The next several posts were written once Gummi Bear was a week old. The dates posted are done more to keep track of where we were in the fun saga of the past week.
For those that don’t know, there seems to be something about the ninth in our little family. My husband and I are both born on the ninth and to entertain ourselves we chose a wedding date of the ninth. I joked, shortly after finding out my due date, that she’d likely come in to the world on the ninth just to be difficult and fit in right away. I didn’t think I’d actually be right. Between the pre-eclampsia, the almost induction in late March, my doctor not wanting me to go so far past our due date and just thinking there’s no way that would happen…there was a part of me that was happy to be spending the wee small hours of April 9th holding my newborn daughter.
I got to hold her for the first time around five in the morning. The drug cocktail from surgery had worn off by then and the painkillers were working so I was just feeling tired as I held the little bundle in my arms. The Bald One snored blissfully on the couch nearby, except when I woke him briefly to see if he wanted to hold her again. He sat up, saw the two of us, smiled and fell back asleep. I couldn’t blame him, it was a long day. After a while, I sent her back to the nursery to get some good sleep, since I knew the next few days would be long as I learned how to care for this little thing.
I didn’t know how right I was. Friday and Saturday blended together for me in a fit of less than ideal sleep and learning to do things from the comfort of a hospital bed. Because of the epi & surgery, I was still attached to an IV and a catheter for fluids management. Trying to learn to breast feed while setting off the IV’s kinked cable alarm was less than ideal, but I thought we managed. People came in and out – nurses, friends and family – to see the munchkin and see how we were all doing. There was a tiny portion of me hopeful that we’d be released Sunday morning, but that was dashed early by my doctor. Turned out to be a good thing, but a little heartbreaking when I just wanted to get home and start remapping my life.
By midday Saturday, I was disconnected from all my cables, given permission to take a shower (hallelujah!) and given solid foods. A slice of cheese pizza has never tasted so good in my life. The Bald One laughed as I changed a diaper for the first time and didn’t completely freak out about the experience. Breastfeeding was not the instinctive thing I thought it would be. TAB came to babysit me Saturday night so the Bald One could run home and check on things there and grab a shower. It was a good time for all of us and I was pretty sure we were getting the hang of it.
I didn’t know how wrong I was until Sunday morning.
Gummi Bear had been a fussy thing most of Saturday. The ease she seemed to have had latching on Friday was gone by Saturday and she was constantly crying. Soothing was the main objective of my life and I spent more time walking around in various states of undress than I ever thought I’d feel comfortable doing. By Sunday morning, I was hunting the lactation consultant for a check. She showed up as the pediatrician was finishing her visit with us, and it was quickly determined that we weren’t latching properly which meant that she wasn’t getting enough food. We were fitted for a breast shield, and shown how to get things situated each time a little better. Things started to improve, but it was slow going throughout the day.
Another fun part of Sunday was trying to figure out where my parents were. We weren’t connecting via phone, they left late and had to return for forgotten items and then there was a traffic snarl on the way which prevented them from getting in at a decent hour. Between my father’s lead foot and the flexibility of the visitors desk, they were allowed back to see their granddaughter for the first time five minutes before visiting hours officially ended. They were allowed to stay and regroup while telling us how their trip went and cooing over Gummi Bear as she was held by either of her parents. Since they were staying at our place, the Bald One escorted them home and was given a specific time to be home by. He didn’t make it, but my parents did get settled in. Her first weekend completed and we just might get to go home the next day.