Monday, August 3, 2009

First night in the hospital...

Recovering from the C-Section was initiated with a bang. As soon as I came to from the anesthesia, I was in excruciating pain at my incision site. For a brief moment, I was sure I was still in labor. I immediately demanded that the nurse beside my bed either drug me or punch me in the face. She complied and injected some feel-good into my iv, which didn't do anything at all. I demanded more, which I recieved 15 min later, and a third time, 15 min after that. No dice. No edge taken off. Nothing. I was told I had the max dose so whatever relief was possible was complete. I thought surely I was about to die. I am pleased to say that I lived, however, and the pain subsided within the hour. Close call....

About this time, I got a call from the nursery saying Gramma wanted to know if she could hold the baby. I was a little confused. I had known I would be MIA for the first newborn activities and had given them permission to let her and Stephen give Elizabeth her first bath. I guess one of those "firsts" includes first holding of the newborn? After the bath? I mean, don't you have to hold the baby to bathe her? So technically, you already held the baby first. But I guess the hospital likes to keep peace in the families so they have to ask about everthing. A nurse later explained to me the possible ramifications of allowing MomInLaws to touch the precious babes in any way not sactioned by the mother. Apparently, the norm is for both parties to cling voraciously to the munchkin and see who can log the most hours holding, coddling and cooing over said infant. Nurses often have to take a side and that side is always the Mom's, since she is the patient (customer). But back to the point of the rambling; they asked and I said yes.

I got wheeled to my Mother-Baby room soon after, which was weird since I was almost nakey in my paltry hospital "gown" and everyone was staring at me with eyes that locked on to my gurney at the end of the hall and followed me as I traversed the nurse station. I found it a bit awkward. No one was smiling. Just staring. Like nosy little prairie dogs. I replied by doing the Miss America wave as I squeeked past their counter. Eventualy someone cracked and smiled. I felt a little bit better. I was starting to wonder if they were real people or Disney animatronic figurines. Or something more horrible like I had inadvertantly flashed a newly disfgured part of my post-baby body and they were rendered speechless. Which actually seems more possible now that I have seen the pics of my entrance into the coherent world. I was horribly swollen and had not gotten out of the bed in 2 very stinky days. Ugh.

When they brought Elizabeth in, I was completely speechless. She was so precious and perfectly shaped and so BIG! She looked even bigger than she did in the videos Stephen showed me of her first bath and her Apgar assessment. It was a little overwhelming and too many people were around me. For a second, I wanted to shoo everyone away from me and her and just hold her and stare at her. But that wasn't possible. Everyone needed to talk to me at the same time. Stephen and Gramma were trying to tell me what happened from their perspective and the nurse was detailing my recovery while some E-2 was blandly reading the rules for the room off some script she had obviously never seen before. And I was in pain. And starving. And thirsty. I just kept nodding and smiling and sneaking glances at the baby. I knew eventually they would all simmer down and disperse and the lights would go out and I could just soak her in. But not until I first learned where the linen closet was and how the electronic house arrest baby bracelet would lock down the baby ward if you strayed past some invisible barrier in the quad. And something about passing gas and blah blah blah about my tummy staples (sure wish I would have paid attention there but more on that later). Bud had also made a traditional celebratory Filipino dinner to welcome the baby and brought in some oranges for good luck. It was delicious! I felt very honored. And very glad it was over.

Even with all the apprehension over a C Section and the trauma of losing control over the birth experience, I came very quickly to a peaceful place where it no longer mattered how Elizabeth got here. She is perfect. What more is there to pine for? She even slept for 5 hours that first night, which was good because I was exhausted beyond belief. Stephen took Gramma back to the house around 3am and came back to sleep. I took my Percoset and thanked God it was all over and tomorrow would be a new day.

1 comment:

katquilter said...

Gramma loves that Bud, too.... what a great guy! Aren't we glad we had that food at 2 a.m.??