We arrived at our recovery room sometime around 1:30 am.
We were instantly flooded with nurses, paperwork, and an avalanche of information about safe sleeping, car seat safety, feeding, diaper changes, the Books from Birth program, and so much more...
I even felt a little overwhelmed with it all, and I've done this 5 times before!
I had to give myself a little pep talk and remind myself that I could take care of a newborn again.
They helped Sam pull out a bed for him to sleep in, and we settled in for what would be a long, fragmented night.
Between a nurse coming in to check my vitals every 30 minutes, the uncontrollable shaking that would start back up every time I stood up or changed position for the rest of the night, CRAZY hard afterpains (seriously, I'm not exaggerating when I say they were worse than unmedicated labor!), and Elsie wanting to nurse constantly, it was pretty much a sleepless night.
My doctor had warned me several weeks before delivery that they would be giving me several medications to prevent hemorrhage after the birth (since I had hemorrhaged with Maxwell) and that they would cause really intense cramping. I guess that combination of pitocin, cytotec, and misoprostol must have been why it was so bad, but whew! Every time I breastfed Elsie the agony began. I would go on for a few minutes until the pain escalated too much, at which point I would desperately hand her off to Sam and curl up in the fetal position on the bed for 5-10 minutes, waiting for the gut-wrenching pain to go away. Then I would take her back and repeat the process. After hours of this, I caved and asked for some strong painkiller, which got me through the worst of the pain and made it so I could manage to feed Elsie for longer periods.
And it's a good thing, because she wanted to eat constantly throughout our hospital stay! My sister later pointed out that this may have been because they had suctioned out her stomach right after she was born. My milk hadn't come in yet so I knew she wasn't getting much, but I had never had such a voracious eater in the hospital before!
She managed to make like EIGHT messy, black diapers during the 30ish hours after her birth!
She has continued to be a great eater--at her 2 week checkup, she was in the 92nd percentile for weight, 95th for head size, and >99th percentile for length.
I always have such mixed feelings about being in the hospital with a newborn.
I really don't love the very unrestful hospital environment,
but I simultaneously have the most tender feelings toward the whole experience. Sam and I just get to sit and become acquainted with our newborn in the quiet, and I feel such an outpouring of love from him as he helps me through my recovery.
Seeing these images of splotchy newborn faces, squinty eyes, old hospital receiving blankets, and ID wristbands always evokes such sweet emotions within me.
Sam is always SO amazing in the hospital.
He fills out every administrative form, changes every single diaper, records feedings and diaper changes, and goes out on meal runs so I can have yummy smoothies instead of hospital food.
Three different doctors and nurses commented on Elsie's swaddle and asked who did it while we were there because Sam does the tightest, smoothest swaddles in the world.
I am always joking with him that he should write a book on how to talk to pregnant people, but really I guess he should write a book on how to be a husband during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery. He is just so great.
Apparently it is better for the baby to delay bathing for at least 12 hours after birth.
Elsie has more hair than any of our other babies did, so it was a relief when the nurse came in to give her a sponge bath and wash the gunk out of her hair. (She obviously wasn't a fan, though.)
And by Sunday morning we were chomping at the bit to go home so they rushed us through the check-out process and we headed out!