Throughout Friday night the nurses were constantly in and out of the room. Ryan stayed at the hospital the entire time, changed every diaper, got up every time she woke up to give her to me, he was a lifesaver while we were there. Saturday afternoon I was able to get the catheter removed and take a shower on my own. It felt so good to get clean. Once I was up, I tried to stay up as much as possible to be walking around. After showering I could dry off on my own because I couldn’t bend over, so Ryan helped me. I wanted to do it myself but I appreciated his help, it was far less awkward than the nurses doing it. When I showered the nurses changed the bedding every time I showered which was nice. I put my street clothes on and it felt so good to be out of the old gown and be clean. I felt human again. I asked for a compression band for my stomach, I read that it helped, and it did. I wasn’t sure how well it helped until I took it off and I realized how much it did help with pain to have the compression. The physical recovery wasn’t terrible pain wise as long as I kept my meds and made sure I didn’t go without. I tried to wait it out as long as I could the first few times, but quickly learned it was better for all of us if I kept up on my meds.
My grandparents came up that afternoon and met A, and my in-laws came back for another visit that afternoon. The nurses wanted me to start doing walking. So we asked my grandparents and in-laws to stay in the room with A while Ryan and I walked down to the end of the long hall and back. It felt good to get out of that room. When we came back we learned A cried from the moment we left, and quit the moment we came back, we all got a little chuckle that she knew we were gone.
All day Sunday we relaxed, the nurses weren’t coming in and out quite as frequently and I was given false hope that I would probably get to go home because of how well I was doing. We had to stay one more night since my OB insisted on doing staples instead of glue like most do now. I wanted to get home, but there was no getting out of it. We lounged around in the hospital bed and watched the cable all of Sunday. We snuggled our sweet girl and had long conversations. Part of me enjoyed it just a smidgen since I knew that the next week would be filled with visitors in my house since my SIL would be in town for Thanksgiving among other members of the family. Monday afternoon we were released.
The drive home was surreal, there we were both of us in the front seats just like when we drove to the hospital a few days before, but this time there was a tiny human in the backseat that had an amazing hold on our hearts. Ryan was the most alert driver – ever – because of our precious cargo in the backseat. It was the sweetest. We ran to Walgreens, and home. A and I laid down and slept a bit while Ryan ran a couple of errands. He came home to wake me because our cat was acting off, there I was cradling our sweet cat on the floor, only for him to pass away 30 minutes later. My heart was broken. My grandparents came with our dogs that evening, then we went to bury our cat. Welcome home, right?
The next day my SIL, her husband and our six week old nephew came to see for the evening. Their visit turned from a couple hours to 5+ and feeding them dinner. I was tired, I needed my pain meds but I felt like I needed to entertain. It wasn’t anything personal to our family members, it was just a lot to take on a couple days after being released from the hospital. I regretted not just taking A up to our room and letting them be own their own for a bit, it was a lot but I knew it was only a preview of what Thursday would look like since we were crazy enough to host Thanksgiving at our house. Wednesday we had our first doctor’s appointment with our pediatrician and we went to have blood work because she was a little jaundice, which stressed me out. It’s normal for a lot of babies, but I wanted to fix it. That night my dad came in and dropped by for a short visit and returned Thursday morning to help with Thanksgiving. We agreed to having the holiday at our house but we weren’t going to do the cooking, that was on everyone else. Our pediatrician called to check on A that day just to make sure she was eating good, and she was. I was appreciative of her gesture of calling, especially on a holiday. Early afternoon all of my in-laws arrived and our little house was full. The kitchen was over crowded and I stayed out of the way. By dinner I wondered what I signed up for with 10 people in my house less than a week having a baby, but it went as smooth as it could. We deemed that the next week we would have zero visitors and that kept me going. We survived Thanksgiving, although I was frustrated we were left with the clean-up, poor Ryan – but I digress. Friday morning we saw my dad for a short visit and he headed back to KS. Saturday it was just us, and Sunday my mom came for a visit bringing us food and spending a little time with us and A. It was nice to see her, my stepdad and step sister. They didn’t get to make it back to the hospital because my sister didn’t feel well and they didn’t was A getting sick, so she’d waited a week to hold her new granddaughter.
Ryan had one more week off of work. We got to adjust to life with A, just the three of us this next week, it was so great. We had nothing to worry about, just relaxing and enjoying our new family. This next week was my first “follow your mom instincts” moments. When we were in the hospital we had one nurse that would tell us you had to wake your baby every two hours to eat, we had others that said let the baby sleep, I didn’t know what to believe. When adding her jaundice and need to nurse extra on top of that I was worried, we had to go back to the doctor that Friday and her levels needed to be down and I had to nurse like crazy to make that happen. I set alarms for every two hours, and she wouldn’t be awake and I wouldn’t get up, and I would end up in tears that I didn’t get up because what if I was doing it wrong? What if she wasn’t getting enough milk because I wasn’t getting up? My instincts told me she was fine, but the mixed voices of the nurses had me second guessing. I went to mom forums and read differing, harsh opinions, which lead me to not go to mom forums ever again either. I remember sitting in bed that Thursday after reading forums with tears streaming down my face, some things I read I was doing everything wrong, other things were telling me everything was totally normal and I was rocking it. Ryan told me to stop looking at the forums and I was doing awesome. I was doing awesome, I shouldn’t have second guessed my instincts. The pediatrician listened to the chaos I had on my mind and said “Always follow your instincts and if that baby girl is sleeping, take advantage of it and let her sleep. Babies know when they are hungry.” The stress subsided and I felt that calm of “follow your gut just like your gut has been telling you mama” I’d been feeling the whole time. That was the last time I second guessed it.
Once our two weeks of having Ryan how was over it was hard for him to go back, he loved being home with us every day, but I was feeling good, I had weened myself off of the pain meds mostly and had no troubles. Life was good. Every day that passed we became even more and more smitten with A, the kind of love that we had never experienced before or even knew existed.