Seriously. You’ve honestly gone four days without coming here? I thought you liked me.
After that amazing first post-partum hospital meal (only slightly exaggerated due to intense hunger – the food was actually pretty good!) I get transferred to recovery and am told I have to be able to get out of bed within four hours otherwise I would be threatened with a catheter. Which was totally fine when I was in epidural land, not so much now.
Due to fear, I waited until the last possible second to make the journey out of bed and to the bathroom. The aide came to assist. Now. This aide was a big Jamaican woman with a thick accent. Bubbly, funny, loud, almost over the top. She led me into the bathroom and ordered me around. Big A says: Before that awesome Jamaican tech came in, the other nurse said “if you don’t pee now, I’m putting in a catheter”. That plan sounded horrible.
She told me to go. So I went. Even though I was terrified.
She handed me a spray bottle so I could hose myself off because that’s just what you do I guess. I did so, hesitantly and gingerly. Because, you know, POSSIBILITY OF PAIN. And I had no idea what the @$^! was going on down there. She saw how I was doing it, scolded me, snatched that bottle from me, refilled it and then went to town. Went. To. Town.
THERE IS A BIG JAMAICAN LADY POWERFULLY HOSING OFF MY PRIVATEST OF PARTS.
“You gotta use hot water, hot as you can stand. You gotta SPRAY it down, you gotta heal up fast.”
I could not stop laughing.
She showed me how I needed to take care of everything, from the wash off to the butt baths to the preventative measures. It seriously was a process to go to the bathroom now. I felt like I was building sandwiches in my underpants with giant pads as the bread and ice packs and/or Tucks pads like cold cuts. You won’t be eating a sandwich for lunch now. Sorry.
Here’s the thing. Your privatest of parts? Not so private during these times. There are numerous people watching you deliver, the nurses are checking your under regions for excess bleeding, the lactation consultants are feeling you up, your boobs are constantly out, you must have zero shame to make it through unscathed.
Luckily, I had practice from a few Spring Breaks in college so I wasn’t fazed.
KIDDING, MOM! Big A says: No, but really.
Anyway. If you’re pregnant with your first and reading this, take heed. Total strangers, and lots of them, will be seeing various parts of your body and you best be okay with that.
The rest of my two days in the joint were a blur. It included a fair amount of napping, a lot of pain from nursing, drugs delivered on demand and being peed on. And learning what newborns are all about.
Little A stayed in our room for the majority of the time, with the exception of the last night when he stayed down in the nursery to be under the stronger bilirubin tanning lights. I slept like a champ that night, skipping two nursing sessions since he was on a strict 30 minute limit to be out of the lights and by the time he would latch, time was up and he would have to supplement anyway. So I opted for sleep. And sleep was good. Besides, when the nurse came to wake me for those sessions she phrased it as such: “do you want to come nurse or keep sleeping?” Obviously sleep was the answer. If she had known me at all, she would have made it a demand, not a choice. Big A spent most of that night at our house. Putting the crib together.
While I was sort of hoping that they would keep us an extra day for some reason, they didn’t and we were released into the wild unknown Wednesday morning. ON OUR OWN. UNASSISTED. FULLY RESPONSIBLE. Big A says: it really wasn’t THAT big of a deal. I’ve been around little kids for a bulk of my life. I even babysat my first infant at 9. Then I remembered that my wife, my partner in this adventure, had just changed her FIRST DIAPER!! Ish just got real for her.
On the way out, there was another mother being released and I looked at my diminutive six pounder and then at her normal sized eight pounder and back at my six pounder and then up to the skies to say thank you to whomever was listening.
Plus her baby? Typical ugly squishy looking baby. Not to be totally mean but since I am, it was truly an unfortunate looking child. Once again, I thanked above. Then wondered if my kid was really as cute as I thought or if I had mommy blinders already.
I decided he was epically cute. The universe loves me.
So let’s recap.
Water breaks. I get an epidural. I push for a few minutes. I have a baby.
I wanted to end this post with further insight into my feelings on this whole experience, but to be honest, I am just not ready for that yet. I am also slightly overemotional already because the Olympics tend to do that to me and that #@%! P&G commercial with the moms viewing the athletes as children? Gets me every @!#%! time. It would have gotten to me without having spawn, but now that I DO have spawn, HOLY CRAP. I have to avert my eyes. It doesn’t help that they run it all the damn time. Between that and the Michael Phelps focused Visa commercials narrated by Morgan Freeman, I am a wreck. I DON’T EVEN LIKE MICHAEL PHELPS.
ANYWAY. So ends the story of how Little A arrived into this crazy world. Now that he’s here, to stay apparently, it’s hard to remember how life was without him.
His story, though? Our story? That’s just beginning.