MONTH!”
“Umm, the night nurse took it off?” – I was terrified. She was so pissed.
“WAS IT A YOUNG NURSE? DID SHE LOOK NEW? SHE MUST NOT KNOW WHO YOUR DOCTOR IS”
I watched my doctor have a personal little power struggle with herself and at that moment, the nurse walked in. I had a little mini heart attack. I thought for sure I was about to witness a homicide.
“WHERE IS LEILANI’S BINDER?!”
“She bled through hers so we took it off.”
“AND YOU DIDN’T THINK TO PUT ANOTHER ONE ON?! SHE NEEDS ONE ON AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.”
While I felt sorry for the nurse for being yelled at in front of me, I kind of thought the doctor had a point. Still, it seemed like all the people in the hospital were terrified of her.
After about 24 hours post birth, they removed my catheter. It was time for me to try to stand up and use the restroom on my own. Let me tell you, that sounds like nothing, but 24 hours after a C section, it seemed like they were asking me to go run a marathon. Just turning to put my feet on the ground felt like my midsection was just going to tear open like a ziploc bag. I was still on narcotics, so I wasn’t in THAT much pain. But no amount of narcotics can prevent ALL the pain. With a lot of help from the nurse and Cedrik, I did it. I stood up. And that’s about as far as I made it that first time. We tried again about a half hour later and we walked, very slowly, to the bathroom. Now to sit on the toilet… Well, I could write a whole other blog on just that but I’ll just spare you the details.
Just kidding I will tell you all about it!
It was bloody. Like SUPER bloody. It took about 5 whole minutes of just cleaning up in there. The nurse gave me these AMAZING mesh underwear. That’s not sarcasm folks, those panties were truly a miracle. So comfy. She also gave me these giant maxi pads that I’m 100% sure could have saved the Titanic from that iceberg scrape. Those were super sexy too.
The doctor told me that I could shower in about another 24 hours (2 days after giving birth). I was excited for that, and I also was terrified of it. I was barely starting to get the feeling back in my legs! When the time came, I was too scared to even look down at my wounds. I stood in the shower facing away from it and watched the floor of it fill up with blood from my midsection (and other places). I was so thankful that I packed some good smelling body wash.
Our last night in the hospital and we would be all set to go home with our little guy in the morning. I was able to slowly get in and out of the bed on my own, and I was able to stand at the sink for about 5 minutes to brush my teeth. That last night while Cedrik and baby slept, I had to fill out all the paperwork for his birth certificate, I had to read this whole packet on newborn care for the first few days, and I also had to read like a whole pamphlet on circumcision care.
The next morning, before we left, it was required for us to make an appointment with a pediatrician in 3 days. Crap! I never picked one! While I immediately got on my phone and started Googling local pediatricians, the nurse recommended a few to us so I basically just picked the closest one. That was done.
And now for the packing and going home part.
As if healing from surgery wasn’t enough, but I had to watch as Cedrik just shoved everything “wherever”. SOMEBODY was ready to go. We called for “transportation” and a nurse I had never seen before showed up with a wheelchair. Cedrik went ahead to get the car and mom stayed with me as they wheeled me downstairs.
ALAS! Cedrik had properly installed the car seat and we were about to take it and baby Noah for a test drive! Literally!
And off we went on the ride home.